Brittany, Breizh, Bretagne, An Bhriotáin, whatever! Roscoff, Quimper, Brest, Roscoff

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Another blast of Jetboil there and off across the bridge and into Quimper. D34. A good few miles into this we took a cycling diversion we (Mary and I) took before but it's not worth it as at the end of it as it just adds a few miles. The GPS took us right to the Cathedral. We then found a convenient hotel, the Hotel Dupleix on the side of the river opposite to the Cathedral. It's okay but ideally placed. Went for a stroll in the old town

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and found few restaurants open there but went to a superb Italian place about 200 yds from the Cathedral. Great food and wine. This was an easy day, 51 miles, 2000ft or less.

Next day, misty and intermittently wet morning. North along D770 via Chateaulin.

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Chateaulin

This was a very quiet road northwards, again becoming more and more hilly. Bought cakes and Jetboil. North again until really long smooth descent to Le Faou. Had a superb lunch there in a bar restaurant. Big buffet starter, steak and chips etc. Back on bike, along by inlet and then back on our old friend D770.

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Route became rather complex near Loperhet and there was a bit of navigational difficulty there which added maybe 15 mins to day. Day was lovely after lunch, being intermittently quite wet in the morning. Eventually into Brest over the old bridge

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View of Rade de Brest from the old bridge

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New bridge for cars , etc.

which is reserved for cyclists and walkers and then for a good bit along quays until we reached the main station, opposite which there are several hotels. There I learnt a lesson in patience. First two hotels booked out. Third hotel a little dear. They had a room but when I asked the lady where could I put our bikes she said that she'd have to ask "le Directeur" but he wasn't around at the moment. Also I'd tried to negotiate the price but the same absent chap would have to be asked. Price was 110E for the room plus breakfast. I just gave her a look and walked out. It was then she showed interest but like Maggie, I was not for turning. I persisted and got in the second next hotel a nicer room (I always look at the room) for 32E less. So we had an expensive bottle of wine that night to celebrate this financial windfall! Well, that was the official excuse! It was a stunning Riesling from Alsace. I'd cycled through the village in which it was produced, in 1994 during my Strasbourg Nice tour.

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10 comments on “Brittany, Breizh, Bretagne, An Bhriotáin, whatever! Roscoff, Quimper, Brest, Roscoff”

  1. Hilary wrote:

    Wonderful pics as always Garry.
    I've got unfinished business with that part of Brittany – that was the trip that was abandoned when Dennis' moped packed up. Moral – don't go cycle touring with someone on a moped!

    Jetboil (my latest stove, I have about 10) was really good.

    LOL Its my latest of about 10 too! Glad to hear it performed well, I've hardly used mine, I must dig it out altho a shiny blue bike with matching shiny blue stove could be a bit much even for me! 🙂

  2. Garry wrote:

    Mine is royal blue as well. My friend Mike Harris, who is set in his ways thinks that a bike should be red or black, not blue. Several of us have at least one blue bike and we poke endless fun at him over it. The blue stove would be the stove de grace!

  3. Mary wrote:

    What a fabulous tour Garry. I would LOVE to tour Brittany/France, every account of it, I have read/heard about has been positive.

    As usual your pictures taken along your ride are calendar quality! Love the green three wheeler car or is it a trike? I can fully empathise with your poor sleeping, I can never sleep when I am away from home either, the slightest sound wakens me.

  4. Garry Lee wrote:

    It's a three wheeler car. Brittany is not all beautful but in a way that's an advantage as you don't get scenery fatigue as you do in places that are all beautiful. The coast east of Roscoff as far as Paimpol is sensational. It has this marvellous pink granite. The first time you see it it'll amaze you, but I've seen it about 7 times. If you do a bit of research there are some lovely little towns inland, like Moncontour which we visited on our first ever Breton tour. St.Malo is fabulous, as are Dinan and Dinard, but I've not visited the latter two. Another fab place is the Phare du Paon on the Ile de Brehat. A Frenchman told me about it. I've seen it three times. Another lovely tour to do is a tour of the Parish Closes, of which Guimiliau and Lampaul-Guimiliau are the most famous, but there are loads of them. These are churches with churchyards and ossuaries.

  5. Kern wrote:

    Two great bottles of Alsatian Resiling, two good bottles of Cotes du Rhones, Mary's fruitcake and who knows what other treats in between – it has all the makings of a great tour. The weather at the start looks decidely Irish, i.e. "soft" :).

    How are the hills in Brittany? We're fishing around for a tour location for next year. I should get a map.

  6. Garry Lee wrote:

    It's very hilly but the hills aren't that steep. Very much rolling. Was in my lowest gear just once on a switchback. But you can see that the hills mounted up most days. It's not as pretty as Ireland or Scotland generally but has some fab places. There are also some dull boring bits.

  7. Mary wrote:

    "There are also some dull boring bits."

    All made the better for all that fab French food and wine though....

    I always thought Brittany was a bit like Norfolk and Suffolk in the UK as a hillyness comparison, it is a bit hillier then?

  8. Garry Lee wrote:

    Yes, it's pretty hilly. Not as hilly as the Peak District or the Yorkshire Dales but distinctly lacking in flat. You would need a triple there.

  9. Chris wrote:

    Lovely pictures as always, Garry. How incongruous is that Pirates of the Caribbean pin ball machine?

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