Saturday, October 31, 2015

Best west coast walk

Chateau de Dinan
Revisited my favourite coastal route in Brittany this week. The stretch between Camaret and the Cap de la Chèvre has everything a walker could possibly want - and then some. Natural features like the so-called Chateau de Dinan, the extraordinary raised beach at Porz Koubou and other geological wonders like pillow-lavas, historical sites such as the Iron Age éperon barré at Lostmarc'h, a memorable sight below you after breasting a high ridge, looking down on the lines of defensive ditches and ramparts that once protected a small community from their enemies.
Raised beach
Other works of defence are remnants of the Mur d'Atlantique, German protection of this wild west coast, where only the most foolhardy would ever have considered any sort of landing. Surfers haunt the vast beaches here but it is too dangerous for swimming.
The coastal path streaks through moorland - gorse, heather and low spiky thorn - down to beaches, up to yet more cliffs, the gradient sometimes decidedly steep, the proximity to the edge precarious. It's all the very best of coastal walking, seeing the paths rippling ahead across the contours, looking back on headlands conquered one by one. At the end is the reward of the Cap de la Chèvre itself, with a WII memorial to the naval air arm, granite plane-wing rising against the blue sky - for I felt not a drop of rain that day, despite black clouds menacing from time to time.

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