2017 E5 walk, day 8: Le Faou to Skiriou

Section 3, Day 8
Le Faou
low 50 °F
high 55 °F
41,755 steps
18.0 miles

I broke camp and waited impatiently for the pharmacy to open, in the meantime stocking up on bread and pastries from Bou­lan­ge­rie-Pâtisserie Michel. The pharmacist was of course incredibly kind and helpful, and I got a good supply of ibuprofen. This immediately became part of my daily diet — not a large dose after the first few days, but almost every day for the rest of the walk.1 I felt like a new man within an hour, and made good time for the rest of the day.

A muddy trail, heading roughly east, lies nestled between two brambly slopes, with a looming tree ahead.  The middle of the trail has a winding rivulet, but there is solid ground on either side of it.
The trail had become a tiny stream here, but not so bad that I couldn’t walk along the side.

The landscape was different again: While the first days were along coastal bluffs, and the recent days (aside from the upper slopes of Ménez Hom) were farmland, this was mostly what in the United States we might call a national forest (specifically, Forêt Domaniale du Cranou, domaniale meaning “of the state”).

A wide dirt track heads directly ahead, to the east-northeast, through an arched tunnel, passing under a railroad line.  Brush lines the track on this side of the line, and trees are visible beyond.
Passing under a train track.

My long walk’s Instagram account notes that there were a few sprinkles this day, but I don’t remember them, and the sources I’ve been using for the weather don’t record a measurable amount. More notably, I continued to see evidence of the recent storm, in the form of freshly-fallen trees.

Below another wide dirt track, heading southeast, is a stream, running white past several rocks.  Trees grow everywhere but the stream and track:  across the stream, on the slope between stream and track, and on the slope above the track.
The trail went down into two different gorges, this one for the Rivière de Saint-Rivoal.

Around 5:30 PM or so, I finally left the trail at the little settlement of Skiriou and headed down along farming roads for almost an hour (about as far as I was willing to stray from the trail) to the night’s campsite, La Ferme du Tuchennou, near the town of Brasparts.

A small stone chapel sits windowless in a small, grassy field, to the east-southeast.  A calvary stands in the field, and a wooden gate suggests the area is closed to guests.
The charming Chapelle Saint-Sébastien, near the settlement — I hesitate to call it a village — of Doulvenn Vraz, on the way from Skiriou to Tuchennou.

As with some past campsites, this was simply some farmland attached to a house. The owners weren’t home when I arrived, but I pitched my tent in a likely spot, and their son showed up a little later and confirmed I was in the right place. As I made my salami sandwich for dinner, a friendly German shepherd showed up to see if I might have anything to share, but he eventually drifted away, and I settled down to sleep for the night.

A German shepherd lies on the grass, not quite making eye contact.  The photo is taken from the entry to the tent; the tent’s rainfly is barely visible in the bottom right corner.
You can’t tell here, but his tail was slowly wagging.
Map of the day’s route.

  1. After my right ankle finally stopped hurting in the following weeks, my left ankle started acting up for a bit, though not as badly or for as long. ↩︎