Flamingos in France! (and another toilet lock-in!)

Who knew that Flamingos live in France?! I was flabbergasted when I read about it, and couldn’t wait to go and see for myself. And so for this mission I headed to the south coast of France.

Church in PalavasPalavas Les Flots is a small town on the south coast of France, about 12km south of Montpellier. This turned out to be a charming little place, and the sun-baked yellow houses gave it a Spanish feel.

We pottered round the small shops, and hiked past seafood restaurants and cafes. We had 1 mission and 1 mission alone – to see Flamingos. They inhabit the “Etangs” (lakes) north of Palavas-Les-Flots. It was a 20 minute walk from the centre of Palavas, so we stopped for a crepe en route. I had Grand Marnier on mine and they were v generous with it so I was pretty merry by the time we reached the Etangs.

To my delight, we were greeted with the magnificent sight of a wild flamingo!! Sadly my camera cannot take very zoomed-in photos, but if you look closely you will see there is clearly a cute little flamingo in the photo!

FlamingoThere were several more in the next Etang but they were also out of photo range.

I mean, I have seen Flamingos before at Zoos and at a hotel in Las Vegas, but that’s cheating – these were WILD flamingos, which made it all the more special. I was a bit surprised that they weren’t as, um, pink, as I was expecting. Apparently their “pinkness” is due to what they eat, and can be enhanced by zoos. Hmmmmm….

Anyway, after that miracle, the day went downhill from there. Why? Well, I got locked in a toilet…. again! But this time, IN THE DARK!!! The lock wouldn’t open, it stank of urine, and the “automatic” light went off and no amount of waving my arms would turn it on again. Thankfully I had my camera with me so used the light of that to make a bid for freedom. I can’t decide which was worse – this or the last time I got locked in a toilet. Last time was for a long time, but I could see and it didn’t stink… it’s a tough decision! 😉

After my urination disaster, we took a rather exciting “ski lift” over the river in Palavas which was fun. We explored the wide sandy beach but it was too windy to enjoy it so we had a delicious savoury crepe instead.

Palavas Les FlotsHow to get there:  We took the public bus from Montpellier to Palavas Les Flots. Or more specifically, tram then bus. Take Green line Tram from Gare Saint Roche (or your nearest green line tram station) to the end of the line called Perols. Then take bus number 131 to Palavas. This was quite badly organised the day we did it so we considered walking to Palavas, but we were glad we didn’t as it was quite a long way.  Also, Montpellier airport is a tiny bit closer to Palavas than Montpellier, so you could hire a car from the airport if you were that way inclined.

When our plane took off to go home, I looked out of the window and scoured the Etang next to the runway, and sure enough there were lots of Flamingos there too! 🙂

Next blog: Gospel Church in Memphis, USA

Previous blog: Montpellier, France


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