Wish You Were Here: Saintes-Marie-de-la-Mer, France

31 May **Sidenote – after Barcelona, we travelled to Avignon for the night before rising early and making our way to Arles**

From Arles, we took the bus to Saintes-Marie-de-la-Mer, a quaint little town and the capital of the Camargue region of Provence. Let me tell you, this area is just stunning! I really wanted to visit Camargue to see the wild horses and bulls the area is famous for, but most importantly – to see the flamingos.

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I have always had a soft spot for flamingos, especially during my pink phase, so to see these magnificent birds in real life was an opportunity I did not want to miss! Once we arrived in Saintes-Marie-de-la-Mer, we visited the tourist office and were informed that the best place to see flamingos was in the Pont de Gau Ornithological Park, which was just outside of the town and also home to a wide range of other birds and small animals.

So we hired bikes and biked the 4km (in a head-wind!) to the park. The park is huge and really very natural. There are a few caged birds, but mostly they are wild and stay in the park because they want to, not because they are made/trained to. I don’t even know how many flamingos we saw there (lots and lots), but I took exactly 74 photos of them during the two or three hours we visited. It’s fine, I’m cool with that. Unfortunately, most of my photos don’t do these magnificent birds any justice! Their colouring is so pretty, especially when you see them flying or flapping their wings. Mostly they were sleeping or grooming themselves, but we saw many eating, which was fascinating to watch! Seriously, they find a good spot in the shallows and start pawing the ground with their feet, and then use their beaks/tongues to suck in their food while the unwanted water gushes out the sides. It makes a funny sound and looks like they are dancing, which just adds to their grace in my opinion.

I have managed to narrow my photos down to the below favourites for your enjoyment.

Cheers!

These guys were totally playing 'follow the leader'!
These dudes were totally playing ‘follow the leader’!

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I'm so loving this
I’m so loving this
This guy got really close until I stood up to get a better angle and he freaked out. Oops.
This guy got really close until I stood up to get a better angle and he freaked out. Oops.

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There were some wild white horses, too.
There were some wild white horses, too.
Cloud Porn! AmIright?!
Cloud Porn! AmIright?!
Loved this little hotel in the village.
Loved this little hotel in the village.

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