To Paimpol - Three Seasons Around France: Autumn - CycleBlaze

September 18, 2022

To Paimpol

Before moving on to today’s short ride, here’s a last plug for B&B du Cloitre, a place filled with character.  We enjoyed everything about the place, including walking up to the semifinished attic for a cup of instant coffee and a change of scene from our room while we waited for breakfast.  The structure is a large half-timbered house from I think the 15th century, and you can really see it best in the attic where the slats, lath and plaster still show through in spots.

It’s interesting poking around everywhere you can though, as the place is something of a museum with fine antique furniture juxtapositioned with peculiar, startling taxidermy - sea turtles and murres, for example.  The lampshade in the dining hall is fabricated from woven antlers, looking like something you’d see in Jackson Hole.

Best of all though are the owners, who we somehow failed to ask the names of.  They clearly love Tréguier, their home here, and their lives together.  

The entrance hall to B&B du Cloitre. Note the two sea turtles on the floor on the right, and the uneven stone staircase at the end, its steps irregular and worn from centuries of use.
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In B&B du Cloitre.
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In the attic.
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I should have taken better care with this photo, which is unfortunately a little blurry. Rachael wanted to remember what a great breakfast we enjoyed here.
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Bob KoreisOooo, a galette de Bretagne. wish I could find a place locally that made them.
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2 months ago
Scott AndersonTo Bob KoreisIf we had one back home I’d patronize it too. I’ll bet a third of our meals here included a galette.
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2 months ago
Leaving Tréguier. Oh, the dogs. We loved their two dogs, too.
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We have another unreasonably fine day again - clear skies, minimal wind - but it’s chilly.  Only 47 degrees when we woke up, probably the coolest morning since we left France for Dover last spring.  We are cold biking down to the river as we leave town but thaw out quickly when we cross the bridge and climb steeply away from it, encountering the hardest climb of the day less than a half mile into the ride.

Once on top we bike through a few miles of fairly level terrain, cycling past small vegetable acreages planted in corn, artichokes, brassica, and other row crops.  For the first three or four miles we can still hear the bells chiming from what I assume is the cathedral before finally dropping toward the estuary again.

Are we back in Devon again?
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We see artichokes everywhere along the way today.
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Looking back up the Jaudy estuary to Tréguier, the spire of its cathedral still visible and its bells still audible from four miles away.
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Our route today is a tipped S-shape that’s mostly inland but never far from the coast.  Every so often we’ll drop to the coast, enjoy some stunning views across the channel, and then climb back up again.  Away from the sea it’s less dramatic but still beautiful as we bike through farmland that’s taking on the aura of autumn - the equinox is just a day or two away, I’m startled to realize.  The corn stalks are brown and withering, we’re starting to see chestnut husks on the pavement, the ivy is starting to redden, and everywhere there is hydrangea along the walls and fences, its autumnal colors a blend of fading blue, maroon and brown.

It’s not a long ride - barely 32 miles, and only that because Rachael decides to add a few hundred yards when we arrive in Paimpol so we can round up and boost our metrics for the day - but it’s enough, and it fills the day.  We’re definitely getting in tune with this slow travel business.

On the beach at Port-Beni, at the mouth of the Jaudy inlet. Across the water is the route we followed biking to Tréguier two days ago.
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At Port-Beni. I think that’s the lighthouse I zoomed in from across the bay Friday.
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After climbing away from the coast we’re passing through fields and farmhouses again. I don’t know how to describe them exactly, but the houses here have a definite regional style, with the end of the house tapering into a chimney flush with the wall. Not a look I quite recognize from anywhere else.
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Dropping back to the channel again, at Port du Chaine.
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I was going to chide RideWithGPS for steering us to this thankfully short stretch of un-pavement along Port du Chaine, but looking at the map again I see I did it to myself. There’s no road shown here - just the track for the GR34 walking route.
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Keith ClassenThat’s a nice little track to stumble on.
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2 months ago
Scott AndersonTo Keith ClassenThat’s what I thought. It added some texture to the day.
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2 months ago
And up again. We’re climbing and falling for much of the day, but other than that first pitch out of Tréguier its nothing like England. Slopes are reasonably well behaved, climbs are short. Which isn’t to say they don’t wear on the legs by the end of the day.
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Hydrangeas everywhere! I’ve never seen them so prolific anywhere else. It must really be amazing to be here earlier in the season when they haven’t mostly turned tan yet.
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We’ve rounded the bend and are heading south now, looking across the deep estuary at the mouth of the Trieux.
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Lunch stop, Lézardrieux. It felt wonderful sitting here on a bench facing the warm afternoon sun.
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Crossing the Trieux on the distinctive Saint-Christophe Bridge was the day’s principal disappointment. After reading Jacquie Gaudet’s post of her ride through here I was anxious to see this bridge but it’s hard to appreciate it through all the scaffolding for the renovation project underway.
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Jacquie GaudetDrat! There are other bridges of that style around... Plus even more interesting transporter bridges if you're going that way.
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2 months ago
Along the Trieux estuary.
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Hydrangeas forever.
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Green river.
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Northbound again, following the Trieux.
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At the mouth of the Trieux, looking across the Bréhat archipelago - another scenic highlight of Brittany’s northern coast.
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At the Port de Loguivy.
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At the Port de Loguivy. Another home with a nicely designed rock garden.
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Video sound track: Claridade, by Oregon

We arrive in Paimpol right at four and check in to our hotel, Le K’Loys.  It’s a very nice facility - comfortable room, an outstanding breakfast as we’ll find in the morning, and a good artisanal beer on tap as I’ll find as soon as I change clothes and head back downstairs.  

Paimpol itself is less inspiring than most of the places we’ve stayed so far in Brittany though, and we’ll be fine with moving on in the morning.  We go out for a short after-dinner walk along the harbor just past sundown, but don’t last long - it’s too chilly for the way we’ve dressed!  And when we return to the hotel I’m humbled as I try to show off my impressive skills with the French language when I say bonne soirée to the attendant and she heads to the bar to pour me another drink.

In Paimpol.
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Graham FinchIt looks like a painting!
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2 months ago
Jen GrumbyYes! The lighting! And the water and the colors!
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2 months ago
In Paimpol.
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Ride stats today: 32 miles, 2,000’; for the tour: 194 miles, 14,000’

Today's ride: 32 miles (51 km)
Total: 194 miles (312 km)

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Carolyn van HoeveWe’re having identical weather in Annecy. Which again, thanks for the recommendation. What a gorgeous place! Every day of riding better than the previous. Made it through the traffic lights in the gorges du Val de Fier without an issue (we also had a small cycle lane on our side). What a wonderful ride. Tomorrow Albertville. I’m not surprised you’re slowing down, it’s been quite a tour. We wonder how you do it!!
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2 months ago