lunch is quick today. after a morning shift at the MDF, you’ve got just thirty minutes to eat before a sortie crustacé [crustacean outing] at la phare de baleines. [whales’ lighthouse]
you are told to be ready at 13h00 (it is now 12h30) and to make sure to have your bottes with you. [boots]
the three second sandwich consists of bread, lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, and the most important, homemade pâté from one of the volunteers. you are grateful for all the french grandmothers who make sure no grandchild is unprepared for weeks of camping.
as you put the pâté back in the fridge, you can’t help but do a double take and giggle immaturely at what is taped to the door.
it’s a bright day at at la phare de baleines. you have mal aux yeux as a guide shouldn’t wear sunglasses out on a sortie because it’s considered impolite. [painful eyes]
it’s also marée basse . and while it may look tranquil and calm…
you’ve got twenty-give young french students with you. excited ones. screaming ones. running ones. you’re here as an assistant.
but in reality you also transform into a five year old child as you marvel and gasp at all the things that are being shown and explained to you.
it is also good to know that a male goat is called a bouc. it will come in handy because…
…if you pay attention to your surroundings at île de ré, you just might spot some wild orchidée bouc. [lizard orchid] called bouc because of how it resembles a goat’s beard. go ahead and smell it – apparently it smells also as bad as the real thing, but you won’t confirm that.
ooooo. you stop as silently as you can. the aigrette garzette is busy looking for dinner and isn’t paying attention to you. the little egret is the cousin to the heron. a white body, black legs, yellow feet, a neck folded into an S shape when flying, and a beak that can stab like no other.
the aigrette is also the feather on the back of its head –hence why it is called the aigrette. a bird pushed almost to extinction thanks to fashion because ladies liked their feathers in their hat. thankfully it’s no longer la mode to wear a hat like that. [fashionable]
the aigrette will actively hunt for its food, unlike the heron. maybe, if you’re lucky, you’ll spot a heron later on.
your tummy is hungry. time to abandon the sunset, head back to the campsite, and help with dinner.
late night shopping fills up the fridge. “on mange la poubelle, mais c’est la meilleure poubelle du monde,” says a wise cook.
tonight it’s barbeque. very, very well-cooked barbeque. nobody wants to take chances with la meilleure poubelle du monde.
you eat well. and rest well. because for the next two days you need all your energy for la fête de la nature.