We tested a campervan from We-Van to explore the famous surfing spots in the Basque region of southwestern France. The model we chose was the “Esquisse” a two-seater van built on a Volkswagen chassis, for a road trip combining moderation, efficiency and comfort.
Hiring this campervan for our Surf Trip was clearly the best option. When surfing is part of your daily life, your priorities involve monitoring the weather forecast and “hunting” waves. The best way to do this is on wheels, heading directly to each destination, which sometimes means covering a significant distance before finding the perfect spot. The advantage of a campervan is being able to park near, and sometimes even at, our playground, so we can head straight for the water as soon as the sun rises.
Our daily routine went something like this:
– Substantial and nutritious breakfast, before giving in to the call of the waves
– Short coffee break. After physical effort, sustenance… while always keeping an eye on the outgoing tide
– Surf session at sunset (the best time), before leaving to find a new place for a calm, relaxing overnight
During the week, we were lucky enough to visit the International Surf Film Festival at Anglet, which included “Lost in the Swell”, a travel documentary with inspiring shots of the Solomon Islands. The highlight of our evenings was the Big Festival in Biarritz, with several live bands on the beach and firework displays. Over the course of the week, we were able to enjoy the scenic roads along the coast from Hendaye to Seignosse, including the famous and majestic “Corniche” which offers a panoramic view over the steep ocean cliffs, the welcoming countryside and the mystical mountains in the distance… what more could we ask for?
When you decide to travel in a campervan, you soon notice the many advantages of this lifestyle. Everyday routine is a thing of the past, because your surroundings are constantly changing: your neighbourhood, scenery and sounds alternate between the growl of the waves and the cries of children playing. Each moment is original, unique and provides an experience that has no price.
There are no obstacles in your way as you explore our country. You can go where you want, when you want; that is the true definition of “Freedom”. The benefit is being able to avoid the heavily populated tourist spots and exploring undiscovered, soothing natural landscapes, because after all, your accommodation is wherever you choose to stop. You might as well stay in a beautiful and immense garden!
Sometimes it feels like living in a goldfish bowl. People look at you from the corner of their eye, watching discretely (or not) how you live in your strange “home on wheels”. Are they nosey or just envious of the enjoyment that is plain for all to see? Most people are very interested in this way of life but would never take the first step.
I felt safe in this campervan whether in a urban street or a campsite. Sites for campervans are perfect because for €10, you are guaranteed a peaceful night, with amenities close by, and you become part of a “community of travellers”. Meeting people from all corners of the world means you can travel even further than your original destination, through their exotic stories and culture. One more thing that has no price, that you would never be exposed to in a hotel, where travellers are separated by physical and virtual walls.
And these travellers – families, couples or friends – have a shared desire: to be free and at one with nature, to enjoy day after day the adventure they find along the road. This lifestyle is safe, easy and affordable, so what are you waiting for to get started and give it a try?
Credit Photos & texts: KAMPES NOMADS