After last night's storm, I was amazed to wake up and find clear blue skies and sunshine. With full sun and virtually no wind, our 16 degrees felt much warmer, so I headed out to the beach at Cappiciolo.
Cappiciolo is actually a collection of south facing beaches and little coves, so at this time of year you can normally still find a warm spot to sunbathe, even when the beaches on the other side of the bay are under cloud.
I’d chosen the Plage de la Barrière because it is one of the closest, and also because when I drove past there were no cars so I was fairly sure I’d find it deserted. Last time we came here we had Rolande le Requin (the inflatable shark) with us who’d made a nuisance of himself clinging to every passing branch and plant on the way down, so we hadn’t ventured far once we finally arrived on the beach.
Rolande and Guillaume sunbathing at Roccapina in July
The sand was warm underfoot, so I walked for what seemed like miles along the shore. There is something very special about walking on a beach where the only footsteps you can see are your own, and the only sound you can hear is the sea against the beach – bliss! The sun was directly opposite so the reflection on the water looked almost like stars twinkling.
I knew it’d be too cold to swim and there was quite a swell after the wind in the night, but it meant that there were all sorts of things to be discovered on the beach. The first was an unusual set of foot prints that I couldn’t identify; four feet all in a line with no pads so definitely not a dog – any ideas?
My next discovery caught my eye under the bamboo backing the sand. I actually did a double take as I was convinced that I’d seen a crocodile! It was obviously a tanned croc as it was brown instead of the more usual green, but luckily it turned out to be a bit of drift wood. Phew.
It wasn’t long before I found myself doing a spot of ‘escalade’ to navigate the headland. Obviously flipflops are not the approved footware for rock climbing, but I managed with only minor grazes to show for my adventures.
Once you reach this point, the rocks change and become amazingly porous, almost like they have been made from that foam stuff that florists use to support the plants. The holes were fascinating and I couldn’t help wondering why the rocks eroded in that pattern.
I stayed for a while watching the waves crash against the rocks. Being a headland, there are nearly always water sprays here, even in the summer when the sea is much calmer. Once again I found myself climbing up to a better vantage point with the serious risk of getting drenched or swept away to sea, but it was worth the effort.
I walked back a little way to a gorgeous spot in full sun with a view right across the bay, and settled in. I eventually realised that I’d stayed much longer than I intended, so I started to make my way back, but I’d walked so far I couldn’t actually remember where the access was. Eek!
Fortunately I had the common sense to re-trace my footsteps. Unfortunately, my second favourite beach activity after roasting myself on the sand is collecting unusual shells, and after last night’s storm there were loads, so it wasn’t long before I was side tracked again.
I found all sorts of tiny shells that look like ancient Greek urns in miniature, mussel shells, nacres (mother of pearl) and even oyster shells. Now all I have to do is decide what to do with them all...