Friday, June 18, 2010

What I Did on my Holidays (part far too many)

Anyone who's had the tenacity to read the latest few postings will have gathered by now that there's probably no stopping me wittering on about having spent the last week or so in Brittany.

I offer no apologies; I enjoyed myself and it's pretty well all I have to write about especially after the minor medical procedure described in the post immediately below this one has kept me out of action for a short while.

So - if you can bear it (or, actually, even if you can't) - here's the next thrilling instalment of pottering about in France with some of Mrs The Millbrooker's and my old muckers.

After the prandial indulgences of Jean-Luc's Giant Barbecue at Bar L'Alsa-Breizh, the following day was one for strapping on the walking boots again.

We drove out beyond Spezet to an out-of-the-way spot called Roc'h ar Werc'hez; unpronounceable it may be, but it is a real place in the middle of a small wood near to the hamlet of Cudel.

Dong took driving duties and we parked up a short way from the rock itself (oh yes, Roc'h
is Breton for "rock", not difficult really is it?) Here are The High Lord and Shazzerooneypoos
leading the way as Dong lurks behind

The first target was easily reached - a 17th century bread oven which would have served 

the hamlet of Cudel. The High Lord of Southwick was interested in this new-fangled invention, wondering whether perhaps he could introduce something similar for his own serfs.

Had he, like Mrs The Millbooker, had a flash camera with him - he could have taken a vaguely gynaecological shot of its interior.

Then it was off into lots of cool woodland walking.

We found an interesting growth pattern in one of the trees. Go on, tell me it doesn't look
like a pig.

After tramping past some sloping meadows on the edge of the forest we once again plunged into woodland pathways - until Mrs The Millbrooker spotted a path off to the right. And, oh boy, were we glad that she did. What a viewpoint.

Photos can't really do it justice - but who am I to let a little thing like that stop me?

We wanted to picnic there perched upon the rocks, but Dong was marching on ahead at
Fellowship-of-the-Ring pace and in his own little world. We couldn't arouse his interest by
calling "PICNIC" or "DONG", no matter how loud... we left the lovely spot and headed off in pursuit of the mildly deaf one, whom we found performing his renowned Gollum impersonation atop a tree stump.

A new, slightly less scenic, but nonetheless quiet and welcome picnic spot was found and the womenfolk prepared the ground by nicking my wet weather gear and spreading it out as makeshift seating to prevent damp bottoms.

Despite all outward appearances, the party members were speaking to one another, it was
just comfy to sit more-or-less back-to-back. 

Another four or so miles and we were back at the Roc'h ar Werc'hez. How on Earth we'd managed to miss the most obvious landmark for miles around as we began the walk is anyone's guess. But there it was.

Yes indeed, standing atop the rock - Our Lady of The Mountains (Notre Dame des Montagnes). There's a brief history which I've picked up from Click here for the original article.

"The Virgin and Child is built at 260 meters altitude on a rocky spur that bears his name Brittany: Roc'h ar Werc'hez. This is a votive offering by the Countess of Vefa Méhérenc St. Pierre who ordered it to be cast and placed in its position following a hunting accident. An annual procession is held in the month of May"

Being not hugely god-fearing types we clambered up it (or at least to the statue's base) to see if there was any view to enjoy. Here's Mrs The Millbrooker very near the summit as taken by me from as close to the summit as it was possible to get. Note The High Lord of Southwick sensibly deciding to rest his weary feet below.

That was the walk done with, now to find some suitable cooling refreshment.

That's yours truly paddling in St Hernin - mmmm, lovely cool water on tired and mildly pongy feet. However, that's not quite what I meant. It goes without saying that we visited a pleasant and delightful beer-selling establishment. Not unlike Bar Chez Steph at St Hernin, in fact.

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