Vive la France!

We arrived in Roscoff first thing Monday morning after an overnight ferry from Plymouth. We’d travelled with an empty freezer and very little in the fridge, having realised that our gas would have to be turned off for the crossing and that we’d therefore have no means of running the fridge (this was never a problem for Kampington, our previous van, as his fridge was electric-only so could be left on).

Our first stop was, therefore, the nearest large supermarket, Leclerc, for some much-anticipated French supplies. As you can see, Mark was very happy to be once again in possession of rillettes…..

We decided to have a lazy day as neither of us had got much sleep on the ferry, so drove about half an hour West to a nice little spot by the beach at a place called Plounéour-Trez. We’ve noticed that a lot of the place names around here seem to start in “Plou”, which is confusing us no end!

For orientation, we’re on pages 30-31 of our map book, right out on the Western tip of Brittany:

Our route is the dark green line (along the North coast):

Our parking spot was a tiny car park by a beach, where we were kept busy watching French life going on around us. The tops of a line of sails suddenly went past at one point: what we couldn’t see at beach level below us was that they were sand yachts, nor could we see the little tractor pulling them all along! They headed off up the beach into the distance then a group of kids had a session whizzing back and forth along the beach….. Our bit of French for the day ✍: char à voile (sand yacht). Later on the tide came in and a windsurfer showed up to entertain us:

After a good night’s sleep we set off on Tuesday to explore. The free Brittany Ferries magazine we were given on check-in contains a quite comical article on the essential features of a French village, so I’ve been mentally ticking them off as we drive along.

A few of the churches we’ve seen so far been gothic in style and yes, way too large and elaborate for the apparent size of the local population. We haven’t examined any in detail so won’t have noticed any plaques, though one of the villages we passed through did have a school named after Joan of Arc. The village shops have all been present and correct – baker, butcher, grocer etc. Which reminds me, we learned from the Brittany tourist board website the other day that it was in this part of Brittany that a certain Édouard Leclerc opened his first grocer’s shop back in 1949….. We are still to spot any very small old ladies or old men playing cards, though Mark has been very impressed by the number of old men we’ve seen trotting around with baguettes under their arms….. Isn’t France marvellous 😀😀😀

Our next stop was at the Phare de l’île Vierge which is the tallest lighthouse in Europe (82.5 metres). There are lots and lots of lighthouses in this part of France; this one can be seen 52km away.

As Mark’s hairdo suggests, it’s a bit windy out (that’s an understatement 💨💨💨), though at least it’s a nice warm wind……

A line from here to the tip of Cornwall divides the English Channel (to the East) and the Celtic Sea (to the West).

After a wander around, we drove on, following the coast and travelling through some very pretty villages along the way. We’ve reached our stop for tonight, an aire overlooking the coast right on the Western end of Brittany.

So there you have it. The weather’s turned warm, we have good food, we have cheap wine, and we have a scenic view….. Vive la France!

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