2017 E5 walk, day 13: Kroas ar Breton to Carhaix-Plouguer

Section 4, Day 13
Kroas ar Breton
low 35 °F
high 57 °F
47,686 steps
21.6 miles

I headed back down from Plouyé to Kroas ar Breton, and then further downhill back to the Aulne. I was followed partway by a very friendly young dog, but eventually convinced it to head back towards home.

Looking down a slope through trees, we see a glassy-surfaced river.  The trees are just starting to sprout leaves.  On the far side of the river is another slope, perhaps with its own trees.  The sun is shining through the trees at the top of the picture to the east.
Looking down at the Aulne from a little bit up-slope.

The trail veered towards and away from the river, eventually crossing it at Pénity Saint-Laurent, and winding south towards the town of Cléden-Poher.

A large white sign with black markings dominates the view; it shows a series of lines connected to each other at right angles.  The bottom reads “vous êtes ici”, “you are here”; the top points up towards Kergloff; in between are various destinations and turns labelled “Lann Vihan”, “Kroas Quemener”, and so on.  A road, a neatly-manicured lawn, and a house are visible beyond the sign.
As I was entering the town, I passed this amazing road sign pointing back north, the direction I came from. (I came from Lann Vihan and Boudic du Bas, though the trail is not on this map because the map is meant for cars.) Compare with a map that matches the actual terrain.
An asymmetrical church reaches into the sky, to the east-northeast.  The steeple, like the one on the chapel in Sainte-Marie-du-Mênez-Hom, is open and ornate; something like a bridge connects it to a shorter, solid tower to the left.
Cléden-Poher’s Eglise Notre-Dame de l’Assomption (Church of our Lady of the Assumption, I assume). I love this Breton style of church architecture, but the secondary tower really takes it up a notch.

I must have stayed in town for lunch, based on the timestamps of my photos, though I have no particular recollection of it. I did stop at an ATM and a bar for a recharge of my phone’s data plan.1)

The glare of the sun, to the south-southwest, makes it difficult to see, but a stone building is almost completely blanketed in vines.
Just outside Cléden-Poher. There is actually a (former) building under the vines.

A short while later, the trail descended to the Nantes–Brest Canal, which the trail would follow on and off for the next week and a half.

A broad, flat canal runs to the south.  Grass separates the canal from a paved trail on the near side; the trail is lined and shaded by trees.  Trees line the opposite side of the canal, with no trail visible there.
Looking south. This was my very first view of the canal; the trail came down the slope from behind me to the right, and followed the canal-side trail north.

After a short distance, I reached the gîte I was aiming for, at Port de Carhaix. However (this will come as no surprise to people who’ve been reading this whole journal), it wasn’t yet open for the season, at which point I was at a loss. I found internet references to a cute little place ahead on the trail, called les ânes sont dans le pré (“the donkeys are in the meadow”), but they didn’t immediately respond to my request for a room. Not having any better plan, I decided to diverge from the GR 37 (the trail headed up from the canal to Carhaix-Plouguer, and then back down) and head straight along the canal to les ânes.

I got there as evening was starting to fall, disturbing the owners from their peaceful dinner on their patio (along with their dog, cats, and chickens, and donkeys in a nearby field). They were incredibly kind and accomodating, and I met some of the animals, ate the last of my bread and salami, and turned in for the night.

Map of the day’s route.

  1. I brought my phone with me from home, but bought a prepaid local SIM in Paris before I headed out to Brittany. This needed periodic recharging, and was a source of stress for a while until I figured out how to refill it online before the plan was close to draining. (The carrier’s web site remained available even when I didn’t have any data left, so in theory I could refill it online even when I was out of data, but payment redirected me to another site which the carrier didn’t provide access to.) ↩︎