Camping Les Sables sehr gross für alle Grösse Wohnmobil. Meer, Sandstrand und Gezeiten von ca. 5 Meter.
I have to admit that the sun has been a rare companion. Most days have been cloudy or grey or misty or outright raining.
But today we head to the southern- most part of the coast. We are going canoeing which should be a nice change of pace.
We depart from Chateau de Val in clear skies and sunshine. The group is very upbeat as we pull out of the driveway. Once again we pass through small and mid-size villages with agricultural fields lining the sides of the road outside if the residential villages.
The head of the canoe operation is named Phillipe. He's a sturdy fellow wearing a wetsuit that ends at his knees. We are soon afloat, six canoes paddling down the xxx river. It's flat water, quiet and serene. The canoe launch is not far from the canal lock that carries our canoes around the dam to the river below. The locks are hand operated by a woman standing nearby. She makes sure we are all properly lined up and then opens the gates so that we slowly descend to the lower river level. We paddle downriver for a while. Everyone is enjoying the silence and sun. We spot two fairly large grey herons on the river banks. It's nice to have companions who are interested in birds and the natural aspects of this area.
Eventually we reverse course and paddle back toward the lock. As we approach, the mistress of the lock operation reverses the water flow and we are all magically raised to the upper level of the river.
There are some amusing moments as we try to exit the canoes gracefully. Some canoe partners have better results than others! Quite a nice morning we all agree. A check of the sky reveals incoming clouds. Before we leave the driveway, rain is starting on the windshield. No matter, its time for lunch.Read more
We wake up this morning to wind, rain and an angry ocean. Oh dear, the planned morning outside is a two and a half hour hike. We meet the group at the breakfast tables and watch the outside weather. There is much discussion about rain gear. In the end, only three people elect to skip the hike and hope for better conditions in the afternoon. Two of those people are Bill and me. We are fatiguee...
We enjoy a quiet morning in the hotel and take a walk through this charming beach town. Of course it would be more charming in better weather. Sigh.
The little shops are vacant and some are closed for the season. Many cafes and restaurants are shuttered.
The group returns after a wet, but not untenable hike among scattered dolmens and menhirs. Not all of these stones are enclosed within the museum's archeological grounds. Literally they are everywhere for miles around. No wonder people have used them to build their houses. In fact it was not until 1991 that these ancient stones were regarded as worthy of notice and research began.
We are off to lunch. Annie says it's the best fish in town. It looks like a dump. But my goodness, she knows her stuff!
There is a festive dinner scheduled for our last evening together, so most people order cautiously. The salad platters arrive and they are utterly astonishing. They are huge and fresh and beautiful.
I've ordered moules frites. The pot is the size that seems customary in this part of France. It contains five or six dozen small mussels in a fragrant white wine sauce with garlic and fresh parsley. I sincerely doubt that I will ever have sweeter, fresher mussels. It kind of ruins your appetite for the large green New Zealand mussels often served in the US. (inset heavy sigh here). I give up about three inches from the bottom of the pot. Mmmm.Read more
Menhir's or standing stones dated to as much as 7,000 years old. There are several thousand stones, mostly in alignment. Pics 5&6 show one of the largest and a quadrilateral set of stones, unique at Carnac.
Today's hotel is lovely, overlooking a gorgeous beach. This is quite a beautiful summer resort but it is utterly empty due to the rainy weather. Rumor has it that the hiking trips in the French Pyrenees have had so much snow that the passes are closed. They are adapting by building snowmen and snowshoeing.
At the beach here it's mild enough (in the low sixties) to keep on moving if you don't mind being damp.
As it turns out our itinerary has taken us to locations where there are few, if any, American tourists. We could never have done this on our that's certain. And it's wonderful. We credit our guide Annie Hawkins with these delightful and unusual sites. She is also a foodie who has booked extraordinary restaurants for us, fresh, fresh, local, everything you would want to experience in France.Read more
Following our canoe trip, we stop briefly at a restored Breton village circa 1906. It's a small village of farm families that was abandoned long ago because of the poverty of the residents.
The restoration is sweet, low buildings of the Breton countryside with stone walls and thatched roofs. Lunch is also early 20th century featuring cabbage soup, sausages, lots of potatoes and grains. We encounter really extraordinary Breton beurre de sel and country bread. It disappears from the table quickly. Then we are off to the dolmens and menheirs for which Carnac is famous.
We arrive in Carnac late in the afternoon and are taken to a rock field by our guide. The wind has picked up and blowing hard. The clouds whisk rapidly and menacingly across the sky. It's cold and damp and we are freezing. The guide soldiers on outdoors for about an hour. In spite of the difficult conditions, our guide manages to deliver a remarkably concise and coherent summary of the archeological aspects of these huge stones which may have been erected about the 5th century b.c.
We have not seen the entirety of the three separate paleolithic sites but no matter, it is getting late and dark. We are all hungry.
Luggage it's quickly unloaded at Hotel Diana. Everyone disperses and we meet up for dinner together at 7:30.
This hotel is family owned and provides not only the best views (directly overlooking the beach) but the best combination of food, service and elegant dining.
Dinner is truly extraordinary. I meet my first oeuf mollet in a first course. It's accompanied by smoked duck breast and an unidentifiable but rich sauce. Bill has tempura style fried sardines. A brave choice since sardines are not the usual fare in our house. They are pronounced 'délicieux.'
The main course is beef for both of us. Dessert is beautifully presented and also ' délicieux.' I have stopped photographing the plates. They are so beautiful that I fear the big pages are getting tedious. We are living in a dream world here with these meals.Read more
Heute Weiterfahrt nach Carnac. Zum Campingplatz Le Men Du. Kleiner 2* Platz sauber, 300m zum Strand. Unser Platz ist unter einer riesigen Zypresse o.ä. Am Strand gab's Ebbe. Habe Herzmuscheln gesammelt. In kurzer Zeit 1,5-2 kg. Bärbel hat Salat mit Teigwaren und Hackfleischsoße ( Test von gestern) gegessen, ich statt der Soße die Herzmuscheln. Zwiebeln, Knofi, Kräuter und Petersilie in Olivenöl schwitzen. Herzmuscheln, ein Schuss Salzwasser und Zitronensaft dazu. Fünf Minuten köcheln. Sehr lecker!Read more
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