The End of August: We Set Off For France

img_4620.jpg‘Travel broadens the mind’ says the well-known quote, although I currently don’t have sufficient wi-fi to consider researching who actually coined the phrase. And I don’t mean to be detrimental to the motorway network of Great Britain but I don’t believe the author of that quote was talking about the M5 here.  We did however enjoy a smooth and surprisingly free-flowing trip down it yesterday, failing dismally to broaden our minds with a newspaper crossword while covering a surprising 225 miles to reach Plymouth docks in good order with a brief and minor diversion for a social visit in Bristol en route,

Sufficient wi-fi? Well, yes, typing this in a lounge area of  “Armorique’ – a Brittany Ferry – as we cross a thankfully only-slightly-swelling English Channel towards Roscoff, I’m worried that switching apps will leave me staring at the whirring-wheel-of weak-wi-fi for as long again as it has waiting for this page to load.

All is well with our journey so far. An overnight stop in the dockside queue of other early-arriving motorhomes was disturbed far too early by the Port’s designated ‘knocker-upper’ who awoke us from our slumbers at dawn. Ample time to brew a cuppa and then join the same queue to roll into the bowels of Armorique (apply the handbrake and engage first gear, please sir) and then retire – having first consumed Full English (served up with a French accent) — to a surprisingly spacious sea-view cabin to sleep off our disturbed slumbers.

Roscoff greeted us with bright sunshine and we were quickly processed into a convoy of anxious Motorhomers, feeling our way, en masse out of the port and onto French roads – our first outing onto the continent of Europe.

Satnav, in the inimitable style of most modern technology, insisted on providing us only with guidance through Finland, so ably assisted by an ace navigator who thankfully comes from the last generation of humans who can map-read, we progressed through the edges of Finistere towards our selected first destination for the night – a France Passion location at Plouviens, which had also piqued our interest being set on a trout-farm.

We reached our destination, a picturesque but unremarkable rural family home set in a wooded and rivered valley to find it was indeed a trout-farm – as we discovered on a brief exploratory walk-about. Free-flowing waters of the river fed cricket-pitch sized concrete tanks – in which huge and well-camouflaged trout languidly swam. We met our host, a few attempts at each others’ language established the commonality of failed conversation, and we retired to the van for yet another brew and to ponder what we might do next, having settled too far from the town of Plouvien to make a cycle trip or walk there worthwhile.

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