Wednesday 10 July 2019

The beauty of the Pink Granite Coast

Wednesday 10 July 2019

Nido’s parked up at a free aire in Pleumeur-Bodou, surrounded by several French vans.  It’s a still evening and everyone’s out cooking, chatting or playing board games - it’s a very nice atmosphere.  We’ve had a lovely relaxing day on the beach plus walking around the coastal path and the huge pink granite rocks.

Yesterday morning we left Noirmoutier-en-l’Ile heading north and planning to break our journey at Josselin, a town we’ve stayed in previously.  Still on the island, we stopped to photograph one of the salt pans and buy some of their salt - only €1 per kilo.  We made good time and would have arrived at Josselin around lunchtime, so decided to keep pushing on to get to the pink granite coast of northern Brittany.  So it was a longer travelling day and we arrived at the aire in Trévou-Tréguignec at about 1630.  A beautiful white sandy bay was just across the road, so we were soon changed and legging it across the wet sand to reach the sea at low tide.  The water was a lot cooler than we’ve been used to, fed from the Atlantic, but very refreshing and gin clear.  Wandering back, we noticed a restaurant next to the aire and decided to eat out tonight.  So showered and wearing slightly better clothes than our normal day to day clobber, we managed to bag a table outside.  Cathy had a steak and I had moules-frîtes, both delicious, followed by a creme brûlée and a chocolate pudding, which we shared.  The bottle of Samaur cremant sat outside the van beforehand, white wine with the meal and a couple of rum digestifs meant we were a bit squiffy when we returned to the van and a little less lively than normal this morning!

So this morning, we drove off to find a boulangerie, before heading for a large car park in Trégastel, where we enjoyed our breakfast and a pot of tea.  Lunch made and packed up with a towel, we walked the short distance to the beach.  The pink granite coast is about 22km long and is absolutely stunning.  The rocks have been carved over time into all sorts of shapes, some of several hundred tons seem to balance precariously on others.  We found a spot to spread our blanket and towels on the warm granite and had a beautiful swim in the cool, clear sea.  It had the feel of the Caribbean but also reminded us of the Isle of Mull and, of course, our lovely home island - a bit like Rhoscolyn or Trearddur Bay.  After our swim we took a walk along the coastal path, passing more outstanding sandy beaches and rocky coves.  Our final stop was on another amazing beach where we swam around the huge granite rocks, watching the youngsters tomb-stoning off them into the sea.  All swum-out we both enjoyed a snooze (and no doubt a snore!) on the sandy beach, before slowly heading back to the van.

We stopped off in Tregastel to get some cash and bread before arriving at our current aire.  The Breton language is very different to French - Celtic with more in common with Cornish and, in some cases, Welsh.  We recognised a few similar words to Welsh and noticed many of the roadsigns had been defaced by the Breton National Front (or whatever they call themselves!).  When queuing for the cashpoint I had a chat with an elderly gentleman and when I mentioned I was Gallois (Welsh - I’m not but it’s been fun saying I am!), he was delighted to meet a fellow Celt! 

Dinner tonight was a bavette steak, boiled new potatoes and salad, with a Sablé Breton Caramel cake for pudding - well it is my birthday so we needed some form of cake!  After a very ‘social’ evening last night, I suspect we’ll crash out early.  Tomorrow we start to head east, back towards Calais.

Salt pans on Noirmoutier-en-L'Ile

Trévou beach

Trévou aire

Pink Granite Coast at Tregastel

Fancy a dip?


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