Fourth & Fifth Weeks In Brittany

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May 28th 2019
Published: June 4th 2019
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Sunday 19th May – Friday 24th May

I was sick for this period. Most likely a gluten response due to accidental intake. This is the longest period of time I have been sick following gluten intake. The trials and tribulations of having Coeliac Disease.

Saturday 25th May

I was nearly better today with just some stomach pains remaining. I decided to get out and about a bit again. In the afternoon I went for a riverside bike ride for about an hour. It's always very pleasant along the river.

This weekend in Guipry-Messac was a junior soccer extravaganza. There were plenty of teams from around France and greater Europe in attendance, they had three reduced-size fields going, and lots of games sere played. They also had rides and sideshows, as well as a disco and fireworks on the Saturday night. I walked around and had a look, and returned to watch the fireworks at 11pm Saturday (it doesn't get dark here till about 10:45pm at present). The fireworks were really good, though it turns out that I and a few other people who had just come to watch the fireworks and not gone into the event, were standing pretty much right underneath the fireworks. Hot firework bombs were falling close by, but luckily we were not singed.

Earlier in the evening I went to Fest Noz, an event featuring local Breton folk dancing. It was held in a local multifunction centre (basketball, indoor events, etc). There were about 200 people there to participate in the folk dancing. The three-piece band played Breton music, with some traditional instruments. The communal dancing was very interesting to watch, and the music interesting to listen to. The people were very keen and clearly enjoying the dancing. Some dances were quite complicated, but for others the steps were fairly simple.

Sunday 26th May

Today was a fairly quiet day. In the morning I rode over to the church in Messac in light rain for Mass. The afternoon was fine and I went for another bike ride along the river. I stopped by the junior soccer to watch a bit of the final, but don't actually know who the teams were so I can't tell you who won!

Monday 27th May

After doing my laundry in the morning, I decided to take the bicycle on the train to Laillé. This is about half to two-thirds of the way to Rennes. All the times I have been on the train to Rennes I have been seeing the beautiful river scenes, locks, etc along the way (the train runs close to the river most of the way). So I had decided to do the ride back from Laillé to Guipry (about 31km). It was great day for it, mostly sunny though clouding over at times, and warm but not hot.

This was a really enjoyable ride! So peaceful along the river (especially being a Monday), and beautiful scenery. The route passes five locks (including Guipry), the first being at La Bouëxière, where there is a beautiful old mill which has been restored. So picturesque with flowers around the lock and the old stone mill. I stopped here just downstream of the lock at a little boat jetty to eat lunch and enjoy the sun and the view and the sound of the water going over the weir.

Continuing on I turned away from the river and headed uphill to visit the village of Bourg des Comptes. Newly landscaped streets which lead up to the village church, decked with flower boxes, and with the square surrounded by stone-fronted shops and restaurants. Very picturesque again, and, being a Monday when many shops and restaurants are closed, very quiet. The church had a lovely bright interior, and a beautiful light and tall gothic style wooden altarpiece. Many of the churches I've seen have tended to be dark and heavy, this church was quite different.

I then headed back down to the river and continued downstream, soon coming to the next lock at Gailieu. This was one of the most beautiful spots I've ever seen! At this point the river is on a large loop, out away from roads and the railway, so it is really quiet and peaceful. There is a beautiful island between the lock and the weir, with tall shady trees, grass and picnic tables. Then there is a foot-bridge (not on Google Maps!) across the river to another beautiful park, flanked by stone buildings including a restaurant and a shop, houses with colourful gardens, and a jetty for pleasure boats on the river. This is actually part of Bourg des Comptes, and I could have come back down this way to the river if I had known about the bridge. The far side of the weir also has an old mill to add to the scene. The lock master's house was also very picturesque, as they mostly seem to be. What a lovely spot, where I tarried for about 3/4 of an hour before continuing.

Near Pléchatel there was another beautiful riverside park for an afternoon tea break. Now I was back to a familiar part of the river, and rode on past the charming lock Macaire for the last 7km to Guipry, arriving in time for an ice cream, if only there we had been any shops open to buy one! I am now planning a return trip to that lovely spot at Lock Gailieu.

Tuesday 28th May

Journée Ordinaire. A bit of a rest day.

Wednesday 29th May

Day trip to Redon. See separate blog entry.

Thursday 30th May

Trip to Nantes. See separate blog entry.

Friday 31st May

Returned to Guipry-Messac. Took the train to Rennes to pick up a rental car, and headed off on my Brittany road trip. See separate blog entries for the trip!

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