My main purpose was to try and find out how the water needed
to keep this waterway "topped up" was entered, and where it came from. Not
resolved to my satisfaction! We did however locate a significant issue
into the canal very near St Gerand, but not from an obvious above
ground stream. So assume this water must be piped from somewhere.
Possibly from the Lakes below Mur-de-Bretagne, this being indicated by
someone we'd inquired from.
The following day - Wednesday, is a day when Vannes market is held. So
to this we visited. From here we drove south to a village called
Penvins. Lunch in an obvious "cordon blue" restaurant
- not over costly
at mid-day, though I do confess not to be over enamoured of French
cooking, we did however have an outstanding meal at the 'Marine' in
Josselin the previous Friday. We then drove out to the coast. Lovely
weather, really pleasurable
We where saddened to learn from our next door neighbours that their
mother had just passed away. The father had died perhaps six years ago.
They were really friendly people. Both where active, and enjoyed
helping their son and daughter work their farm.
Had been our intention to return Roscoff/Plymouth, so as it was in that
direction, decided to visit Finisterre on the way. Found a place to
stay at Portsail. Turned out that Portsail was where the huge Oil
Tanker "Amoco Cadiz" foundered following what was claimed to be a
'steering failure'. I stress 'claimed' because this vessel was launched
four years previously. The anchor is absolutely massive - as picture indicates:
When we reached Finisterre we learned that our planned voyage back to
Plymouth would have to be cancelled due to a strike by staff of Brittany
Ferries. We were well satisfied with the accommodation we had (with
difficulty!) found in Portsail, so decided to stay two nights. So used
the day to tour along the coast to the headland at which it turned inland to Brest.
I found this coastline incredibly rural, more than ever I would have
expected. Certainly not over built on, in Britain - Ireland likewise,
tourists might be crawling all round. Not here. Quiet coves - roads
also! Yet still in September. Two 'photo's below example. One can just dicern the Isles of Ushant on the skyline
Obviously it had been the intention to spend the Sunday night at
Roscoff in order to facilitate the required 08.30 sailing back to
Plymouth. Being this was now 'off', we thought best policy would be to
journey back to Josselin. Trusting the ferries would resume crossings
in a reasonable period. We could afford to wait - hopefully!
Though not discernible in the above two 'photo's, the Isles of Ushant can just be seen with the naked eye on the skyline.
The ferry not running, we decided to use our extra time to take a trip
over to Belle-Isle-Sur-Mer (to give its full title - many "Belle Isles"
about) Apart from Corsica, the largest island off the French coast,
and about the same size as the Isle of Wight, though only five per cent
of that's population. It had been our intention to take our car.
when we inquired at the port of departure Quiberon, we were advised it
would make more sense if we left it behind, and hired a car on the
Island. In spite of the inconvenience, advice we followed. Aa it turned
out we managed to explore the whole island to our satisfaction, in
just a few hours. So returned this car before 5PM the same day.
Scenically, I thought the island not good, partly I surmise that due to
its geographical position, it had little rainfall. Some of the land was
farmed but not well, is the view I formed. Apart from the very notable
exception of Island's such as the Isle of Wight, also Channel
Islands, I have wondered as to the economic viability, of many I've
visited. This likewise. Its links with the mainland are interesting:
Two vessels of almost identical size and layout run between. First
'photo below is the main port of entry, Le Palais, then the ferries
used. Appears as though the regular 'run' can only accommodate two axle
vehicles. So no chance of meeting a HGV here! Not sure how they manage
if heavy plant is needed to be ferried onto the Island. Fourth 'photo
is of the only other 'port' of entry on the Island, Sauzon. Attractive
little place, next pic indicates.
view is of Le Palais front. We find ourselves indeed fortunate in the
hotels we have stayed in France recently, and the "Atlantic" here was
absolutely no exception. It is the one on the right of the 'photo.
Perhaps we have been lucky, but far more likely I reckon, is that the
French hospitality sector has improved immensely, since our first
visits well over three decades ago. The three we've used on this trip,
have been excellent, moreover, far better value than English of the
The day prior to our return via Roscoff, we took a trip down to Vanne,
while on Belle Isle we had noticed an advert about an Exhibition by the
Archive section of Morbihan Department. This was to mark the
anniversary of railway construction. Not well done unfortunately. Maps
diagrammatic rather than actual, no old documents on display.
Information was by placards only. "Brits" would have done a far better