Down at the beach last weekend I couldn't fail but notice some extremely large rusting pipes lying perpendicular to the sea. Large as in 10m long by 1m high. A barge was bringing more in from a cargo ship not far out to sea and a huge JCB-type vehicle was collecting them, waiting on a sand bank a few metres from the beach. Quite a crowd had gathered.
I was dying to ask what it was all about - laying sewage pipes, gas pipes... but didn't like to disturb the guys.
Yesterday, I went back to the beach with my youngest. We left home in the rain, and arrived to beautiful sunshine, if a little windy. I was, naturally, intrigued to see what progress had been made with the pipes. The guys had obviously been busy all week because placed carefully along the whole length of the beach, in groups, had been laid yet more pipes. There were rusting metal ones, but also rubber ones of a similar size.
We walked along the beach as far as the workmen - yes they were still there, on a Sunday, welding. I saw that a visitor guy had been talking to one of the workers so, rather than disturb the worker again, I asked the visitor what was going on. Apparently a huge storm had removed tons and tons of sand, and the pipes were part of a project to re-sand the beach. They would lay the pipes as far as Espiguette on the 'point' and then pump a million cubic tonnes of sand back onto the Petit Travers and Grand Travers beaches. It seems they were working 24/7 (in shifts...) so as to be finished by April 2008.
There'll be no walking on the beach when they are pumping that's for sure...
My youngest had a lovely time running through the pipes and jumping off the sand dunes. At one point his shoes were so full of sand he could barely walk. When shaken out, quite a substantial mound formed. People were flying kites, jogging, taking a Sunday stroll and giving their children some fresh air. There was activity, and such a contrast to summer indolence.
We also got a good dose of sun-kissed vitamin D. Glowing me!