Roscoff to Plougasnou - Days 4 and 5

The route

The Video:

The Downloads:

Downloads for this route in Garmin Google Earth and .GPX formats

The files are in .zip format. They need to be unzipped and saved to a directory of your choice. You can then load them into the appropriate application and GPS.

The Blog

Roscoff to Plougasnou

Monday and Tuesday 25th and 26th April 2011

Arriving by magic carpet into a nicely French Roscoff even at 7.00 French time was a very pleasant experience. The beautiful small town was just waking up. We made our way through the narrow streets to the Hotel Aux Tamaris in the hope, sadly forlorn, that we could book in early. They were even unable to offer us breakfast so we soon found a friendly café.

Monday was billed as a day off but we had agreed to meet Emmanuel, a photographer sent by Brittany Tourism which seems, beyond all logical comprehension, to want photographs of us.

After a short ride along the seafront we had our photos taken in several places ending up at the chapel of Ste-Barbe. After the photo call we stayed at this lovely spot having our picnic and lazing in the sun. Emmanuel, who is both pleasant and very professional, met us again in the evening and is planning to join us on our ride at intervals.

On Tuesday after some brief photos on the sea front we made our way out of Roscoff and were soon in the country lanes. Roscoff has a marked cycle route, the V7, going south which was easy to follow. There were frequent views of the rocky coast as we progressed on the rolling road through onion fields.

It was market day at Saint-Pol-de-Léon with the usual colourful stalls of a French street market taking up most of the town centre. We walked our bikes through, looking for socks and beach shoes. The fruit and vegetables were very tempting but we did not need them on this trip.

Rocky Roscoff

Emmanuel suddenly appeared out of the crush with his camera and managed some more photos. We think he must have fitted a tracking device to our bikes.

We continued on the signed route along the River Penzé which now went away from the sea. It was particularly useful for us where it bypassed stretches of main road which seemed unavoidable on the map.

We joined the D769 road and it was a pleasure to cycle on a smooth highway almost completely devoid of other traffic. The V7 ended about here and we did not need this or indeed our planned alternative route on tiny country lanes.

We made swift progress (for us) as we climbed out of the Penzé valley and descended into the Morlaix valley. The road follows the river into the town. It was busier here than the quiet of Penzé but still fine for cyclists with lovely views to make up for the extra cars.

Approaching Morlaix the chantiers navaux boat yards become more frequent and the new concrete road bridge takes the main road traffic away from the town.

Looking through the concrete arches of the new bridge is the much more picturesque older bridge which does the same for the railway. But this much prettier bridge is right in the town centre above the old merchants’ houses and the port.

Another interesting church

We collected some supplies and made our way north out of town, this time on the east bank of the river. We enjoyed a picnic lunch in the sun and managed to get an hour’s charge into the battery at a site being dismantled after an Easter weekend event.

It was not until almost 15.00 that we looked across the river to the point where we had joined it on the other side over two hours ago. It would of course be nice to have a ferry here but the steep muddy banks would appear to rule this out.

For the rest of our ride to Diben near Plougasnou we were beside the sea and the beautiful Granite Rose coast with its long rocky inlets. We had distant views all the way back to Roscoff. The coast here is quite low lying with few steep climbs making it ideal for cycling and there were also few other vehicles.

Our hotel at Diben is situated at the head of a deep bay with views of the sea from the dining room. An excellent cuisine with basic two star comfort is provided. It is so nice to see that this style of traditional hotel still exists in France. Even here the main chains seemed to have taken over in the larger towns.

Today was the best ride so far for us. We enjoyed the rolling terrain and the peace and quiet of the countryside. We also had plenty of opportunities to enjoy the coast. It was a lovely day.