Le Grand Tour: Day 20 – Saint-Quay To Louannec (72km)

CURRENT LOCATION: Camping Municipal de Louannec

The omens were not good at 8am. The campsite at Saint-Quay certainly lived up to its name by having a ‘belle vue’. Indeed my pitch – as with many others – was facing north-east and if there were no clouds, we were in for a cracking sunrise. I happened to be awake at 5am so I clamped the GoPro to its tripod and set in motion a time lapse video. Alas it was cloudy and the resulting video merely showed black clouds become grey ones. Nothing too spectacular there. However, by 8am the sun had risen and was beginning to poke through the clouds. Perhaps an opportunity to get the drone in action to capture the magic. And it did. You can see that shot at the start of today’s video.

The local seagulls were not, however, happy at the intruder in the sky. Upon the drone’s return to shore, a pair of gulls started to make their annoyance felt and circled poor little DJI Mini 2. I managed to land it but then the gulls started swooping low and fast depositing their, err… load on a neighbour’s tent. I scrambled inside the tent and waited for the hullabaloo to die down. After about 10 minutes, I thought I was safe but again, the gulls swooped once more, squawking for France. Would I be confined to the tent all day? Well they did eventually calm themselves and I left the campsite; one eye on the road and one eye on the sky. Moral of the story: be careful where you fly your drone.

It was that kind of day and I have now officially named it as a Mercedes Day. If you don’t know what one of those is, read this post from 2015:

The cold wind blowing fiercely from the west (I was cycling directly against it) was my main gripe, but the hills didn’t help and neither did many of the road surfaces which was uneven (I’m being diplomatic there) for much of the time. One, perhaps two of those wouldn’t have put Friday 22nd July 2022 into the category of a Mercedes Day but all three did, especially in the afternoon as the wind picked up speed and I did the opposite. 

Thankfully the day was punctuated with moments of great cycle touring joy and many of these are included in the video and in the photos; the coastal towns, the ruined abbey and, especially, the town of Tréguier which was a delight. It’s half-timbered buildings dominated along the narrow lanes that fed into its main square. Beautiful! Indeed much of what I saw today was great but the cycling experience was not so great. 

At times I did take short cuts so as to minimise the grief induced by the cold wind and although I estimated my cycling day to be one of around 80km it came on at only 72km. I had saved myself 8km fighting the gusts. 

At least the welcome at the municipal site in Louannec was warm (despite them not answering their phone on the four occasions I tried to call them earlier in the day to reserve a spot) and a beer in the bar was cold.

Tomorrow I head for Morlaix and, probably, a two-night stopover in a hotel. If the wind is still blowing in the morning I am very tempted to use my third of the ten available joker cards I have at my disposal and catch the train instead…


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2 replies »

  1. I had wanted to ask how you managed the drone shot on the viaduct the other day, without losing the drone! If I had done that I am pretty sure I would never have seen the drone again haha

    How has your experience been with using the drone generally? Does anyone ever get upset with it being used? Haven’t got one myself but thinking about it as the shots seem amazing!

    • Practice! I’ve had it now for well over a year so as with anything, it’s a learning curve. People have never been audibly upset; more curious. That said, you need to choose your moment and avoid times / places where you might disturb people. So far, so good… (apart from the gulls this morning).

What do you think?