Le Grand Voyage — Day 30 (Fort La Latte)

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The day started with rain. I don’t think we minded- the weather had been hot and sunny, and a little change was good. We did, however, bring our breakfast back to the room to eat inside.

We piled into the car for a scenic drive out into the Breton countryside. We crossed La Rance, a large inlet (yesterday’s village of Saint-Suliac was on it) and continued through a series of small towns. The Bretons are a Celtic people, and the rainy drive certainly felt like it could have been in Ireland or Scotland. We stopped for sandwiches as the rain stopped in the small village of Sables-d’or-Les-Pins. I had an “American”— ham, cheese, lettuce, tomato.

After eating we set out for Cap Fréhel. This part of Brittany is called the Emerald Coast (Côte d’Emeraude) and the views were quite nice.

We stopped to walk down to the Atlantic. Once down on the shore, we found a tremendous quantity of tide pools. There was quite a bunch of interesting stuff in them, including shrimp and anemones.

By the time we got back to the car it was getting late. We drove past the stone lighthouse at Cap Fréhel to visit Fort La Latte.

Fort La Latte was cool. Built in the 14th century, the fort sticks out over the ocean on a rocky point. Two drawbridges guarded the entrance.

There was a lot to see there- ramparts, dungeons, and a cannonball heating machine.

The best was the views of the ocean, especially from the tall keep that served as the centerpiece of the castle. This was no Loiré Château — this was a military fighting castle, and it saw plenty of action against the English.

We took a short hike to get a view back at the castle. The trail was carved straight out of what seemed like a continuous hedge. You’d be hard pressed to do any cross-country travel here.

Leaving the fort, we traveled back to the tidal pool beach. The pools were gone — a huge swath of rocky coast was completely submerged. The weather by now was completely clear and sunny. This was completely unexpected and we were a bit unprepared. Nevertheless, Nate managed to have fun playing the waves with only his underwear. Nate played in the waves while Rich the engineer marked the rapid progress of the tide up on the beach by drawing lines in the sand.

On the drive back, we tried to eat in the town of Saint-Cast-Le-Guildo. We found a maze of narrow streets but no restaurants. Heading back towards Saint-Malo we finally found a restaurant at the village of Notre-Dame-du-Guildo. Their English was spotty, but the staff was very helpful, and eventually found an English menu. I had shrimp with a rose mayonnaise as an appetizer. Whole shrimp, and fabulous. Dinner was a salmon fillet, exquisitely presented with rice, quiche, tomatoes, snow peas, and carrots. This was followed by a cheese plate and then ice cream with caramel. Fabulous.

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