Posted by: paulgilders | July 18, 2012

Brittany

After our train journey north to the town of Redon, we had two weeks to meander around Brittany before catching the ferry to Plymouth from Roscoff. We were delighted to find a series of bike paths throughout Brittany taking us along canals and through the countryside with little stress.

Our first stop after Redon was the lovely small town of Malestroit. We camped on beautiful green grass by the canal for a mere €6 per night.

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A little further up the canal, the beautiful town of Josselin is dominated by its castle.

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We passed this somewhat derelict building by the canal.

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We had mixed weather in Brittany. On this day we got completely soaked in a downpour. A lady from the village came out and offered us her garage for shelter. After a brief sunny interlude, we had our lunch under a bridge to keep dry.

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Here is one of the cyclepaths. We are looking bemused because the sign says the path ends and enters private land. However, underneath the sign it says that passage through the land is tolerated…

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Here is one of the more beautiful parts of the canal path. We found the paths mostly good, but in bad weather we had to pass through large muddy puddles. The sand from the surface got splattered everywhere and particularly into the bike chain making terrible grinding noises. As a result, we tended to avoid these paths in wet weather.

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We stayed in the town of La Faou for a couple of nights with wonderful views of the estuary from the campsite. The campsite owners were very strange – only making an appearance for short periods of time and seemingly obsessed with locking up the facilities. They would only open one shower and one toilet and everyone on the campsite had to shower between 8:30 and 9:30 in the morning. We had to ask for drinking water – the tap was behind a locked door.

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Gill was keen to stop at Daoulas Abbey Gardens, where they have a neat layout of herbs and medicinal plants.

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Although full of bike routes, cycling through Brest was a nightmare. The cycle routes are like spaghetti and the signage was poor. It felt like the routes were not designed to go anywhere, but just to keep cyclists off the road. We witnessed many local cyclists not using them. We also pushed up quite a few steep hills.

I was very disappointed to miss seeing the Brest 2012 Tallship festival – we were only 2 days too early. There were a couple of early arrivals and we did see a number of ships making their way around the coast.

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We stayed on a campsite by the beach in Portez west of Brest.

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We stopped for lunch at the beautiful port of Lanildut. It was full of traditional little wooden boats.

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Finally we arrived in Roscoff and, expecting an ugly port, we were surprised to find a delightful little town.

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In summary, we enjoyed Brittany a lot – mostly pleasant cycling, lovely towns and villages, pretty beaches and some great camping spots.


Responses

  1. Oh to be eating a picnic lunch sheltering from the rain under a bridge. Hee hee. We had lunch the other day on a rock by a river, sharing food with the leeches slipping into our shoes and up our trouser legs! Oh to be in Lamington National Park.


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