Sunday, 18 August 2019

2019 Tour of Brittany (France) Part 13 - Camaret on the Crozon Peninsula - Camping la Pointe Chateaulin

Thursday 15th August 2019 ⛅⛅⛅⛅⛅⛅⛅
Mileage about 30 on our ๐Ÿšด๐Ÿšด
Parking Co-ordinates 48.27457, -4.60833

If you read our last post you'll know we parked on an Aire at Camaret which lies on the Crozon Peninsula in the Armorique National Park.  The park covers 270,000 acres with about half of that sticking out into the Atlantic and the other half penetrating deeply into Brittany's forested interior, but while we're here we'll just be concentrating on the coastal areas.

The large circle of standing stones outside our Aire.
Their proper name is Alignements de Lagatjar and there are 143 megaliths here

The Crozon Peninsula
(with it's mad dog profile)
Today our goal was to ride to the tip of the 'mad dogs' beard to where it ends at Cap de la Chevre  which is the Southernmost point of the Crozon Peninsula.  To get there we mostly traversed along tiny lanes and tracks that were  hilly or at least undulating, and the moorland often erupted in softly contoured pudding bowl domes or outcrops of toothy granite.  We also had the pleasure of finding several coves and beaches one of which provided us with distant views of Pointe de Dinan's rock archway which it's possible to walk out onto if your not encumbered with bikes!

Next came the magnificent  stretch of Plage de Kersiguenou where there were lots of surfers and other beach enthusiasts playing in the sea and on the sand but for John and I it was just a lovely spot to enjoy our coffee!

The tide on it's way out as we were going!

And nearly back in as we were heading home!
Our trip also took us through several restored villages that were once home to local fishermen but now are mainly holiday Gites, and then after a few more miles we arrived at the barren rocky  Cap de la Chevre where a memorial to Naval Aviation can be found.

Once you get away from the large parking area and the memorial the tip of the peninsula becomes more savage and rugged in appearance and has lots of hiking trails, but once again our bikes only allowed us to indulge in following them for a short distance, but now we know we may well pay a return visit at a later date to explore a bit more.  

Friday 16th August 2019  ☁☁☂☁☁๐ŸŒง️๐ŸŒง️๐ŸŒง️
About 5 ๐Ÿ‘ฃ๐Ÿ‘ฃ miles

The weather forecast for today was a bit grim with heavy rain and strong winds promised for mid- afternoon, but that left us with the a fine spell in the morning, so to fill it we walked up onto the headland which forms the 'nose of the dog'!   Once again our path was steep in places and much of the cliff sides and moors were covered with colourful wild heather and gorse, but along with that there were several areas of German bunkers and gun emplacements that told of bloody battles from the last war when Germany occupied all of this area.   

Today's walk where we were surrounded by sea
And on this windy day the beaches weren't half as popular!

Our walk eventually dropped us down into the town of Camaret-sur-Mer who's main business used to be fishing and lobster catching, and as testament to that there are 8 old rotting fishing vessels lying beached on one side of the port. 

And opposite them is the town's main tourist street which is lined with colourful eateries and shops!

But as the sky was darkening and the wind was whipping up we only took a quick look around and  didn't linger long  and it was a good job because soon after we got back to the van the rain started to pelt down with a vengeance!

Saturday 17th August 2019  ⛅⛅⛅⛅⛅⛅⛅
Mileage 43 Miles from Camaret to Pointe la Camping Chateaulin 

Before I tell you about our day I just want to tell you of a new food that John decided he might want to try, but just be warned, some folk might find this part of our story a bit gross!!!!   

Now, I thought the most disgusting thing that the French had to offer were ๐ŸŒ๐ŸŒ๐ŸŒ(slimey snails), but I was certainly wrong in that assumption!  Andouillettes - pigs bowel sausages are much MUCH worse๐Ÿคฎ๐Ÿคฎ!  The description we found explained that it's made with pork intestines or chitterlings, pepper, wine, onions and seasoning.  We were further informed that it had a distinctive smell, and the strong aroma that emanated from our oven when I cooked them supported this - a peg might have been helpful! 

When we placed them on a foil sheet all I could think was they looked like 2 ๐Ÿ’ฉturds ๐Ÿ’ฉ but you know what they say!  The proof of the pudding is in the eating, but as the layers of intestines were clearly visible within the sausage I found it very difficult to even put it near my mouth - and when I did the texture resulted in me spitting it out very quickly!  John did manage a taste or two and he even claimed he was going to have them for breakfast ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ but if he had I don't think I could have sat at the table with him, and it seems the more he thought about it the more grossed out he became, and in the end I'm sure you'll be as glad as I was that they ended up in the bin!  Therefore, the moral of the story is, If you come to France don't buy any Andouillettes๐Ÿคฎ๐Ÿ˜‚!

This morning we left our Aire with our sights set on a proper Campsite near Chateaulin, and this will be the first proper campsite we've been on in the 47 days since we arrived in France.  We chose it because it's ran by an English couple, it had good reviews and it's right next door to the Nantes Brest Canal so we knew there would be pleasant places for us to cycle. (we also have chores to do so this would be our base to get them done)

However, before we left the Crozon Peninsula we thought we'd take the time to circumnavigate the upper most reaches of 'the dogs ear', and in so doing visit the headland called Pointe Espagnols.  The road to get there was the main one but it was narrow and  bumpy in places and it soon became clear that this was a much less inhabited part of the peninsula. When we arrived at the tip we quickly spotted several stone bunkers and our initial thoughts were that they may be left over from the war - but no - they were from much earlier that that! 

Built about 1850
But they didn't date as far back as from where this section of land gets it's name! It seems in the spring of 1594 the Spanish allies of the Holy League landed in Camaret with 12 vessels and invaded the peninsula.  Then with the help of the local population attracted by high salaries they built a triangular fort at the top of the point.  On 15th October 1594 an army of 3,000 French, 2,000 English and 300 mounted gentlemen came to attack the fort held by 400 Spanish soldiers armed with cannons.  But the siege was very difficult due to raging disease and it wasn't until 18th November that a final assault defeated the fort and in that battle all except 13 Spanish soldiers were killed.  The fort was then destroyed but since then the Pointe has been called 'Pointe Espagnols'.

After our exploration (which was a bit muddy underfoot after last nights rain), we were soon on our way to Chateaulin but I'll till you what we got up to there next time!

Bye for now ๐Ÿ˜™๐Ÿ˜™

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