Ploumanach to St Quay Portrieux - Days 7 and 8

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Ploumanach to St Quay Portrieux

Thursday and Friday 28th and 29th April 2011

We started this ride thinking of it as just a transit ride to get us to a quieter part of the coast. Indeed that was how it started with a longish drag on the D6 to la Roche Derrien but it was not how it finished.

Before we left Ploumanach we visited the lovely sculpture park. It reminded us very much of the sculptures on Portland near to where we live and also well worth a visit.

The first part of our ride was rather slow, Anne was keen to eek out her electricity on what was our longest ride of this tour. The road was quite busy to begin with, but wide, and the traffic reduced as we progressed.

We made Pontrieux for an early lunch and spent a while exploring this lovely little town. It is now the second lowest bridging point of the river Trieux. It does however bear all the hallmarks that it may once have been the first. There are prosperous looking merchants’ houses fronting the cobbled streets.

Temple de Lanleff

We wanted to charge the battery for an hour over lunch and also have a picnic. We followed a sign to the local camp site, pleasantly situated a little way along the river. It would have been a lovely place to stay on a sunny day like this but we have given up camping. We were happy to pay a euro to put a little more electricity into the battery.

It would be nice to think that as electric vehicles become more popular charging points will be set up along the way. All we need for Anne’s bike is a standard supply which could be provided at tourist information points.

After lunch we continued on the D21 in an easterly direction. We were now in much prettier countryside and back to seeing only the occasional vehicle. Our first stop was at the temple de Lanleff, an 11th century religious building which the management incorrectly likened to a Scottish broch house.

The temple reminded us of Sandsfoot Castle for which our friend David Carter has obtained funding and is currently project managing the renovations. Sandsfoot Castle is also on the Cycle West project route and well worth a visit.

Chappelle de Kermaria - Danse Macabre

Our next stop was at the Chappelle de Kermaria. It is a very lovely ancient church but what makes it outstanding are the ancient frescos within the church. These are called the “Danse Macabre” and it is suggested that they were to remind the population that we are all equal in death. It is only a small step from here to child labour with its high mortality rate involving the child in a quick return to God. Someone should tell Primark.

For our day off in St Quay Portrieux we had a lovely but expensive three star hotel with fabulous views over the coast and yacht harbour. We still had to do the chores but it is hard to think of a better place to do them.

We had time to walk along the coast in both directions and explore the modern port and yacht harbour. Just opposite our hotel window was the Ile de Comtesse, accessible at low tide across the beach. We walked there and looking back at our room we discovered that we were sleeping right over a huge land slip. Based on what we know of land slips it could easily have been caused by the weight of the hotel. It could also account for the rather strange approach to running a hotel in such a lovely place. There is hardly any point in doing much to a building which will soon be in the sea.