pile.org

2017 E5 walk, day 2: Trouérennec to Pors Peron

Section 1, Day 2
Trouérennec
4°37′57.0″W
48°3′58.3″N
Pors Peron
4°29′8.6″W
48°5′9.3″N
low 48 °F
high 64 °F
42,222 steps
15.7 miles

This morning was when I first noticed the amazing blisters on my toes that would accompany me on the rest of the trip.

I detoured back into Cléden-Cap-Sizun to stop at Bou­lan­ge­rie Kérisit for breakfast. (This quickly became my standard morning routine: If at all possible, stop at a bakery for a couple croissants and/or pains au chocolat (chocolate croissants), and maybe a little tart or something, to hold me roughly until lunch.) I then headed back to where I left the trail and continued east.

The plant of the day was gorse — it didn’t cover every square inch of available land, but sometimes it seemed like it.

The trail is a beaten dirt strip heading east, winding and disappearing over a low rise.  To either side is a narrow verge of what looks like grass, past which are dry brambles.  The ground drops to the left down to the grey ocean, and ahead can be seen a winding coastline with rocky cliffs and islets.  The sky above is a grey barely distinguishable from the water below.
This is another trail typical of the first few days: narrow, winding, and prone to muddiness, but with dramatic views at every turn. The view ahead promises more of the same for the next 45 minutes to hour or so. (Note the dry gorse to either side of the trail.)

The terrain was a little more varied than the day before, and the trail headed away from the water a little more frequently. On the other hand, there were more streams, which inevitably meant the trail would dip down close to sea level, cross the stream, and then climb back up to cliff height.

Immediately in front is the edge of a bluff; we can’t see what is below.  Looking across the gap we see another slope, with the trail winding up from below.  The slope has some large rocks, but is mostly covered with dead brown vegetation.
Looking across a typical stream crossing. (The stream itself is below, not visible here, flowing from right to left.) Note the long climb waiting for me, tucked among the dry, brown gorse.

I got my first good views of wind turbines (éoliennes, a frequent sight in Brittany), and the trail took me through several apparently-abandoned fields, along with one pasture still in use (though I didn’t encounter any animals).

A rustic wooden gate is in a barbed-wire fence.  It is closed, and opens into the field, away from the viewer.  On the near side is a sturdy post.  A rope is tied to the gate and the post, and in the middle between the two is tied a heavy rock.  The trail is visible winding through the hilly field on the other side of the gate; otherwise, the field is filled with scrubby brush and occasional rocks.
Note the gate’s primitive-clever self-closing mechanism: a rope attached to a post and the gate, with a heavy rock tied in the middle to pull the gate closed.
The trail leads to a field that is mostly enclosed by a rough rock wall, entering through a gap in the wall.  In the distance to the left, we see a bit of the Atlantic Ocean.  In the foreground, and possibly in the field, is more scrubby brush.
The trail went through the break in the wall and skirted the inside, then out through another break at the left side of the picture.

I also passed a charming little one-room hut perched atop of a steep slope down to the ocean. It was called Ti Félix (ti or ty is Breton for house, so “Félix’s house”1), and had apparently been renovated recently. (I wonder if it would have been possible to stay there.)

A path is beaten through the tall grass to a tiny hut, apparently perched on the edge of a cliff.  A picturesque tree, limbs permanently bent from the sea breezes, forms a kind of archway in front of the hut.  In the foreground to the left is a post labelled “TI FELIX”, with informational icons and the name of the local community:  “Commune de GOULIEN”.
Ti Félix above the Atlantic.

The trail eventually dropped down to a little beach, Plage Pors Peron; my campsite (Camping Pors Peron) was just a quarter mile or so up the road from the beach’s parking lot, run by an English couple who moved to Brittany a decade or two ago. The previous days’ campsites were basically repurposed farm fields, but this was a more formal campsite — a drive for cars and their trailers, plots separated by little hedges, a swimming pool, and a tiny grocery store.

Map of the day’s route.

  1. It’s not directly relevant here, but I haven’t found a better place to reference it, so I’ll use this as an excuse to link to a 1977 article about Breton place names (PDF available at that link), which I found fascinating. ↩︎