Wednesday 28th October
Tuesday was a bit of a wash out and something to be forgotten about. After Monday’s glorious weather, Tuesday was mostly overcast with plenty of drizzle. Our next port of call (port, get it?) was St Malo; somewhere I had read that it was a very nice place to visit but after driving through the rain we found the main aire was closed. There was somewhere we could have parked but it didn’t look great so we dialled in another aire nearer the town.
This turned out to be even more unsuitable than the closed aire! Motorhomes were parked up alongside a road serving industrial units so we abandoned St Malo, everything looked grey and bleak so we made our way to Cancale which is famous for it’s oysters. Julius Ceaser was partial to an oyster or two from here as was Napoleon who had them shipped daily to wherever he was upsetting the locals. No aire though so off to Dinard and then Dinan (lovely medieval town but motorhome unfriendly), then a municipal aire, not brilliant and then Lancieux. It’s in our All the Aires book but was last inspected in 2010 and it looks like the area is no longer an aire. There were no signs, the area was marked out for cars so reluctantly we moved on again.
In the end we found an aire at St Jacut de la Mer, a relatively new (still being built in 2010) aire with good sized pitches and the ticket machine was out of order so we didn’t have to pay.
Since it was still raining it was time to check out the travel books and see if there was anything we might want to see in the locality and hope the weather improves.
We found mention of a place called Fort la Latte so went to give that a look see, after a few spots of rain first thing in the morning the sun came out and it has been a proper shorts and t-shirt day. When we arrived everything was closed up, it didn’t open until 1.30pm and only in school holidays. There was a footpath next to the entrance which is called GR34, part of the French National Footpath system. This path was used by customs officers in the past looking for smugglers and illegal immigrants. The coast is lovely here with rugged coves and sandy beaches.
We followed the path and this is our first view of the fort.
And this view is from the other side.
After lunch it was opening time so off we went exploring. There were lots of signs in French and “chinese” English but it was really lovely here. The fort was first founded in 937 but it was around 1364 when it was really developed into a fortress to defend the bay from hostile shipping. In 1379 over 2,000 soldiers tried to take the fort but the 60 occupants held them off. The English tried taking it in 1490 but were held off as well. In 1715 James III Stuart took refuge here but found it to be rather sinister but then he did land here in a storm.
The building centre front was for making canon balls. It consists of a long sloping hearth with chimney at the high end. I couldn’t quite work out how it all worked but at the lower end was a rounded trough along which the canons must have run possibly shaping them into round balls but it just wasn’t very clear.
The view from right at the top of the round tower.
We’ve found an aire about four miles from the Fort at Pleherel Plage. We were the first here and after checking the ticket machine bought a ticket. Since then five more motorhomes have turned up and ignored the ticket machine completely.
When we were at Honfleur in a very large overfilled aire no one wanted to park next to us.Here we are on an empty aire and we have neighbours both sides so close you couldn’t squeeze an Italian motorhome between us – why?