2017 E5 walk, day 26: Trémelin to Montauban-de-Bretagne

Section 7, Day 26
low 41 °F
high 61 °F
40,224 steps
15.5 miles

I paid for the previous night (to the mild disgruntlement of the attendant, who wanted me to have arrived early enough to have paid last night, which was fair), and then headed out.

The trail went more or less due north this day. From Trémelin, it was a bit more than an hour to the town of Iffendic.

Rows of stadium-style benches, perhaps 60′ long and covered by a simple roof, descend directly to a body of water.  The water is still and has a scattering of lily pads.  In the immediate foreground is part of a railing, perhaps part of a bridge over the water.  Beyond the roof to the northeast can be seen the tops of trees, and at the left in the distance, a church tower can barely be seen.
It took me the longest time to figure out that this was a place for washing clothes. The roof must have made it luxurious, at least as much as backbreaking labor can be, compared with the uncovered laundry sites I’d seen elsewhere on the walk.

Iffendic is apparently located where two Roman roads met, though I think the GR 37 didn’t follow either for very long if at all. I stopped for pastries at Zeste de Gourmandise, and then continued north out of town.

To the northwest, a large church stands above the intersection of two paved roads.  The church is almost ten feet above the intersection; the retaining walls, and the church itself, are the same brown stone that has been seen in recent days.  The bell tower is broad and tall, with a small white clock; the tower was visible in the distance of the previous photo.  Stairs lead up to the church from the intersection and the left-hand road.  White signs at the intersection indicate destinations along the various roads.  Thin clouds do little to hide the blue sky above.
The Église Saint-Éloi d’Iffendic, at what I’d guess was the Roman crossroads. Saint Éloi (Eligius in English) is the patron saint of coin collectors, among other things.
On a one-lane paved road between two fields, a tractor is driving away to the east.  The back has some kind of wide cutting machinery, perhaps suitable for wheat.  The right field looks grassy; the left looks ready for seed.  To the right, the sky is mostly clear, but to the left, clouds are grey.
This was the best picture I got of the business end of a tractor. The trail often followed farm roads, paved or unpaved, so I probably saw more tractors in the two months of the walk than the entire rest of my life.

The trail passed through the village of Saint-Uniac, then the modern-seeming town of Montauban-de-Bretagne. (The route felt like I was skirting a suburb, though the town’s population was barely 5000.)

To the north, a highway runs along an elevated embankment, with two cars visible on it.  Grass covers the slope, and one tree.  Under the highway runs a dark tunnel, with a dirt path leading up to it.  A round sign — white with a red border, the center obscured by black spray paint — is posted at the top of the entrance.
The northern border of Montauban was a highway; this wasn’t the most appealing tunnel I walked through.

North of Montauban, the trail went through a forest1, alongside and on various forestry roads. I broke off from the trail and headed east towards my night’s accommodations.

Since I arrived before my host, I continued past for a short distance to the pleasingly-named2 settlement of le Lou-du-Lac, and the nearby village of la Chapelle-du-Lou.

The château and chapel of le Lou-du-Lac.

The AirBnB no longer seems to be listed; it was in the settlement of les Vieux Villes, between le Lou-du-Lac and the forest. It was actually the entire settlement: Les Vieux Villes, by the map, consists of exactly two buildings (at this scale, each building is distinctly shown as a little black rectangle).3

Even after my detour to le Lou-du-Lac, I arrived at the AirBnB before my host, so I sat and read a bit. The place was a farmhouse from the 1700s, recently renovated. Eventually, the host arrived; while he was negotiating some kind of car sale, I met his large dog and made myself a simple pasta dinner. I slept soundly in one of the upstairs bedrooms.

Map of the day’s route.

  1. Forêt Domaniale de Montauban, another national forest↩︎

  2. euphonious (adj.): pleasing to the ear↩︎

  3. This was another lieu-dit↩︎