When the number 56 on the car registration becomes the most numerous you know that you are entering the Department of Morbihan, in southern Brittany and some superb sea kayaking is within your reach.
In the Gulf Of Morbihan I normally head east, following the main flow of the tide and threading my way through the myriad of islands which are contained within this "inland sea". This day though the aim was to follow the western branch of the Gulf up to the old port of Auray, which is one of those delightful Breton villages which you feel you should visit on several occasions. In the sunshine they look particularly attractive and we were not disappointed with our day out.
If you are heading this way be sure to get hold of the superb sea kayaking guide, which was published earlier this year.
Entering the Gulf of Morbihan, we were staying on the western shore, following the river north towards Auray. Although we were only on neap tides in places we had about 5 knots of assistance.
Passing underneath the bridge carrying the main road from Brest to Nantes. This 20th century concrete bridge was in complete contrast to what lay ahead.
Arriving in Auray, a delightful French port, complete with traditional French sailing craft.
Kayaks were hauled onto the quay side whilst sea paddlers went in search of some refreshments. It was here that Benjamin Franklin landed on the 3rd December 1776, in disguise and after a difficult crossing of the north Atlantic he was serve as the US Ambassador to France for 9 years.
Many of the old buildings are well preserved and the town of Auray is a delightful place to pass a few hours, but the tide had turned and it was time to hitch a free ride back to Locmariaquer.
Getting ready to leave Auray.
Back at the campsite at Locmariaquer, a great base for sea kayakers and well worth a visit.