DaTorbay2009TripToBrittany

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Torbay Section's 12th Spring Trip to Brittany

Saturday 28th February 2009 - Kirby James

Fred Weston's 100 km Ride

Roscoff

Fred's Group assembling at the start

Like last year I signed up for one of Geoff Sharp's day trips to Brittany.

On the up side I found myself on the brand new ferry the Armorique. On the down side I found myself in a cabin with the loudest snorer in the group.

After a calm - but for me noisy - crossing fifty-seven of us decanted from the ferry onto a misty quay at Roscoff - where we divided into three groups. I elected to join Fred Weston for a trip around the coast.

Passing to admire the view at Penze

Fred led us off through Saint-Pol and then followed the La Penze River south through Kerlaudy and Penze before turning east towards Morlaix.

Gradually the sun began to break though and a few layers were shed. We paused briefly at Penze to admire the river views and then cycled onward towards the suburbs of Morlaix.

Initially we followed a signed cycle route - but as we approached the busiest roads all cycle route signs disappeared. After much discussion we realised that if we descended we would arrive at the centre of Morlaix alongside the estuary.

Normally Morlaix is a quick coffee stop on the way home but Fred had allowed time for us to explore the back streets of this interesting town.


Err .. which way do we go here?


Crossing a modern bridge before entering Morlaix


Morlaix - Morning Coffee

Le Grand Cafe de la Terrasse in Morlaix

Roger Wyman led a group to view the sights - but I decided that the first priority was coffee and cakes. I locked my bike up by the bandstand in the market - took a few snaps of the stalls (incidentally as well as fruit and vegetables the market sells stripy shirts and berets) - and settled in the front of Le Grand Cafe de la Terrasse to watch the world go by.

Half a dozen others joined me and discussed their purchases - shoes seemed to be particularly popular.

After the break Fred rounded us up and we turned to follow the eastern bank of the river northward towards the sea.

The group stretched out alongside the estuary


Fred leading the group

We followed the flat road that clings to the estuary as far as Dourduff then turned inland and climbed to the small town of Plouezoch.

From here we descended back down to join the coast by the lovely bay north of Kergaradec.

The route then took us through several picturesque estuary-side villages towards the northernmost point of the peninsula at Point de Primel.

This part of Brittany's rugged northern coast formed from granite. On the Pointe we stopped to explore the granite outcrops on foot and took the opportunity to eat a snack or two.

The bay at Barnenez north of Kergaradec


The group wondering where to go


Point de Primel - Lunch

Suitably refreshed we turned south for a fast run through Plougasnou to Lanmeur.

In the town we pulled up outside the Creperie la Lutine. The patron looked at the group of fifteen cyclists and declared that she had just closed. I wasn't sure whether fifteen was too many - or too few.

Undeterred we decamped to the bar opposite where we selected coffees and hot chocolates.

After this early afternoon stop Fred worked out that we still had time for another refreshment stop before dinner. After briefly flirting with the busy D786 we followed minor roads back to Morlaix

Morlaix - Afternoon Coffee

We were now becoming quite familiar with the layout of the centre of Morlaix - this allowed the more discerning among us to ride direct to the elegant Salon de The called Martin Patissier. Surprisingly we were allowed in - but some of the smarter customers gave us withering looks.

Roger went off on a search for stamps for his postcards and others explored the market stalls before they packed up.

Some of Fred's Group leaving Morlaix for the Second Time

After this late afternoon stop we re-grouped and headed back down the western side of the estuary towards St-Pol.

The lowering sun illuminated the far bank - lighting up the white painted houses.

The level road runs right along side the estuary and provides really enjoyable cycling as the road snakes in and out around the small bays.

In no time at all we reached the bridge over the Penze River and turned to follow the country road into St-Pol.

All our stops meant that we were to last group to arrive at the Restaurant La Petit Bricante. Unfortunately our numbers overwhelmed the resources and half a dozen had to continue to Roscoff to find a second eatery.

After an enjoyable meal we headed back to the ferry in darkness - to begin what proved to be a calm - and for me at least - a quieter crossing.

Many thanks to Geoff Sharpe for all the efforts he put into organising yet another successful trip.

Kirby James


Track of Fred Westons' Route

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John Beasley's '100 km' Ride

Track of John Beasley's Route

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