Earlier I had been pondering how to spend the couple of hours I had spare while my eldest and his two pals watched Ratatouille at the cinema. It seems that The Simpsons had been lifted early but they were perfectly happy to see the alternative.
I decided to drive down to Carnon, to le Petit Travers which is a stretch of beach next to the road and leads eventually to la Grande Motte 6km further on. As it was a beautiful if somewhat humid day, there were quite a few people on the beach although not enough to make it difficult to park.
I found a space at the Carnon end, donned my MP3 player and crossed the dunes via a little sandy path to the beach. Then I turned left and started walking on the firm sand next to the sea. The Mediterranean has mostly pathetic little lapping waves so although there was a slight inward tide, it was nothing to get excited about and it was certainly easy to dodge.
Onwards east, I passed a pleasant variety of people - enough to entertain me on my trek. I passed parents with young children, a few people actually in the sea (brrr!) and some walking their dogs. There was a super muscley jogger who looked like he was a Serious Runner because he had a belt on that looked a bit like Batman's multi-faceted one. It had little boxes attached to it - for pills? his mobile phone? glucose tablets? While I was trying to work that out, I admired his tan (very brown), full head of hair and nice enough face. Then he raced past me and I turned to look at his back view briefly. (Nasty Girls was playing on my MP3 player at this moment...)
Carrying on, I came across a team who were dismantling a summer beachside club/disco for the winter. They seemed to have stacks of Pepsi to get through or maybe it was all left over from the summer too. There were various fishermen who hogged the firm sand which meant either I had to dodge round them, or keep close to the rods to avoid being decapitated by the fishing thread which stretched out into the sea. I didn't find out what they were trying to catch.
I passed a couple of young guys kicking a rugby ball to each other with bare feet. One of them kicked just as I was passing, so I said 'Ouch!' to him (because it must have hurt!) at which he smiled and looked tough... At one point I was overtaken by the Serious Runner who had been down to Carnon and run back again, so I was able to admire his back view, now free of tee-shirt, all glistening with effort until he was but a tiny blob.
At la Grande Motte, I turned round and started walking back again. I could have sworn I recognised one guy I passed but just in case it wasn't him, I resisted going up and accosting him giving him a potential fright of his life... I was also in full swing forced march so didn't really want to lose my rhythm for nothing.
It took me an hour and 20 minutes to march the twelve kilometres; a walk I enjoyed very much what with my music, the sea gently pounding next to me, and all the life going on around.
So, I made the effort... and it was, of course, worth it. It nearly always is.