What is the French for…?

We are having a few days holiday at our friends lovely home in Brittany. The weather has been just right, warm with a breeze during the day and cool at night. The area we are in centres around Chateauneuf-du-Faou, about an hour from Roscoff, which is situated next to the Nantes-Brest Canal. Just how lovely is this?

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Or this?

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And just to show you a geographic reference

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We first came to Brittany 25 years ago when The Eldest was three, with a rough plan to buy a property and set up a small business. Life had other ideas. We have been over to Morlaix on business a few times but have never really taken much time just to chill out and explore the area. We are so glad we decided to stay a few days.

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Just to sit and watch the world go by.

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However, I have found myself sadly lacking in the linguistic department and am struggling to remember even the most basic French as my default second language is now Spanish, which can lead to some very confused conversations, on the positive side it does mean my Spanish must be improving. Luckily, from my point of view, there is a lot of English spoken here, possibly due to the high concentration of ex-pats and second home owners. Himself has perfected one key phrase which he trots out with a charming smile and a deprecating shrug: “Je suis desoleé, je ne parle français” and it works like a dream, particularly with women!

Here we go again….



We loaded up the caravan, manoeuvred it up the short, steep lane to the road, hitched it to the car and took the first steps towards retracing the 1300km back up through Spain and France to catch the Ferry, this time from Roscoff to Plymouth, to get back to Cornwall in time to travel to Bristol to watch our beloved Daughter graduate with a 2:1 (Hons) in International Relations. Oh, the things we do….

It’s been hot, hot, hot! The temperature has been above 32 deg and the air-con in the car gave up just past the Spanish border on Thursday,  so we had to resort to the old fashioned method of opening the windows. However, this time, Himself and I have stayed on speaking terms even when I have been driving!  It helped to have a plan of action: the first night we stayed on an Aire, which had the added bonus of a rather posh shower; the second night we headed back to Camping Le Bateau at Rochefort (Charente Maritime) which we had so enjoyed on the way down.  I so recommend this site! Then today we drove straight through to just beyond Quimper to stay at our friends’ house in Brittany, in preparation for our early start tomorrow (5am for heaven sakes – it still comes as a surprise when I realise there are two 5 o’clocks in one day) then we nip across the channel to Plymouth and head West.

The Pups have been wonderful: Boy Dog always travels well, he hunkers down and stays relaxed all the way through (upside down, legs in the air), Girl Dog sightsees out of the windows, her ears flapping in the breeze and a contented smile on her face. Of course, they just know that at the end of it all they get to see two of their favourite people, after us of course, The Youngest and The Daughter. And, when we come back this way in two weeks time, there is an extra special surprise for them – The Eldest will be waiting for them!

On the road – stage one

We’ve made it to Brittany!

The trip to Poole was easy and painless and we pitched up for the night at Hunters Moon Caravan Site which was convenient for the early morning start for the ferry port. It’s a lovely little site, well appointed, well maintained and friendly. We plan on going back for a longer stay at some point.

The crossing was smooth and uneventful and the dogs were very comfortable in the car. Unfortunately we had underestimated the length of time it was going to take to get to our friends in Brittany – it was only around four inches on the map- however, in real terms it took about six hours with plentiful stops to view the countryside and exercise the dogs…oh, and a little nap for Himself.

I have to say there are some truly beautiful things to see, Mont St Michel is one and beats the pants off its opposite number at Marazion (heresy from a Cornish woman). We also want to go back and spend some time looking around St Brieuc, Utah Beach, Sainte- Mère Église nd the military cemeteries. Sat Nag held up well until the last 30k when she turned left into a parallel universe and got us totally lost. It was with a great deal of relief when our friends mounted a rescue mission and came looking for us as we were both getting a wee bit edgy.

Food, wine and sleep was never more welcome.

And the sun is shining!


A Breton lane!