It was a lovely leisurely sleep in this morning. The wonderful Hotel Armateur has a very late breakfast end time and an even later check-out time and we took great advantage of both.
Breakfast featured some lovely scrambled eggs, delightfully evil smelling cheese and, of course, lovely coffee. We were also entertained by a group of English women who had been out dancing last night until 2am this morning. A chap who was wherever they were, climbed up onto a stage and started dancing so a few of the woman decided to do the same. Sadly one of the women didn’t quite make it. She fell off and, in her opinion, had cracked a rib. As everyone said goodbye, she implored them not to hug her.
We checked out then went a-wandering. The car hire place was closed for lunch between 12 and 1 and we couldn’t check-in at our gite in Locquirec until 4pm so we decided to wander around until it was time to go. Fortunately the lovely Hotel Armateur let us leave our bags in their luggage room.
We managed to find a few St Malo streets we’d never walked down before (these are rapidly reducing and soon we’ll have to start again) and discovered a model ship maker shop. The ship maker is clearly very skilled. There were some extraordinary examples of his work. Sadly (or fortunately) his shop was closed. Next door, however, and very much open was an antique shop which Mirinda ran into like a shop-a-holic with an uncomfortably heavy purse.
Having filled a bag with forks and lithographs, we continued our walking tour of little visited parts of St Malo.
We enjoyed a coffee quite near where Bob’s hotel was when he joined us a few years ago. We were royally entertained by a clown cum mimic who would walk behind unsuspecting people copying them. He was really very funny and had everyone in the various outside cafes in hysterics. Not so much his unknowing victims.
Eventually it was time for us to head back to the hotel and make tracks to St Malo station in order to pick up our car. Which we did following a very pleasant taxi ride with a lady driver (first time in France for us). I’d like to say that picking the car up was as easy as last time…but it wasn’t…so I won’t. Still, after a bit of hassle we were wandering around the car park looking for our car for the week.
It was then buckle up and head out of St Malo, a route we’ve driven many times and yet which still proves stressful…though not this time. Mirinda was determined not to get angry and stressed while leaving the city. She did very well which forced me to do even better…and we were very quickly (and happily) cruising along the motorway heading for Locquirec.
Spotting a handy rest stop which boasted a coffee cup we decided to check out if it had food as well. Imagine how happy we were when we found a white van with a great long list of options painted on the side. Imagine our horror when we asked the scary looking woman (Was it really a woman? We weren’t sure.) and she grunted something in French which meant she didn’t have any of it. It turned out the only food she had was hamburger. Shaking with fear, we ordered two.
The scary lady then started throwing the makings of her hamburgers around the little van. Fortunately most of it fell on the hot plate and she proceeded to make two for us. As I stood and watched, various other customers approached and asked for things only to be met with the same grunt of negation (so it wasn’t just us). They would then walk away, disappointed that her world famous frites had run out.
As it turned out, when she handed me the burgers she was very pleasant (perhaps she works out her grumpiness on food preparation) and they tasted pretty good. Still, when you fancy a ham and cheese sandwich and you have to settle for a begrudged hamburger…well there’s just no pleasing some people.
I should mention that Mirinda took great pains to establish that the meat in the burgers was cow rather than pony. Given the attitude of the scary woman, it could have been anything.
So, having filled ourselves with unexpected burgers, we headed back onto the motorway only to be caught in a sudden very black cloud full of very wet rain. The day had been a bit cloudy so it wasn’t so much a surprise as a welcome change. It was also rather handy that it happened while we were in the car.
It soon cleared and we arrived at our wonderful gite for the week in Locquirec. This is the view from the loungeroom:
It looks a bit bleak and windy in that photograph but it was getting a bit late in the evening and the sky was a tad cloudy. Basically the sea is just the other side of the vegetation and we can sit and listen to the waves crash on the sand constantly. It’s wonderful.
For dinner we wandered down to the town and reacquainted ourselves with the place. The last time we were here was in 2007 but it all still looked the same. It was just as difficult getting somewhere to eat dinner. We eventually ended up at the creperie, which was delicious, naturally.
It’s going to be a very restful week.