Legends from our own lunchtimes

Wednesday, July 03, 2019

Thursday 20th June - St-Valery-sur-Somme to Le Crotoy

In a few days time, seven thousand people will descend on this place to take part in the annual Transbaie event, a race across the tidal flats from the village of Le Crotoy to St Valery.   It looks easy from where we sit, but we know that the surface of the bay comprises soft sand, silt, salt marshes, muddy hills to be climbed and strong currents in the little rivulets along the way.  

Finishers arrive muddied, bloodied and generally dishevelled, while non-finishers presumably get swept out to sea, never to be seen again.  Presumably in the interests of better television, no-one has told them that for one-tenth of the price of the running shoes they are about to ruin, they could buy return tickets for two on the cute little steam train that runs between the same two villages.

Le Crotoy by population and attraction is the lesser of the two, seeming only to exist for fishermen to sell mussels to the restaurants who in turn sell them freshly prepared for lunch, which occurs no doubt coincidentally between the mid-day arrival of the train and its two-thirty departure.  In any other country, this would leave plenty of time to have lunch and take a leisurely stroll through the tourist shops which dot the main street, but here of course the shop keepers have an aversion to crowds, and no doubt not coincidentally close for lunch from twelve to three just to be sure.   It’s enough to make a person run across the bay screaming.   

No, it’s not.


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