Sunday, June 3, 2018

Plage d'Aber and a drive up towards Brest

After leaving Pont Croix where we visited the Lavoir (laundry pool) we headed up towards the general area of Brest, enjoying people, boats and cows along the way.

Here's the route we were following

One of the other beautiful spots we stopped at, probably at lunch time, was the Chapelle Sainte Marie du Menez-Hom at Plomodiern. (See map)

I always try to photograph whatever text is displayed to explain the history and character of places like these, so here it is - and I love the part where the builders get forgiveness credit to get them out of hell earlier.

Above and below is a selection of the photographs
I took in the Chapel. Stunning place.

And finally we reached Plage d'Aber (which is not far from Crozon) where we spent a week high above the bay with a stunning view of sunrises and sunsets with all the life that happens in between.

And here follows the pictorial story of the lonely fisherman
who didn't know when to stop talking ....

He spots his prey from far away.
Two innocent folk, just mussel digging ...

Bonjour! he cries and they respond
So happy to find a fellow digger ...

He tries to tell them of better pickings
Where he found his bagful today ...

But he talks too long
and they start to lose interest ...

Until, alas, he's alone again.
Poor fella.

Above and below are some of the
stunning views we enjoyed for a lazy week.
War-time bunker on the hill.
Too many of these sad-memory-ridden structures
in this area

Craggy island which you can walk to at low tide

This was almost hide tide

Low(ish) tide for walking out to the island

One of the views from our perch on the hill ... the back view

The back of Milly showing you what a stunning pitch we had.

I so enjoyed this crab fisherman. Well, he was probably very well equipped to be catching a lot more than crabs. With a choice of three nets, at least two containers to take his catch home in, and another important-looking bag slung over his right shoulder, to complement his sturdy shoes (maybe wellies) and waterproof dungarees, he was set for hours of fun. I think that beard had something to do with his strong sense of character too ... and I bet if I had got close enough, those eyes would be twinkling with anticipation. I didn't spot him coming home from his fishing adventure, but I'm sure he got fine pickings. As you can see, he had timed it for the tide to be well out.

This photograph inspired a little oil painting which is now in Gallery 1608 in Bushmills.

My favourite crab fisherman wasn't the only one thoroughly enjoying fishing in this bay. I spent hours watching people - as you do - and photographing them telling their fishy stories. There was even a photographer taking advantage of the lovely weather over the bay.

 We enjoyed our own walks along the beach, loving the fact it was so large we could let Bridie off her lead for a good run and a paddle every now and then. And there has to be an image here of our beautiful girl, all sandy from snuffling for critters ...

I'm a huge rock fan ... and I don't mean the music either ... although I love that too. I have solemnly promised Alan never to collect another rock because I have so many at home in our little garden, collected from South Africa, Namibia, Ireland and France, we'll soon be living in a rock garden. On this trip I collected rock photographs, especially loving the red rock so special to this area. You'll see it alongside my one and only rock photograph (out of many!) on the collage below. There's also an image of the nasty bunker set into the side of the cliff. I really don't enjoy all the signs of war you find here.

Taking Bridie for her "walk-a-bouts" Alan spotted a laid-out rock sculpture of a dinosaur, but his excitement was short-lived after we decided it was a very modern sculpture indeed! The stones hadn't sunk into the ground even one millimetre.

One day the wind was just right for sail sports. I'm going to guess that these guys (below) were para-surfing. There were quite a few of them, not all in the pic because it's quite a wide bay, and none of them went too far out, prefering to stay where the waves were breaking. By my South African (Durban) standards these are very small breakers but these guys were having great craic altogether.

About mid-week, getting well into the lazy ways of enjoying our spot, we felt a twinge of guilt at not having traveled around more to see the area we were in. We put our "best spot on the hill" in jeopardy and set out for the day, heading towards Brest. Cities are not really our thing, but the getting there and tootling around them is fun.

We took a drive out to the end of the peninsula south of Brest to the lighthouse at Camaret-Sur-Mer. It was a lovely drive but we decided not to stay there as the aire was pretty full of other cars and motorhomes without shade or the view we'd so far been spoilt with. Nevertheless I had an excited South African moment when I spotted what we would call a thatched roof rondavel.

On closer inspection, as we rounded the bend, I discovered it was about two stories high and was a lookout tower. (Above, before I discovered its height!)

Tootling along and going past the picturesque harbour at Roscanvel we spotted this across the road from one of the houses overlooking the water ... basic translation : "Please help yourself. Too many for me."

Of course we weren't going to pass that one up. We parked a little way down the road just out of site in a parking lot at the end of this road ...

... and wandered down, hoping to chat to the kind person who had put those apples out for the taking. Unfortunately she was very involved in chatting to another couple so we just left a business card I had on me, with a Merci beaucoup! written on it.

It was both an interesting and attractive harbour below her house with rather rusted reminders of sailing days and, probably, war days. A few photographs later we wandered, with our bag of four apples, back to Milly the Motorhome, stopping briefly for a lovely, cooling ice cream.

Here's a selection of scenes we enjoyed on that drive, including some wonderful views of this white-sailed yacht.

Finally, after a week of much-needed relaxation and pleasure, we returned home, through Douarnenez, our nearest "big" town, catching this lovely view from across the bay.

To end with I simply have to add a photograph of Bridie, whose nose just happens to be at the exact height of our table in Milly .... and Bridie just loves butter! She can smell it a mile away and that foot-long tongue of hers becomes uncontrollable, lapping at thin air because that darned butter is always just out of her reach!

Next trip was to be England, Wales, Ireland, Northern Ireland and back to England. In winter.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Pont Croix to Plage d'Aber

I've finally got the blog-headspace to spend time catching up with our travels ... starting from 9 months ago!

All, or most of, the tourists went home at the end of August so it become our time to travel. We've decided to take shortish trips for a week or so at a time, to enable us to really get to know Brittany, and were very curious to see what was on the peninsula we look across Douarnenez Bay to.

Here's the map of the there-and-back trip we did.

Our nearest town of Pont Croix

There's an interesting corner of Pont Croix, our nearest shopping town, with ruins which look either Roman or just plain very old, and there's never been a time for us to stop, on our various shopping-trips-with-a-purpose. It turns out they are just plain very old ruins, and centred around the usual laundry bath (lavoir) which you find in most rural towns in Brittany.

It was a peaceful stop for an hour or so in Pont Croix while we soaked up the sun and took photographs of the lavoir. I'll let the pictures tell the story:

Leaving our car on the hill of the main road leading into Pont Croix
we wandered towards the ruins which had piqued our curiosity.

This is the small park area above the intriguing bits, which we can see from
the road every time we pass on our way in to do our shopping.

An ancient iron loop in the wall for tethering horses, which
we passed as we walked up the hill in Pont Croix

If you can read the text on these images (above and below)
it'll give you an idea of the history of these ruins.

Reflections on a warm autumn day

Alan took this pic from a patch of park a few steps up from the lavoir.
This is the closest that I like my photograph being taken!
You can see me at the furthest right hand corner of the lavoir.

Looking towards the main road which enters Pont Croix from the north

How many feet, through the years, have contributed to the wearing
of these stone steps? Probably more female feet, seeing as it's the
laundry area ... I was listening for the chatter and laughter of their lives.
Didn't hear it of course ... but it was fun to imagine.

Himself with his trusty white hat protecting his fair skin from sun ravages.

When you see how often lions come up in history (eating the Romans
for example) and how often sculptures are dedicated to them probably worldwide,
you tend to wonder if there were millions more of them around in times past.

Ha! I bet you thought those lion sculptures were bigger! Thanks to
my lovely long camera lens I can do lovely detail shots :-)

We're all intrigued by gates and doorways - especially old ones with
stories to tell. Here, more than the gate, I enjoyed the rocks which
form the archway.

It's likely the taller, more solid, arched building is fairly modern, built
to suit the style of the older one and to house more modern plumbing.
But, it's beneath the more modern structure that those lions are sitting,
so maybe they're not as old as I would like to believe!

Someone had fun with this sign!

... and on towards Pont l'Abbe and Brest

We take side roads along our meanderings quite often. That is, if they promise to be wide enough for our motorhome! In this way you come across "real" folk and their lifestyle, including animals and activities, which we love.

On this trip we spotted a bee keeper tending his hives, paragliders (what a stunning day for it!), cyclists and farmers herding their cows.

The bee keeper looking very alien

Miss Daisy. She came running straight towards us, beautiful lady ...
and this was her countryside ....

Paragliders like dragon flies in the sky

Another perk of taking the side roads and farm roads are
the gardens and quaint houses you pass. The road often passes
through farms, cutting through and separating the main farm house and barns,
many of which are now gites and holiday cottages.
There was just enough space to pass through slowly here ...

Just after meeting Miss Daisy the cow, we stopped by the side of the
Tregarvan River which looks like a lake but it's just wide as it almost reaches the sea.
This is the view before we found the road down to the river harbourside
where all the leisure boats are moored.

We took Bridie for a bit of a walk up alongside the boat moorings and
spotted this attractive modern bridge through a gap in the trees.

Alan and his trademark hat with Bridie collecting a history of sniffs.

How are these for lovely clouds!

Above and below the leisure boat moorings on the Tregarvan River

That's enough for today ... it's ending up as a long post with all the images I want to keep! Next post I'll chat about the bay, and our relaxing week, at Plage d'Aber.