Words: John Noris
Photos: Michael Barrus www.michaelbarrus.com
It’s as though the trip never even happened. I’m back home. Scratch that. The past two weeks were by far some of the best two weeks of my life. Fragments of time were frozen and are now embedded into the virtual camera in my head. Memories of barreling French beach breaks, baguettes, beautiful women, Caprice Des Dieux cheese, wine by the bottle and kebabs run through my head just about every second of the day. The rumors are true. Everybody needs a little bit of France in them.
By my side for the two week adventure were two of my good friends Michael Barrus and Marty Weinstein, both fairly experienced travelers. The only problem at this point in time was that none of us spoke French. Our journey began in Paris, where we suddenly realized that we had absolutely no clue what our plans were. Luckily during our layover in Phoenix, Marty decided to email his friend Martin who had spent a couple of summers as an exchange student with his family in Orange County. When Marty checked his email upon our arrival at the Charles De Galle airport, there was a response from Martin saying “I’m in Biarritz…come hang out with me and my friends for a week!”. We had a destination. Three wrong train stations and three hours later running amok the underground subway system of Paris, we finally found the correct terminal to purchase our train tickets to Biarritz. Now for the six hour train ride. I guess they call it a hop, skip and a jump or whatever…anyways.
We get settled into our place (Martin Dupont’s house)in Biarritz and finally more than a day later, we get to sleep. We wake up, hop into Martin’s car( imagine Jason Bourne driving through the streets) and sketchily work our way up through the tiny streets of Biarritz, Anglet, and Capbreton to Hossegor. We take a casual stroll to the beach to be welcomed by perfect six-to-eight foot right handers and all of the sudden it hits us. We’re in France. Suit up, wax up, run to the beach and jump in the water. I manage to get barreled on my first wave and, well, every single wave after that. Perfection like i’ve never seen before. About an hour into the session I snap my leash, get caught in a current for 15 minutes and decide to call it quits. Marty, after getting barreled every wave as well, sees me on the beach and paddles in. Now is about the time that I inform whoever may be reading this that there are too many Marty’s to keep track of (4 of them to be exact) so good luck. Our host Martin Dupont (Martin’s friend that lives in Biarritz) comes to meet up with us while he’s on his lunch break and tells us he got word that a wave called La Piste is going off so away we go. We show up to La Piste and when we see the waves start freaking out. Four-to-six foot right hand barrels. Six hours and about one hundred barrels later Martin comes back to pick us up. Anyways, the next four days we surfed about six hours each day in some of the most rippable waves one could imagine. One more thing- we got to snowboard in fresh powder in St. Lary on our last day there. Sounds too dreamy doesn’t it?
South Coast thanks Johnny for the travel update! We look forward to hearing more from him and his travels in the coming months. For more on his trip to France and more photos by Michael Barrus check out Johnny’s travel blog: