Monday 4 June
Carnac, France. Rest Day 0km Total 200km
We are beside the Gulf of Morbihan on the south coast of Brittany on a narrow peninsula halfway between the medieval town Vannes and the seaside resort Quiberon,
Woke to see a big heron form gliding above blurred oak leaves and across the lake. I lay awake seeing sunrise glowing over the lake while the sky slowly lightened, becoming greyer with clouds. Getting up to wash my clothes, I feel disappointed in the weather. If map reading is correct, this lake here is one of several that open out into the sea. I saw that its colour in the shallows is pale and bluish.
Later we left the site along the Rue des Alignements, seeing for the first time the rows upon rows of standing stones large and small. The aligmements at Carnac are a dense collection of megalithic sites around the village itself. There are alignments of stones, dolmens, tumuli and menhirs. In total there are more than 3,000 standing stones, which were carved from the local rock and erected by the pre-Celtic people of Brittany, during the Neolithic period, but some may date back to 4,500BC. As such they are the largest collection in the world. Recently many of the sites have been neglected with dolmens being used as sheep shelters, chicken sheds and ovens. Stones have been removed to make way for roads and as building materials.
At Carnac there are not many cafes to choose from. Talked about money and the budget. We spent a lot yesterday. But then we decided to have lunch in a rich hotel where we feel out of place amongst the well-dressed clientele with clean clothes and fashionable haircuts. The wind wasn’t half so strong after the wine and later we drank more, looking our from the tent at the thunderclouds that were going to bring a change in the weather.
Tuesday 5 June
Carnac, Morbihan, Bretagne, France Rest Day. 0 km Total 200 km
The change has arrived, not a cloud in sight, the lake beside the tent still and reflective, shimmering in places. Cuckoos are calling to each other- one flatter and further away than the other. Behind is a meadow of buttercups sloping upwards to shady trees. I watched spotty treecreepers here beside the knotted boles of ancient trees.
Cycled to Carnac for breakfast. The town looks better in the sun. At the alignments there are 1099 stones in lines. The whole of it stretches for about 2 miles. We walked along them all. It is a hot sandy landscape full of flowering gorse, the smell strong in the sun, crickets singing from all over, and carpets of violets and tormentils. A heavy scent is in the air.