On the road again………. . Whenever we have stayed put for more than a couple of weeks we always spend the first few days back on the road singing the first line of that Willie Nelson song ‘On the road again’. We only sing the first line because that is the only line we know. No matter, it makes us smile and keeps us happy. And we are very happy to be back in the saddle as it were haphazardly making our way through Brittany. In fact, Tim has been grinning inanely for the best part of the last week. Even more so as the weather has improved day by day.
We’ve had no particular plan other than to head in a more or less southerly direction as we have a couple of weeks of Helpxing booked in to start this weekend near Niort which is south east of Nantes.
It’s been a bit of a reminiscing tour as over twenty five years ago we spent three weeks cycle touring around the coast of Brittany from Roscoff to Concarneau and back taking in the Finistère coast to the west. All we can really remember about it was after forty eight hours of continual rain in the second week and with everything soaking wet we caved in and hired a caravan for a week’s respite to dry out. We really aren’t cut out for hardship. Tootling about in the van this time it’s been a much more sedate and laid back affair.
I have to confess the bikes haven’t seen the light of day for quite some time. When we were working at the campsite in Cornwall we’d started with good intentions to use the bikes for all our trips out including the weekly shop. Yeah right, well that lasted for the first two weeks before we succumbed to going shopping in the van. Unfortunately, an eight mile round trip to Lidl on the bike after a week’s work lost its appeal pretty quickly and we haven’t quite got the cycling mojo back again yet. So it’s been a week of beach walking.
I’d forgotten how incredible the beaches are in Brittany. Long ribbons of fine white sand broken up by estuaries and rocky headlands. They are perfect for bracing walks when the tide is out. You are spoilt for choice for aires and campsites along the coast and we have enjoyed parking up behind windswept beaches and being able to roll out of the van in the morning for a brisk walk before breakfast.
One place we did remember from our cycling holiday was Concarneau with its 14th Century walled town built on an island in the harbour and accessed by a bridge. Alas, it’s sold itself out completely to tourism now with the compact interior lined with tourist shops and restaurants. It’s still pleasant to explore and enjoy the views from the ramparts though.
The town is also still a big fishing port with huge fish sorting sheds lining the harbour which we passed when walking in from the aire on the outskirts of the town.
Moving further south we pitched up for a night on an aire just north of Quiberon. This spit of land was once an island and the West side of it is known as the Côte Sauvage although it didn’t look particularly sauvage when we were there as the sun was beaming with just a light breeze ruffling the grass. It’s a busy stretch of coast line and appears to be very popular. We walked along the coast into Quiberon itself and spent a very pleasant hour basking in the sun out of the wind sitting on the beach eating our picnic watching the sailing boats ply to and fro.
Lazy days indeed. Tim can’t believe his luck. Normally he lives in fear of my plans for him. I’ve let him off the hook this week and he has been enjoying it to the fullest but deep down he knows it won’t last!
À la prochaine!