Saturday, September 15, 2012

France, Day 5, 8/26/2012

Today is our day of epic hiking. The coast and the weather are beautiful, and we make it to the Pointe de Grouin after three hours. We are rewarded with our first glimpse of water outside the Bay of Mont-Saint-Michel.

Us with the Bay of Mont-Saint-Michel in the background.

Around the Pointe de Grouin

A fortified island off the coast

After another 45 minutes, we come to a beach where we sit and devour our lunch: some sliced salami, from a log whose diameter is big enough that meat along the exterior is much chewier than in the interior; two kinds of Breton cheese; a can of sardines in extra virgin olive oil with aromatic vegetables; bread; a green pepper; and a packaged madeleine that our bed and breakfast's proprietor gave us. We eat and eat, read for a while, and finally we get up and hike. I don't even feel a little bit full.

Then we hike for another three and a half hours. When we're almost there, we lose the trail! It's never marked well around beaches. This beach is nude, as we discover peering down from the cliffs above it, so maybe the maintainers of the trail were distracted. We're both exhausted—the hike isn't cardiovascularly taxing, but our joints and tendons were not prepared for this—but I go ahead without my backpack and find a blaze. We were walking the right way the whole time. I go back and happily tell Lindsay, and we walk on into la Guimorais, a tiny town of stone buildings. We find our bed and breakfast and collapse there.

There's only one restaurant in la Guimorais, and we're not willing to walk anywhere, so we go there. We start with kirs (white wine with crème de cassis), which come with a little tray of peanuts. I get a steak with fries and a salad. Lindsay gets a mushroom galette (buckwheat crêpe), and a ham omelette with fries and a salad, to the surprise of the waitress (we were very hungry!). We also get a little carafe of cider. Nothing is really good except for the galette, but bad in France is much better than bad in the U.S., and everyone at the restaurant is incredibly nice to us, and we're so exhausted and hungry that we just have a great time. We finish all of our food and get dessert: a crêpe with apricot jam for Lindsay and a scoop of coffee ice cream and of "antillaise" ice cream for me. I got the second scoop to figure out what it was. As I discovered, it's rum raisin.

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