Friday, 28 October 2011

Bimbling Beyond the Boardwalk


If I'm honest I have to say that my first impression of Benodet wasn't that favourable.  The season for these Breton seaside towns is very short lived and by the end of September many  traders, hoteliers and campsite owners have shut up shop and will not reopen again until June.  This leaves resorts like this one looking decidedly lacklustre.  But after I'd ventured past the main boardwalk area of the seaside promenade on my ill fated bike ride the other day I started to warm to the place.  Beyond the casino and the thalasso centre where apparently, white coat clad therapists do strange but entirely chaste things with sea water, the coastal scenery is stunning,  This time we set off in the other direction from our hotel, with me on foot and Louis on his scooter for a morning stroll in the drizzle.  I was very taken by this cormorant colony on  their offshore rocky perches.  Or could they be shags?  In silhouette from a distance these birds are far more aesthetically pleasing than when viewed close They've got an oily appearance as if they'd gone for a swim in a deep fat fryer.  It's not a good look.

What I love about coastpath walking is that the scenery often changes dramatically around each corner.  We escaped the bustle of the main town and arrived in this tranquil rock pool dominated landscape in just a matter of a few minutes.  Here we resumed a near impossible task we've set ourselves - to find an empty sea urchin shell.  I discovered this rare treasure about two years ago on a Breton beach but unfortunately in his enthusiasm Louis broke it so we're looking for a replacement.  My guess is that as they're so fragile  they're normally smashed to pieces  by the waves before they get to shore which coupled with relatively rarity of the species means that they're quite hard to find.  Still, we'll continue looking and if we're successful our find will be kept wrapped in a cosy box lined with lots of cotton wall to keep it intact.  We just found a washed up lobster pot today.  No free food for us though.  The crab caught inside it had met his maker long ago.  All that was left of him was his claws.

As we were heading back the rain stopped and yes, those are glimpses of a glassy blue sky  that I spotted above a very tranquil sea.  Louis thought the distant land was England but he was way out given that this is the Atlantic and there's a ninety minute drive to the channel coast from here.  I wasn't sure if those marvellous fluffy clouds on the horizon boded well for sunseekers and it turned out that my meteorological musings were correct.  Later in the day the big grey clouds moved in again, dominating the sky. That Indian summer that I'd hoped might make an appearance for a bit of this this holiday now looks less and less likely.

1 comment:

  1. How very beautiful. We have brought sea urchin shells home intact ( lots of wrapping ) only to have one of the cats knock them off the shelf :(

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