Guerande, Loire. 2014 🇫🇷

Travelled : 129 miles

Visited : Pont Aven (lunched at Baye) and Guerande

Stay : Guerande in the Loire, municipal aire, free with service (except water €6).

It’s been another late start in Le Faou this morning.  We’ve decided there’s no point getting up early as no one else does.  The church bells have tolled several times before we open the camper car door for a weather report.  As it’s not raining Pam cuts some pre walk fruit and we set off along the bay for an hour.  By the time we return a little market has set up in the car park and Pam buys some fresh vegetables and a baguette.
We have planned today as a driving day.  Last year we drove much of this part of Brittany with Rod and Julie, so we plan a freeway day on the N165 until we cross into the Loire.  It’s hard to church up a day on the freeway, but that was our day.

It may be driving on the freeway but it's not the M4, France. 2014
It may be driving on the freeway, but it’s not the M4, France.

The Rough Guide has a good review on Pont Aven so it seemed like a good place for lunch.  The Rough Guide didn’t indicate it’s not suitable for camper cars but we manage to squeeze our way into a parking spot outside the local bank and we set off for a walk.  Pont Avon was the home of Paul Guiggan for several years before he discovered the beauty of Tahiti and it’s women.  That aside it’s a picturesque village set around a bridge on the River Aven.  Most of the shops are galleries or have an art theme which are all a bit touristy in retrospect.  The River Aven run through the centre, with a series of little falls, changing direction, dividing and rejoining.

Pam dodges the Drizzle at Pont Aven, Brittany.  2014
Pam dodges the Drizzle at Pont Aven, Brittany.

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For Greg,  Pont Aven, Brittany.  2014
For Greg, Pont Aven, Brittany.

It’s starts to drizzle and we escape to the Hymer, as we have been parked in front of the only bank in town for an hour we decide to head off and lunch at the first aire we find.  Ten minutes later we stop outside a little church in Baye for another camper car lunch.  Off again we soon depart Brittany and cross into the Loire.  The scenery becomes greener, with more flowers if that’s possible.  The sun is out again and it’s getting warm as we drive into Guerande.  Late afternoon arrivals are always a bit chaotic as there are campers cars everywhere all looking for somewhere to park.  We decide the formal camping areas are too far out, the free aire is near the main road and may be a bit noisy, but Pam likes free and it’s only about 500 metres to the wall.

We find a spot up the back, lock up and head up town to explore.  First stop the tourist information and a map.  The girl recommends visiting the salt marshes out of town as well.

The main gates to the old walled city of Guerande, apparently one of the few towns that still have the original gates, walls and moat in place, The Liore, France.  2014
The main gates to the old walled city of Guerande, apparently one of the few towns that still have the original gates, walls and moat in place.  The Loire.
Get Directions

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It’s like two worlds, outside the walls of the old town the place is fairly modern, lots of traffic, cars scooters and people getting on with their business.  Inside the walls you move back in time, cobbled lanes, no cars old stone building etc.  Anyway it’s not quite all like that, there are shops selling suites of armour, swords and the usual tat. But generally lots of local produce and the like.

We returned to the old town again on our morning walk today to find a produce market getting started.  We got some fruit and vegetables and the usual baguette of course.  We also purchased a piece of cooked ham, for dinner tonight.

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After breakfast we un-load the bikes and ride down to the salt marshes, to look at the salt drying ponds that line the roadways down in the area.  Like all the other tourist we stopped at a roadside stall and purchased a small bag of salt.  It’s quite big business in Guerande and there are shops and stalls all over are area selling salt.  It’s a long ride almost 20 kilometres, the second half mostly uphill.

Anyway back at the aire we put the bikes back on the rack, do our household duties and hit the road towards the Coast Atlantic.

The salt farms of the Guerande, Liore, France.  2014
The salt farms of the Guerande, Liore, France. 2014

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