small flock of flamingos
over Stes Maries de la Mer
Bulls being herded across a lagoon
white horses grazing after a day's work
large expanse of marshland and water south east of Arles is now a
protected nature reserve. Until recently the annual loss of water by
significant but land usage is now controlled
to try to preserve the rich flora and fauna.
It was also mosquito ridden for many years but we weren’t aware of them
in early June.
The main town on the coast is Saintes Maries de la Mer
with its bullring on the seafront and many cafes and restaurants.
A new promenade and sea defences have recently been built. We found that
it was possible to park overnight behind the seawall at the east beach
for a moderate fee, collected by the car park attendant each morning.
From there it
was a short stroll into the town where the impressive church belfry was
lit up by the setting sun.
Stes Maries de la Mer
is an easy ride or walk along the digue or dyke which
runs across the entrance of the main lagoon and in fact can be followed
eastwards for about nine miles to Port Louis. After passing several
flocks of flamingos, herons and egrets especially in the region of the
local municipal waste tip where they were most numerous, I stopped and
watched as a cowboy drove a herd of black bulls across the shallow
lagoons to new grazing.
Camargue style thatched house now a beach cafe