Thursday 29 July, 2017
Morlaix and the skinny house
These are the last few days of holiday. Not that I am going home to go back to work, come to think of it. Now that thought has cheered me up considerably so I guess now I can happily write about the holiday which is really just a part of the very long holiday. Maybe if I do not work, I cannot, logically, have holidays. Enough of that, it is too much like thinking, too much like hard work.
Yesterday, today and tomorrow, then Saturday and then Sunday. Sunday is the beginning of the long trek. The day will start with a trek because there are no buses to the ferry. It is about a half-hour walk and we will need to set off about 7.30 in the morning. The forecast is for fine weather. I am not concerned about the state of the sea for the trip; the ferry is bigger than those plying Cook Strait. Rather I am concerned about the walk to get the ferry. Today it poured down in the late afternoon. We are well out to the point of Finistere and subject to the vagaries of the Atlantic coast and the Gulf Stream.
Yesterday we caught the local bus to Morlaix, about 45 minutes away. Morlaix has a huge railway viaduct passing over the downtown area. The viaduct is massive, built from pink granite, with arches upon arches. The Allies tried to bomb it during the war but they were unsuccessful. Maybe the bombs bounced off. It is massive and looks as though it would withstand most anything soldiers could throw at it. We climbed to the top of the first set of arches passing a charming little skinny house on the way. It was only one room thick with windows on to the street in front but not at the end, and only a door on the back wall.
The second set of viaduct arches probably rose another 40 meters above us as we walked across the lower set. From our vantage point we could see down to the harbour and of course that is the direction in which we set off once down from on high.
The harbour was lock-bound and provided a marina for about 200 yachts and power boats. The lock would probably be able to handle vessels of maybe 100 feet in length and seemed much larger than would be needed for today’s maritime traffic.
Earlier in the day, back in Roscoff, we happened upon the arrival, unloading, loading, and departure of the landing craft barge taking freight to the island of Batz. The crew were clearly adept at handling the trucks and freight pallets. The first truck came off pretty much as the ramp hit the slipway. I guess there was a hurriedness to the operation because the tide was either rising or falling rapidly. The real danger would be becoming stranded by a falling tide. The vulnerable part of the landing craft is the two legs at the back where both propulsion and steerage are provided. Letting the legs ground would probably result in damage.
We ended the day, as is usually the case, back at the flat, eating tea while writing. We eat out infrequently. One of the first things we do at each new stop is shop for the basics, like porridge, paper towels and other boring stuff, setting up the week for budget dining. It is not that we are tightwads (actually yes, we are), but because we eat much as we do at home, lots of salad and vegetables with limited meat.
Our internet connections have been either very good or non-existent. This week we are back to the dongle. Dongles are great except at those times everyone is on their mobile phone. The 3G network seems choked at times. Still we are pleased to have the dongle, it suffices when there is no other connection available.
Tomorrow I will do the laundry and we may not do much else. Saturday we will pack and Sunday we will rise at the crack of dawn and walk to the ferry. I have bought two of those ridiculous plastic ponchos, the ones that cover everything including the pack. With luck they will be discarded unused once we arrive at the Portsmouth accommodation.