Cruising Odet

At breakfast we were told that Pointe de Raz is not the best place to go but Pointe de Van is because no-one goes there! Sacre bleu!! And it was just around the corner from de Raz. Oh well, I guess there’s always somewhere to go next time.

Today we are going on a cruise up the Odet River so we left for Quimper. Of course we had to visit the faience place first and buy some new tiles for the house. You see, last time we visited, we bought these two lovely tiles (they actually had old calendars on the back) which I put either side of the front door. Since we will be moving very soon to a new house, we naturally needed new tiles.

After the usual scramble for a toilet for Mirinda, we did the usual wonder around. Mirinda liked the VERY expensive jug but I managed to distract her by showing her the somewhat cheaper tiles. We bought them and left, jugless and all the richer for it.

We walked into Quimper, remembering bits, noting some changes and had coffee in the same place as last time, overlooking the scaffold enshrined church. This was followed by a wander around the shops and I bought a stamp watch (after all) from an odd and wacky shop.

Crazy yellow fruity stamp watch from Quimper

Popping into the covered market we bought baguettes and cakes to have later.

We collected the car and drove to Benodet and bought tickets on the Vedette du Odet. I feel I need to say something about the parking at Benodet. The brochure for the boat trip claims they have plenty of parking and, to be fair, normally I’m sure they do, however, when the fair is in town, the car-park spaces are reduced by at least half. Rather than free and easy parking, the spaces are full of caravans, rides, coconut shies and freak show tents. Very, very annoying. We parked about eight miles away and walked back.

We ate our delicious lunch on deck as we waited to sail. Once underway we were treated to a lovely cruise and an amusing commentary.

A château along the Odet river

The boat started by doing a huge circle of the harbour, the guide telling us about the trees, the beach, the storm damage. Then we turned back into the river and went all the way up to Quimper. We picked up a load of passengers then pootled all the way back to Benodet. All over a great river ride. Highlights include

  • The interesting English version. The French version would go on for ten minutes which, in English was translated as “the bird on the left is a gull“.
  • A small girl in a pink skirt ran and walked the entire journey from the upper deck to the lower deck. Extraordinary distance. If you assume the river is about nine kilometres and we went up then down, that’s 18 kilometres she walked! If you took her by the hand and tried walking that far I swear you’d not get far. But, honestly, she didn’t stop.
  • There were three dogs including one that seemed to be a quizzical temple dog. It had no idea what being carried was all about, constantly giving it’s owner strange looks.
  • The Tall Coiff Theory behind the very high ones of the area is either symbolic of the great struggle of the peasants against the crown regarding a tax and the church steeple or it was determined by the length of the women’s skirts. The more daring girls looked like Marge Simpson wearing nothing but a narrow belt. I think I prefer the second theory.
  • The lighthouse that looked like a rooster. No matter how you looked at it, it just looked like a lighthouse.
  • Virgin Rock – apparently a maiden was chased to this rock by a big, nasty ogre who was intent on raping her. Rather than lose her virginity, she jumped into the roaring river. Mirinda reckons she was probably luring the ogre to the rock to push him off.
  • Bishop’s Rock – it seems the churchmen of the area would sit upon this rock to have a good fish and discuss the juicier confessions they’d received during the week. It should also be noted that young girls would swim on the opposite side of the river.
  • We have found out what happened to Little Orphan Annie. She was on our boat. It was amazing. Though it must be said that she does have pupils.
  • There was an extremely smelly toilet which perturbed quite a few young girls who went in then quickly ran out again. It took quite a while to pluck up enough courage to use the facility. Little Orphan Annie used it without complaint.

We ate at a restaurant by the dock. Although very expensive, dinner was lovely and ended with peppermint. Mirinda ordered a Tea Infusion then, thinking she’d like peppermint tea said ‘peppermint’. What she was given was a cup of green tea and a glass of lurid green stuff which was like syrup of peppermint with ice. It was also extremely alcoholic. I drank most of it. It was refreshing.

Mirinda at restaurant, Benodet

A lovely but long day.

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