It took seventeen hours to get there, on a cramped and crowded overnight coach from a very dark and dismal Dover. But once we had set foot on the sun-bathed beaches of Moliets-et-Maa that morning, all memories of broken coach toilets, uncomfortable sleeping positions and sticky floors had disappeared.
We were welcomed by the team at Star Surf Camps with a late breakfast at the camp, nestled in the middle of a beautiful pine forest. Although the hammock I spied slung between two trees looked incredibly appealing to me after the gruelling journey, we headed straight to the beach for the first surf lesson of the week. (I plonked myself in that hammock later on, feeling rather battered and broken after the walk back from the beach – I am still yet to grasp the knack of carrying a surfboard).
Because we spent all day every day at the beach my phone was neglected all week, nonchalantly left on my pillow back at the camp. This, and the liberating lack of wifi and limited charging spaces, gave me a chance to unplug, disconnect and detox from technology in the most beautiful and relaxing setting at the camp. Our time was spent in good company, with good conversation and even better surfing.
There were 2 lessons every day (apart from the days we went to San Sebastian and Biarritz – I highly recommend both day trips!) and by the end of the week I was over the moon with the progress I had made in the water, thanks to the enthusiastic instructors and perfect waves. When we weren’t surfing, there were also free yoga classes and bikes to rent to explore the surrounding area.
As well as throwing my phone to the wind, (not literally, I don’t think it could survive that after the many bashes and bruises it receives on a daily basis) I decided to just shoot film on this trip, which led me to commit myself to a non-digital summer. I have always loved the nostalgic, authentic quality of the photos my dad used to take on his film camera abroad, and it inspired me to create tangible memories of my own this summer. The chilled-out vibe at Star Surf Camps made it the perfect place to kickstart this summer love affair with analogue photography.
The surf conditions were perfect all week and we couldn’t have asked for better weather or company (or food!). Thanks Star Surf!