Illa de Buda

Having calculated that we don’t need the whole day to get from Spain to France, we have arranged for a kayak tour in the morning. We pack up all our stuff, load the bikes on the car and take off around 9 am. After some searching we find the kayak place. Unfortunately, even though we had made reservations for a tour with a guide, there is no guide available. However the tour should be really easy so we decide to just go out by ourselves. We put on loads of sun screen and take off in a double open kayak. It doesn’t take long to get the hang of it again. We kayak out from Parc Deltaventur through a closed channel next to Illa de Buda.

It’s indeed really easy, a 10 m wide deep stretch of water with little current and wind. We see several types of birds, including the little white egret, the grey heron, perhaps a squacco heron as well. Also a turtle, perhaps 20 cm long, and several flying fish. They jump up from the water, sort of twist around as if they’re trying to do a corkscrew and get up to 30 cm of the water. One of them jumps up right in front of us, hits Arne’s paddle and then actually hits me right on the shoulder. It is quite an impact since the fish itself is perhaps 30 cm long. Don’t have pictures though, since I don’t want to risk the camera getting wet.

We have lunch on the beach and then head back, it took us about 3 hours to do the round trip and we have sore shoulders at the end of it. We get changed into dry clothes and head for our next stop, the Chateau Riell in Molitg-Les Bains. We arrive around 7 pm and immediately enjoy the advantages of a Relais & Chateaux hotel. We park the car at the main entrance and several polite people take over our luggage and car. The car is brought to the garage, the luggage to the room and we only have to follow one of the polite people to do the check-in.

We have a gourmet package and have dinner this evening in the restaurant of the castle. It’s a new Belgian chef who has worked in several star restaurants. The food is great (I keep saying this, but we had lots of great food during this holiday), though the interior of the restaurant is a bit old-fashioned. We had something called Menestra which is a thick soup with foie gras, sweetbread, morel mushrooms and langoustine.There is one other couple below 35 years old, most of the other guests are grey-haired.

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