Before our trip I hadn't realised that in all tourist towns throughout France there are automated 'Camping Car Parks' which provide access to toilets, water and sometimes electricity. We stayed in one such spot to the north of Biscarosse right next to a tantalisingly discreet beach access point, it's a shame the surf was still flat. The camping car park normally cost around €8 per night but we were chuffed to discover our VW T4 van with a tricksy roof top window fit under the 1.9m barrier making it a cushy free sleep... We soon came to realise this one benefit, of being smaller than everyone else on the road, would make our parking experience hassle free.
Both Biscarosse and Mimizan are sea, surf and tourist orientated similar to many places on this stretch of coast. Mimizan felt like it may have seen sharper looking days but it's weathered exterior was appealing to us. It was approaching time to put our feet down, stopping briefly in each place has its downsides so we set up camp for a blissful 4 nights in Mimizan. We weren't disappointed with the selection of bars and restaurants here, in particular was the 'A Noste' bar with its panoramic view of the waves and laid back vibe.
The surf and sunshine were finally colluding in our favour and given it was low season driving up and monitoring the surf was easy. Mimizan is divided by a winding river, the best waves seemed to be in the north away from the surf schools. At the end of the northern beach avenue was a convenient car park (1.9m) overlooking the beach. We pulled up at 6am, brewed some coffee and waited for the waves to work, which took a lot longer than anticipated.
The morning we had been waiting for arrived. Predicted 6-8ft swell, 20s period and light offshore winds. In almost every spot I've surfed this would be an unbelievable day. But Mimizan couldn't handle it. The sea was a mass of white water and incredible cross shore rips. There was barely a surfable wave to be seen. A few reforming inside shorebreak waves were working but as soon as a larger set came you were dragged out and across the beach into a duck diving session.
After a week of virtually no surf, this day was a disappointment to say the least.
The next day and the day after received slightly smaller swell and the period dropped off to around 11 seconds. This made things much more appetising. Around mid tide seemed best when waves broke fast and a bit hollow on the outside, and occasionally ran through to the inside shorebreak. A couple of extremely long waves were surfed.
All was good again.