This morning we said goodbye to La Roche-Derrien. When were looking for gite to spend our first week in Brittany we had no idea of where to stay. We weren’t looking by location other than we wanted something in the northern part of Brittany. When we first saw this gite we weren’t sure it was what we wanted but the more we looked the more we realized this was the real France. And indeed, it truly was.
The reflection in the water above the dam for the ancient mill says far more than we ever could say about the town and our stay here. Just like Helen and Jack, this is our own As Good As It Gets. You can not plan experiences like this, they can only happen, and if you think otherwise, I will say point blank, you are never going to have an experience like this.
We are heading south to our second gite, this time in the town of Josselin. Rather than charge off and drive on the main roads, we opted for the less traveled secondary roads, the ones that took us through the countryside and small, but interesting towns. It took longer, but it was worth every minute.
As we were driving along Linda asked how the fuel situation was. I said we still had more than a quarter tank and it was showing we could drive nearly 300 kilometers before it was empty. No sooner had we finished that conversation than we came upon a Total station that had an attendant and 32 liters later we had a full tank.
Calculating our diesel consumption in miles per gallon it is 49.6 miles/gallon, or more than six times what the fuel mileage of the coach is. Obviously the concept of small diesel engines in cars is contrary to the way the US approaches fuel mileage and pollution. It’s okay though because the more we sink toward third world status the more likely we are to receive foreign aid from the 1st world countries.
As we drove along, more than once Linda remarked how it was very much like driving through a State park. She took a number of photos, most of which are blurry. But we know what it was like and we loved it. The slow back way is by far the best way. Why hurry? We have the rest of our Life.
We were so far back off the beaten path that even the cows wondered what someone was doing driving on this road.
Menhair with a cross on top in a cow pasture alongside the road. They weren’t marked on the map but we saw several more as we explored the countryside.
Lavoir in a small town. It was where the women of the town would come to wash their clothes. The fountain that was source of water for this one was dated 1718.
Potty break in a small town. It was a squatty potty.
Linda, the ever prepared, making sure she has a supply of toilet paper before visiting the community toilet. I feel sorry for the cruise ship people who never get out out into the countryside and because of that, don’t experience the real France. As the old travellers saying goes: If you ain’t used a squatty potty with no toilet paper, you ain’t been to France.
Linda was fascinated by the tiny fern growing outside the door the town toilet. She wondered how it could grow out of rock. I explained that it was because everyone who came out of the toilet after discovering there was no toilet paper, wiped their fingers on the rock which provided plenty of fertilizer for the fern. She may not have believed me but it sounded plausible to me. Brainy Bob.
Another town, another lavoir. why speed through the towns on your route? You miss all the good things if you do. Oh, I know why, you planned out all the things you wanted to see before you came over to Europe, the heck with doing anything on the spur of the moment, have to make sure you get that photo of you standing in front of the Eiffel Tower. Bob and Linda, traveling at our own speed and without any Eiffel Tower photos this trip.
Another cow pasture, another dolman. What can I say, we like what we like.
There is a story behind that huge smile. Linda was navigating. She led us into this small town and through the narrow streets near a very large church. At that point she was saying there was a creperie on the map back behind the church. Rather than drive there I opted to park on the street in front of the church. The steps above were what Linda thought was the street leading to the creperie. Glad I didn’t try to drive to it.
A centuries ago abandoned quarry. Walking up the muddy road to see it probably isn’t on most European visitors bucket list. We love finding things like this, but then again, seeking out things like this is exactly what we like to do as we travel around the States in our coach. And it wasn’t just being here, it was also watching the yellow bellied birds we couldn’t identify flying around in the trees overhead.
Somewhere down this road was the town we would be staying in for the next week.
Our gite came with its own “guard cat”. That’s the Nantes-Brest canal in the background. Another gite, another 10. It really isn’t luck, actually ,we are very, very good at what we do. Delusional Bob.
Horses tied to the old well in the town square that is ringed with restaurants. Talk about staying in an authentic French town, this is an authentic French town, you just think you stayed in an authentic French town. And the smell only added to the true nature of the the experience.
We spent over an hour later in the evening along the canal towpath that is right in front of our gite, looking at views like this. Awesome really is the only word to describe today.