Completing a Salt Circle Roadtrip


one. perfect. anchovy.

Fished from the Bay of Biscay, salted just enough, and then perfectly filleted and presented at a most perfect table. Yes, Asador Etxebarri was the ultimate foodie destination on last week’s Salt Circle Roadtrip after 4 days of great picnicking in eccentric places, sleeping in charming inns and hotels, and laughing along the backroads of Basquelandia.

Check out the Kitchen at Camont facebook page for more photos of good food and good times alond the backroads of SW France. However, sometimes one image lingers long after the others are a delicious memory. For me, it’s this quiet countryside seen from a sweet bedroom at Mendi Goika. After the perfect anchovy, we stayed here, tucked back behind the celebrated Basque coast on a hillside ringing with small bells as pastured sheep grazed the velour green.


I decided to stay a few days along the coast again, to re-entry into a more bustling world and plan the next Salt Circle Roadtrip. Perhaps this one starts on the Sea here at St.Jean de Luz and heads south along the coast where anchovies only dream of becoming ham.


Leave a comment

Basque Hooky

Some things are better left unsaid. Like trying to describe the sound of the rocks talking back to the waves.

Some things are better not shared. Like the first morning café con leche in the port.

Some things are best just as a remembered smile. Like the nostalgic smell of a fishing boat, part diesel/part anchovy.

Best of all is when you can capture these small solitary moments within the overall madness of a busy August holiday week in a pretty Basque fishing port surrounded by hundreds of summer celebrating locals.

Thank you Lekeitio for the fresh air and fish!


Jambon de Bayonne en fête! A Basque Country road trip with Kate.

What’s red and green and red and white… and ham all over?

The Foire au Jambon in the colorful Basque port of Bayonne.

A memory of a Bayonne surfaces from a long ago road trip looking for marine goods along the Atlantic coast for my barge, the Julia Hoyt. Rope, cord, and lines I was searching. I drove along the river port of the Adour outside of Bayonne in the very southwest of  Southwest France looking for some fishermen, a working boat or chandlery.  The newly fitted nose of wooden fishing boat peeked out of an over-sized hanger; I braked for a quick look inside. Yes. Men working with wood and fiber glass, paint and canvas. Ocean going small fishing boats. Sturdy, serious and hard-working. The boats and the men. I knew they would know. I have a nose for these things.

I thanked them for the directions to the Co-op Maritime in St. Jean de Luz, I turned to say au revoir  and stopped dead in my foodie tracks. Although the Captain in me was looking for cord, the Cook in me spotted a treasure trove of maturing hams hanging from every square foot of rafter space. A boat yard/charcuterie shed? Welcome to Baiona!