Pampelonne, the famous main beach in St Tropez was the spot we chose to see this morning. The road was fairly quiet as we drove towards the large beach with signage along the way inviting you to Tahiti, Moorea and other Polynesian paradises – these are the colourful “clubs” set up at various intervals along the beach which you pay to use, while between the clubs there are public spaces which are free of charge (apart from carpark fee).
Our early morning beach stroll turned into something of an eye-opener – there were nude and topless bathers everywhere, many of them elderly, with less than beautiful bodies. It was pretty confronting since there were probably more male appendages on display than there were breasts! One bloke even stood up right in front of me to talk on his phone meaning I had to walk close by him and his bits… I am no prude but it was very uncomfortable and certainly not for me.
The beach itself is pleasant, with golden sand and lots of very dry seaweed which is quite pleasant underfoot, gracing the water’s edge. The view out into the bay is rather lovely and we saw people on standup pedalboards, (no paddles, just a t-bar handle and pedals), and quite a spectacular jetovator, with the guy riding high up on the end of a jetstream of water – amazing.
Ramatuelle was the venue for coffee – a stunning little town up in the hills. We had been there in 2012, but on a very misty and quiet day – today it looked completely different – sunny and bright and extremely busy. It is a beautiful place and I was pleased to be able to get some photos. The prettiness, the historical interest, the flavour and the soul of this part of France cannot be denied, and I intend to soak up every last bit of it.
After lunch we took a stroll to the public beach at the bottom of the road – much less confronting than Pampelonne – quite pleasant in fact. While the others had a drink in the beachside bar, we walked further on into town for a tinker around in the shops – it is much cooler indoors than out at the moment.
Dinner was outdoors again – great friends, a beautiful location, balmy air, good food and wine make for a pretty good life – and there is more to come ….