The Wild West Coast of France

After a beautiful couple of days, leaving the Cote du Granit Rose was really difficult, but with the promise of hiking in a beautiful national park and beautiful cliff views, we headed off.

Commana

We looked for an Aires for ages, and eventually found one that sounded lovely, in Commana, within what looked like walking distance to a lake (Botmeur). We drove around the village for a little while before realising that a sloping layby by some bins behind a deserted sports hall covered in graffiti with smashed windows was the spot. Not our most beautiful park up. Retrospectively, there are some absolutely stunning spots that we missed because we just didn't know what we were doing at the time.


It was a beautiful morning so, making the most of a bad situation, I decided to try and do some laundry, specifically pants and socks. Due to the lovely weather, I convinced Lloyd that we should try to make the walk to the lake and go for a freezing afternoon swim in a lake.


Half an hour into the journey it started to drizzle. We weren't completely prepared, but it was bearable. Then it got worse... A lot worse. We walked for another hour, completely lost. According to Google Maps, we were completely on track and nearly there. We found a village that had a sign with directions to the lake, we followed them and walked down a pathway thinking it was a way to the lake. It wasn’t.


When we eventually found the right route down to the lake, we walked past some hunters who we're sure were trying to warn us, but we had come so far, we weren't going to let the potential of being shot scare us away. We reached the lake and were surprised to see a No swimming sign. It was all for nothing. There was no route to walk around it. There was no option to swim. We hadn't carried a kayak the whole way (sadly) so couldn't kayak. And then the rain came down harder. If we hadn't laughed, I'm sure we would have cried.


When we eventually got back to the van, we added our soaking clothes to the socks and pants we were trying to dry and settled in for a cosy night.


Crozon

Time to head out to the coast. We looked to find some more natural spots to park for the night around Crozon and found a few that turned out to be down dirt tracks that forbade any sort of motorised vehicle. Lloyd has become a pro at the impossible 3-point turns.


Eventually, we decided to just take a break for lunch and found a massive car park at the end of the peninsula, Cap d'Chevre. There was a big sign at the entrance to the carpark that said camping was forbidden, however, the imagery suggested that it was more the external kind than sleeping in a van. We parked up and decided to risk it for a biscuit.


We had a lovely walk around the peninsula. With loads of different possibilities to hike around in nearly all directions, it's a beautiful place to go for the day. I imagine it would be even more beautiful in lovely weather.


treberon

We risked it, and it paid off! We left the spot really early so as to not tempt fate and headed for somewhere Lloyd had found online near the Pointe de Penhir. We found a completely secluded car park with no regulation with an unbelievable view of the ocean.


A huge storm rolled in whilst we ate our breakfast, with the winds picking up from 56km/h to 72km/h. The van rocked backwards and forwards and there was just no respite. During a lull in the rain, Lloyd and I went for a walk along the cliff face, leaning into the wind and still being propped up. When the rain came back in, we headed back to the van.


The wind carried on rocking the van, so feeling seasick, we decided to head off to find somewhere else for the night.

We passed a couple of spots before eventually landing on one in Treberon, another spot which at first seemed just as windy but in a stroke of genius, I told Lloyd to pull in between the bushes and they absorbed most of the wind!!


Around 6, the sun came out! We walked out and found the most beautiful view. We walked along a rocky cliff edge and followed a little path down to some stone steps that led onto a gorgeous beach. We sat and watched the sun go down whilst the waves rolled in smiling at each other.


We breathed in the salty air and remembered that this was why we were travelling. We went back to the van just as the eye of the storm passed over us and then the rain and wind returned. Our hearts were a little happier after that glimpse of sunshine.


quiberon

Our next stop was Quiberon. Quiberon is a peninsula which means big crashing atlantic waves on one side and calm lagoon on the other. Our little park up for the evening was right on the edge of the cliff. It was a very busy spot despite the stormy weather and we could see why. The views were spectacular and the paths were lovely.


Lac de frace

A beautiful aires next to a free lake was not what we were expecting so far off the beaten track, but it was a lovely overnight stop on our way down to Bordeaux. Very peaceful with lots of large, flat parking spots. A lovely little stopover.


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