2017 E5 walk, day 28: La Gilais to Dinan
Rather than get a lift back into Guenroc, I simply walked the extra 30 minutes or so along the farm roads. It was a nice warm-up for the day.
Before I reached the trail, I stopped by a café that had caught my eye the night before. It turned out to be a small family business, Les Plaisirs de Mam Flo (something like “Ma Flo’s Pleasures”?), selling coffee but also sauces and terrines. I talked to the owner for a short time, and bought a jar of “Plaisir d’Armorique” (“Armorican1 Pleasure”?) terrine.2
By early afternoon, the trail had lazily made its way to the Rance river, which I would follow for the next few days. Along this stretch (from where the GR 34C joined it, just north of the town of Évran, north to the Atlantic), the river felt very tamed — wide, straight banks and a gentle current. It felt a little like the Nantes–Brest canal (last seen about a week previously).
The trail detoured one block inland in Léhon to pass a lovely abbey, the Abbaye Saint-Magliore de Léhon. I stopped to peek around for a few minutes before continuing.
Léhon was a little satellite town to my destination for the day, the town of Dinan. I was actually staying a little farther north, on the outskirts of the town, and the place wasn’t scheduled to open for another hour and a half, so I headed up from the river into town to look around.
I stayed at a youth hostel perhaps 20 minutes’ walk from the center of town, up a little valley from the Rance. I had been walking for more then four straight weeks, and since I was able to get a tiny private room in the hostel, I decided to stay an extra night, and treat myself to a “zero-day”, making zero forward progress on the walk.
It felt luxurious to unpack for the night and not have to think about packing back up again early the next morning. I strolled back into Dinan, and ate dinner at Crêperie Au Coin de la Breizh.3 Then I wandered around town a bit, scouting for a laundromat for the next day.
Dinan was super-cute. It had somehow managed to not get blown to hell during either war, and kept its medieval walls. The old town has lots of half-timbered buildings, with stone for the ground floor and timber and plaster on the upper floors.
By the time I headed back to the hostel, it was dark. I walked up the mill road with my headlamp shining red on the back of my head and my phone flashlight ahead of me, and no cars ran me over.
Côtes-d’Armor, the département of Brittany that I spent the least time in, takes its name from the Roman province of Armorica. (A département is a subdivision of a région; Brittany is one of 13 régions in mainland France. Brittany’s three other départements are Finistère (where I started the walk), Ille-et-Vilaine, and Morbihan.) ↩︎
“Ingrédients: porc 86,10%, oignon, œuf, amidon de maïs, sel non nitrité, cidre 1,10%, muscade, poivre.” I was firmly corrected that it was not pâté: The latter is smooth and usually made of poultry liver, while terrine is much more coarse and variable in contents and texture. ↩︎