This week, as the heatwave stretched across northern reaches of Europe, several fires have started raging. One in particular, is burning out of control in the Gironde, on the Western coast of France. The incredible heat, aided by an Atlantic breeze, has driven a fire that has burnt an area the size of Paris. The flames, they say, have been over 50 meters high. The destruction unimaginable.
Amongst the flames is one of our favourite haunts.
For many years, every summer, we have been going to this treasure of a campsite, nestled between the tall pines and the stunning Dune du Pilat, the highest and longest sand dune in Europe.
We started going there some ten years ago, when my eldest two were tiny. Out to sea, opposite the campsite, an island of sand, a nature reserve, lies longitudinally parallel to the shore, protecting a narrow stretch of water from Atlantic swell, making it a safe and perfect place for kids to swim and us to adventure. High on the edge of the dune, the campsite was nestled between tall beautiful pines, from which we used to hang our hammocks. The views so spectacular.
The campsite, Panorama du Pilat, is owned by Cedric and his family who have always been so lovely. Kind and helpful, and also in love with the Bubbles that we would make every sunset overlooking the sea.
So many of these photos have been across our social media over the years, on our product photos, on their and our calendars. So beautiful the light, the moments, the happy children. The campsite was a summer home to hundreds, flocking from across Europe. One of those places, that once you had found it, you had to return, and so we all did. Gravitating back every summer like the migrating birds on the nature reserve.
And another question. This incredible dune is a dynamic system. It’s ecosystems, it’s trees and grasses are there holding these incredible sand mounds in delicate balance. These trees of these Landes were planted to manage marsh and wetland. When these trees, these habitats go, so does the valuable role that they play in our lives. Quietly, often surreptitiously, so taken for granted.
Now all this is gone.
There are no words.
How soon until this heatwave, these fires, these floods, these gales finally shake our politicians and leaders into REAL action? What will it take?
It’s a tough post to write and not our Dr Zigs usual positive upbeat vibe - but something truly precious was lost today. A home to countless memories, to wildlife, to trees so gracious, so beautiful. A home to our Dr Zigs Bubbles.
Our thoughts are with all at Panorama du Pilat, Teste de Buche and elsewhere where these fires rage.
And may we learn. And may our politicians act.