2017 E5 walk, day 35: Roz-sur-Couesnon to Mont-Saint-Michel

Section 8, Day 35
low 54 °F
high 66 °F
33,713 steps
13.0 miles

Mont-Saint-Michel was not going to be a long walk away. My goal for the day was to get up early and make it to the campsite before noon, so that I could spend the afternoon sightseeing. I managed to leave around 7:30 AM, definitely early for me. (Breaking camp rarely took less than an hour, so I must have been up by 6:30 AM.)

To the southwest, a steep, tree-covered hill rises to the left, with a bright rainbow visible in the partly-cloudy sky.  Nearer are a few individual trees, and a pair of hedges by a neat lawn.
Looking back up the bluff towards Roz-sur-Couesnon, with a perfect rainbow pointing the way.

As before, the area was almost alarmingly flat, the trail following roads and paths between polders.

An elevated, grassy track, wide enough for a tractor (and the beaten grass showing signs of past vehicles), runs east between two fields, perhaps eight feet below.  To the left of the track grows a row of tall trees, backlit by the cloudy sky.  In the distance, other rows of trees run at right angles to this one.  There is no sign anywhere of any ground higher than the track.
These trees lined a path between polders.

Eventually, the trail reached les herbus, also called prés salés, the salt meadows along the shore. From there, it turned east, and soon after I left five weeks of Brittany behind, as I crossed over a barely-marked line into Normandy.

A broad, flat, grassy field extends nearly as far as the eye can see; scattered around it are scores of white sheep.  Some standing water is visible in the distance; beyond that to the north is the suggestion of a larger body of water, and beyond that is featureless land.  The sky has scattered clouds.
At the border between Brittany and Normandy, I saw these agneaux de pré-salé, salt meadow lambs. They’re grazing on salty grasses that grow in reclaimed tidal flats.

The trail headed more or less straight towards Mont-Saint-Michel, by this point prominent in the distance (though I’d been seeing it on the horizon since I rounded the Pointe du Grouin).

Another grassy, elevated track, again with signs of occasional vehicles, runs to the east, bending perhaps 10°.  In the distance to the right is a perpendicular row of trees.  Straight ahead, beyond the trees, is a roughly triangular mass; the bottom half looks naturally rugged, while the top is roofs and domes and a tall spire.  It is dark against the mostly-cloudy sky; at this distance, no more detail can be discerned.
Mont-Saint-Michel in the distance. This was about the halfway point on my morning’s walk.

Mont-Saint-Michel is a rocky island just offshore of the mouth of the Couesnon river. The trail jogged inland briefly to cross a relatively new dam over the river1, after which I left the trail and turned south to get to my campsite, Camping Aux Pommiers (“Apple Tree Camping”). I got my tent set up before noon, so I had the afternoon free to sightsee; unsurprisingly, I headed out to Mont-Saint-Michel, which I’m separating off onto its own page.

After touring, I had a cheap mid-afternoon snack at le Tripot on the island and got some postcards to send home. Returning to the campground, I did some laundry, and ate dinner across the street at la Restaurant de la Galette.

This was the end of the first major leg of the journey, five weeks of solo walking over 570 miles — the hinge, as the Kesh people would call it in Le Guin’s Always Coming Home. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was more than halfway through the walk.

Map of the day’s route.

  1. The whole hydrology of the area was recently repaired after decades of mismanagement. ↩︎