Thursday, 19 June 2014


As part of my summer at home series I'm going to take you for a walk that we do most Sundays before lunch. We turn right outside our gate and walk to the end of the lane where we cross the road and take another narrow lane that leads to the woods that line the edge of the famous granite quarries of Perros.
As we go deeper into the shade of the trees we come across a pretty glade where there is a tumble of rocks with a spring coming up from underground and running between the rocks before disappearing down the slope. This rock is balanced on the others and the trees around are covered in moss.  I  spotted some oxalis growing in the fork of one of them and kept the memory to draw in my nature journal later.
We emerge from the woods and carry on along the road above the quarry with fabulous views out to sea, turning left and right as we go, to arrive at this little windmill on a knoll.  It's built of the local granite and is about 300 years old.  It has it's own special 'fete' every year when it's supporters come and share a few crepes and drinks and no doubt the local 'bagad ' turn up to celebrate too!

If we haven't got too much energy we turn right at the main road and walk back up the hill to the centre of the village of La Clarté, a quartier of Perros. The church here, Notre Dame de La Clarte, was built by a grateful sailor when a shaft of sunlight showed him the way to the port through the fog.
Built in the local stone of course, construction was begun in 1445 and it continued to be added to over the centuries.  We come here for the Christmas music every year when our friends sing in the choir.
From the windmill we can also walk along a few nice residential roads and come to a path through the 'landes' leading up to the 'Tertre' which is a high viewpoint with almost 360 degree views across the land and out to sea. It has one of those compass things built on to a rock to identify what you are looking at.  This is a small part of the vista towards the Sept Iles with the rooftops of the cottages on this sought after spot. The Tertre is used every year for the Pardon of Notre Dame de La Clarte on August the 14th when the bishop of the region comes to bless the many thousands of pilgrims who come to worship and celebrate from all over France.
The walk continues down to the coast where the famous Cote de Granite Rose is a Unesco protected site and visited by visitors from all over the world to see the fantastic shapes made by the weathering of the pink granite. We usually save our walks here for the winter when it's quieter and we don't have to keep dodging dogs and baby buggies and people stopping to take photos all the time!
There is a 'sentier des douaniers', path of the customs men, which follows the coast for several kilometres with wonderful views all along the way.  The lighthouse is a great landmark built on top of a fantastc jumble of rocks.
This is a drawing of the rocks underneath the lighthouse copied from a photo, it looks strangely out of proportion but that doorway is normal height and that rock is enormous!  Kids of all ages love to climb all over the rocks and have a great time as apart from the protected wild flower areas all the place is accessible.

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