Driving through Brittany was a feast for our eyes: Beautiful beaches, cute little villages, lovely cottages, old stone churches with strange steeples and at the coast, boats – lots of boats.
We drove from Plestin-les-Grèves through Saint Jean du Doight (population 649) and stopped for a stroll in Locquirec where we admired the bilge keeled yachts that were able to stand on the sand when the tide went out leaving most of the boats high and dry.
A short way down the road we stopped again to look at the amazing panoramic view from the cliff top at the De Marc’h Sammet. The board which looked as though it was portraying a lighthouse baffled us until we realised it was demonstrating that this was a scenic lookout and there were views to be seen!
We meandered along the coast road taking the scenic route to our campsite for the night and just enjoying watching out for interesting sights.
At sunset we arrived at our “Aire de camping car” – basically a free or very cheap site with basic facilities such as water and power (user pays), waste water disposal etc.
The “Aire” at Ploudalmézeau was right by the ocean so we were able to go for a beautiful sunset walk along the beach.
Looking at the clear sparkling clean sea and the immaculate sandy beach it was hard to imagine a very different scene in March 1978 when the crude oil carrier Amoco Cadiz ran aground just five kilometres off the shore. This massive vessel broke in three and sank, disgorging her black sludgy cargo into the pristine waters, causing the largest ever oil spill (estimated at 220,880 metric tonnes) ever, at that time.
Off again the next day at a leisurely pace, we headed for Clohars-Carnoët. The first highlight of the day was to come across a herd of about 14 stunning Breton draft horses grazing in a makeshift paddock on the clifftop at Landunvez. Their caretaker was pouring water into the trough from a barrel he’d brought by tractor.
Each of the horses took their turn to drink – the dominant male first and then through the ranks until the young foals had their turn.
With their distinctive flaxon manes and sturdy, muscular bodies and short and powerful legs they looked so handsome and many people stopped to admire them while we were there.
We had a great lunch in a small but packed restaurant overlooking the ocean called Ar Dagenta in Le Conquet (the most westward town of mainland France) where the set lunch was fresh prawn salad, chicken chausseur and a choice of dessert with as much table wine as you wanted for only eight Euros (roughly Aus$13) each.
We waddled our way back to the van and drove on to the important harbour city of Brest where we stayed in another “Aire” to the north-east of the ancient city and adjacent to the massive marina.
Although we hadn’t really done much except drive and eat and walk a little we flopped into bed exhausted- probably amazement fatigue setting in from the ever continuing visual feast that we had been experiencing.