17 November 2007

Collecting Oysters nr La Rochelle

Today was one of those days where you crave fresh crisp air and clean away the internal cobwebs of life. Whilst I enjoyed Vegas, the networking and meeting great people, I really missed fresh air and fresh oysters. I am lucky that I live just ten minutes walk from the sea in La Rochelle, I say lucky, it has been hard work getting here and there is a certain amount of emotion leaving your home country but after a day like today, I have no regrets!

Oysters are everywhere in La Rochelle, and when the tide is out, the farms are revealed. The rules are that each person is allowed to scavenge 5 kilos per day but not from 20 meters of an oyster farm.

The oyster beds are about 1 mile out to sea, yes, that far. The farmers store the oysters in special sacks while they grow.

These sacks are kept on racks sunk into the ocean bed

So, we keep well clear of them! They also store mussels too..

Walking to the part we are allowed to take them from takes about ten minutes at a brisk pace! When you arrive, you see a bed of oysters, some empty, some full! While searching you must keep an eye on the tide..

My collection today in the bag

Walking back with the sun slowly setting..

Back home and after cleaning the shells

And finally, the succulent meat..wonderful.

Have you ever tried oysters? What did you think?

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