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Arnaoutchot

ALSO KNOWN AS ARNA

 

02/02/17

A report on the France 4 Naturism resort/campsite from Steve. Unfortunately Steve left his camera at home first time ...... so the pictures were taken when they went back for a second visit in a year!!!

 Ok Steve ....

Let me just say from the outset that I hadn’t intended to go to Arnaoutchot, the “A” plan was to take the Plymouth-Santander ferry then drive into either the picos de Europa or the Spanish Pyrenees and have a walking/camping holiday.
What botched that plan the weather appearance as we were driving towards the Pyrenees i.e. very grey to the right (Basque country) –black ahead (Pyrenees) and blue to our left (Biscay).

Our first nights camping in northern Spain was just completely uninspiring, I don’t like commercial camp sites at the best of times and this one had it all : no space, crowded, noisy etc.

Anyway—Arnaoutchot.
After another day driving around the Spain/France border area we started looking for either place to camp—or a commercial camp site. I did have the bare beaches guide as we had enjoyed a naked swimming the past and had spent a few days at Katikati in New Zealand.

We arrived late afternoon/early evening and got checked in by a very helpful bi-lingual staff member. He gave us a short list of camping pitches that were already in use but basically said that we could camp just about wherever we chose.


We chose an area called “Far west” picked out a pitch—the pitches are all numbered and just checked with our list that it wasn’t already booked. There were a few people about but generally pretty quiet.
Being back-country campers we are a pretty slick team at getting the camp up and our routine usually has me getting the tentipi and tarp up while Jackie (my partner) gets a brew on.
The area we chose (far west) is basically camping pitches and services well spread out in a large area of pine forest—we did feel instantly at home here with our bushcraft background.

What we noticed as we did the whole “brit” thing (tea and biccies) was how amazingly quiet it was, even with a few people around the only real sound was gentle breeze in the pines.
Just to explain that the cabins /chalets etc are mainly grouped around the reception/pool complex and that is probably 10 minutes walk from our camp which was about as far as it was possible to go and still be in the camp.

The area (far west) did have its own toilet/shower block which was shut –apparently for a re-fit but this wasn’t a problem as the block in “Sauavages” was in use.

We didn’t have much time to explore that night as we were pretty knackered from 2 days driving. Some time during the night I woke to what I thought was a thunderstorm out to sea—but as I listened closely was surf booming on the beach.
The new “B” plan was to use Arna as a base and probably go off for trips into the Pyrenees---each day I looked at the weather on the internet and every day it looked like a series of weather fronts hitting the western end of the mountains. Standing on the dunes above the beach we could watch the whole weather show to the south of us.

We did have some pretty spectacular thunderstorms—and a couple of grey days. So instead of our usual running around trying to do everything we just fell into a very relaxing daily routine largely based on long walks on the nearly empty beach alternating with a swim in the pool.



Our planned “couple of nights” turned into a week and we just got more and more comfortable with arna, with being naked as much as we could and just living the life.
I must explain that we are both very new to naturism having only been to one other naturist site (katikati) and the clothes optional site at Mapua (New Zealand)

I think at first I was quite “shy”, not physically shy in terms of being naked but socially shy with the other people there, I think not wishing to be at all intrusive of other peoples space our only real contact at first was just a shy “hello” or “bonjour”—trying to guess the language.
Later on though we recognised other couples that had been there a while and gradually got talking to them. I was fascinated to find how other people had discovered the naturist life and gradually got used to having conversations with others while naked.

Anyway back to reporting on the site—clearly we were there at a very quiet time of year although more people particularly families turned up for the weekend.
For us –camping is the obvious choice and the pitches are really good in size and separation, the only difficulty I had in the period of bad weather was that the ground is very soft with poor holding (remember to take sand stakes next time ).
Over the time we were there we started to use more of the sites facilities, we took a look at the spa, used the pool every day and had a coffee at the restaurant (we never had a meal there but then we are happy to cook for ourselves.) The mini-market there had everything that we really needed and in fact we never left the site apart from going onto the beach.

The beach is just awesome—it seems to stretch out into infinity in both directions, we didn’t swim in the sea at all mainly because of dumping surf. Most days the beach was almost completely empty and we just got into a routine of longer and longer walks.

We were very sad to leave and are definitely going back at the end of august.





 

 

 

 

 This site was last updated 25/01/17