The train to Taghazout
Our boardbags rest in the train's overhead luggage racks alongside our fellow passengers' suitcases and a bemused cat in a travel basket. The rest of France whizzes by under dazzling sunshine, all green fields with occasional colourful blocks of yellow rapeseed and the industrial backends of towns. You never really see the best of a town arriving or passing through by rail, just graffiti galleries and stacks of pallets at factories and warehouses, but then I'd say that's the same for the industrial areas around airports too. And they say that first impressions count.
Fields give way to vineyards, followed by row upon row of plantation pine forest before the rolling hills and mist of the Basque Country. Sunday was passed café hopping the streets of Biarritz before catching the fever of the local rugby derby. The small surf was blown out by the squally winds, and continuing onwards made impossible by the Sunday train services of both France and Spain. I'd had my hopes set on a surf for the sake of it at the midpoint of our journey but common sense prevailed when I realised that my luggage would gain a few kilos in Atlantic seawater. The first train in the pre-dawn gloom took us across the border to Spain, and that's where the proverbial wheels came off the wagon.