In La Teste-de-Buch, campers on all fronts

Near the entrance to the Parc des expositions de La Teste-de-Buch where …

Near the entrance to the La Teste-de-Buch exhibition center where the crisis computer has been installed since the fire started, the five evacuated camps set up a permanent desk informing vacationers still on site.

Clients left camp in convoys to pick up their belongings.

Frank Pergogne / Southwest

Pierre, a seasonal receptionist at Camp Pila, speaks to a young German tourist in the hotel lobby in English: “It can’t be possible today. The bad news has just fallen. The prefecture does not allow vacationers to return to the camp sites on Saturdays, even if for a few minutes.” It is time to recover their traces. The fire is very near. On the verge of tears, the young woman collapsed, her little boy clinging to her legs. The family’s caravan remained in place. They would still have to wait not to leave her behind as the time for return to Germany approached.

Business Forwarding

Helen Barillo continues to smile to inform the vacationers.

Helen Barillo continues to smile to inform the vacationers.


A little later, perched on a seat behind her computer, the phone ready to be picked up, Helen Barrillo, director of the La Forêt du Pilat camp site, tirelessly repeats the information at her disposal. After she held her eyes up and was on alert for five days, the young woman, without losing any smile, reported that the last clients were still there right away. “Our priority today is to contact them all to see if they can stay to pick up their belongings in the coming hours or days. If things remain, we will rent boxes to store them while waiting to be returned to their owners.” News that helps reassure even the most anxious.

In front of the Parc des expos, in the car park, the tiny plaza of dry, yellowish grass is used as a temporary camping site. Angelique and Patrice Harley, two campers from Tours who spent their third night under the stars since the emergency evacuation, have not lost their sense of humor. “We wanted to extend our vacation a bit, but there was nowhere else in Flots Bleus. Finally, we found the Parc des expos camping site, which is great! The couple found their tent and are preparing to set out again towards Turin. Sebastien Cordier, owner and operator of La Dune camp site, says, The official name of the Flots bleus complex: “There are only three customers left who have not recovered their belongings.” Our on-site team walks through all locations storing what people left behind in boxes. You have to name everything to be able to ship it. It works. »

We will compensate all those who were not able to take advantage of their stay. Then we will see with our insurance »

With the approval of the authorities, Frank Koderk, the co-manager, remained at the camp site with a few employees. He wants to put everything back in order in hopes of reopening soon, but also to prevent potential intrusions on the site. Unidentified people have been reported arriving from the beach near the sites closest to the dunes. This is to prevent potential burglary.

Aurélie Cordier from the Flots Bleus website shows a graphic created by a summer camp.

Aurélie Cordier from the Flots Bleus website shows a graphic created by a summer camp.


Alternative solution or not

Sebastien Cordier is betting on the resumption of activity on July 23. In the meantime, he manages cancellations on a daily basis. “We have notified all customers who were due to arrive between July 13 and 17. We now have to take care of those who were due to arrive between the 18th and 22nd. And when we know the reopening date, we will unconditionally refund all those who They could not benefit from their stay. Then we will see with our insurance.”

An independent establishment, La Dune cannot offer an alternative solution to its clients, unlike camp sites that are part of a group such as La Forêt du Pilat. Hélène Barilleau confirms that “customers who were due to arrive this weekend have all been contacted by our central reservations office to cancel or be redirected to another establishment in the chain.” We must also respond to vacationers who were to arrive on July 23 and who are already worried. Not to mention those who totally drop by and send emails asking if there was still availability that same evening.

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