Rods Blogs

Photo Competition- The Winners

Kergarec Kayac ClubDavid of Glenda Spence

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Contrary to our expectations most of the entries were not of beautiful Kergarec and the surrounding area but involved a little more thought and creativity. If you didn’t get a mention come back next year and have another go! For all who entered, thanks.

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winner of the ‘outside Kergarec ‘ section is Glenda Spence by David which is just a beautiful photo. The ‘inside Kergarec’ winners with an Ock Eggar Moth are Sarah Allisons ‘boys’ who chose an interesting subject, researched it and took a perfect photo.

The Disqualifications are Renni Prelle for indecency and Richard Langford for his picture of Bot Conan and obsession with the hind quarters of animals!Kergerac's Finest Visit Bot Conan Plage (1)

Regrettably, I have lost the source of the Kergarec canoeing picture which deserves a very special mention. Someone please own up.

 

 

 

 

 

Can I canoe you up the river….

The Odet is described  locally as ‘the most beautiful  river in France’ When I tried to attribute this quotation I found there are at lease four other rivers claiming the same! Never the less, it is 10 miles of exceptional beauty and interest.

The rise and fall of the tide in north west France is one of the greatest in the world. As a result the Odet which is a tidal river has very strong currents between tides.

Many of our more intrepid visitors are proud to have canoed from Benodet to Quimper on a rising tide or the reverse on a falling tide. Most have never canoed before and come back with a wealth of tales.

One family, two adults an two children took part in a race fron Quimper to Benodet a couple of weeks ago.  They had two canoes, mum with elder child and dad with the younger. First, photo of dad and children at the start in Quimper, the other, four and a half hours later mum and children in Benodet   – they were not the winners, just exhaustedIMAG0155IMAG0148river tripKergarec Kayac Club.

After having trouble mounting the canoes and finding out how to make them go they set off only to meet what appeared to be an ocean liner (pic) certain that they were on collision courses. Panic set in until they were convinced that they would survive. Later exactly the same thing happened with a cargo ship, the green one in the distance in the Quimper (pic) This time they approached it with confidence but had a close shave & rocked a lot in its wash.  Feeling like a rest they paddled ashore, disembarked only to find themselves in the middle of a nudist colony!

If canoeing does not appeal to you the pictured ‘liner’ provides cruises to Quimper.

 

You never meet the dogs at Kergarec…..

Donatello today
Donatello today

…that is unless you want to. Some people are afraid of dogs.  No child should ever be left unsupervised with any dog of any race or size.

At Kergarec we have two particularly large dogs, a Newfoundland (Donatello) and a Beauvier des Flandres ( Evita). They live happily together in their own acre of garden completely separated from the visitors’ garden. Visitors can meet them if they wish and appreciate their completely different natures.

Donatello is loving to everyone which comes from his traditional role as a web footed rescue dog on the fishing boats which went to the Newfoundland Banks. ‘Man overboard’  was followed by dog overboard who would take the man by the arm and swim back to the boat with him. More recently his mischievous nature has come to the fore ; he has destroyed 2 mobile, phones, 2 remote controls and several pairs of glasses. Life-saving demonstrations are frequent events in the area.

Evita is the Cattle equivalent of a sheepdog. As such she is fiercely loyal to her family and friends but you have to get to know her. She is an excellent guard dog.

‘A man’s best friend is his dog’

Nowadays with family
Nowadays with family

 

Donatello at 6 weeksDonatello at 6 weeks

 

Evita, the day we got her

 

Evita, the day we got her

 

 

 

 

Evita today
Evita today

 

 

 

 

Visit Huelgoat…..


Huelgoat in the middle of Finistere is unforgettable. Its history goes back forever. Forests, legends, a lake,  gold and silver mining and a ‘chaos’ of boulders . It was on the Grand Tour created by the nobs in the 17th Century and the first guide books were produced about 1700.

The attached snaps were taken by a visitor last weekend, The stars are two of our grandchildren. it is possible to climb down among the boulders and to move a 20 ton boulder with one finger which they did, or think they did.

Our true story which occurred on our first visit may amuse you. We did all the conventional things then had a picnic. Post siesta we walked into the forest, a bit off the beaten track and found a small mountain to climb. It was bigger than it looked and halfway up we found a stream, decided to give up and follow it down.  After an interminably walk Maryvonne said we had already been past that spot! We had walked right round the mountain. It wasn’t a stream but an ancient head of water to power the stone crushing machinery below.

Our walk back to the village was in the dark.

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Along the front at Benodet……..

P1020502P1020518P1020511P1020510P1020507No skyscrapers, spotlessly clean,  sandcastly beach, clear water, safe bathing, all the attractions of a seaside resort and just 2 miles from Kergarec.

These pictures give you some idea of what it is like in early season. Unlike all the other beaches in the vicinity it is a slightly commercialised. In addition to the bistros and clothes shops there are boat trips up the Odet to Quimper and out to the Glenan Islands together with sea fishing trips and boat and canoe hire.

The prom. has a small group of attractions to trap the unwary!

An estate agent’s displaying ‘desirable’ properties to dream about.The multi-screen cinema. The ice cream parlour with the best ice creams this side of Morelli’s in Broadstairs. The casino to gamble away all the money you haven’t already spent. Finally the thalassothérapy ‘Thalasso’ to tone up or get rid of the damage caused by overindulgence. Like a seawater spa it offers a variety a variety of cures and treatments supervised by qualified staff.

All this plus fantastic views out to sea and across the Odet estuary to Sainte Marine.

What’s a Pardon ?……..

Pardon is a religious ceremony, a pilgrimage which usually involves a procession in traditional dress. It has been taking place in West Brittany for centuries on the Saints-Day of many churches and chapels. The congreation ask for indulgence and receive a pardon.

Saint Alar is the patron saint of the chapel ,Le Drennec, in Clohars-Fouesnant (our village).  Our Saint’s-Day is the first Sunday in July. It is unique as it dedicated to horses who are blessed by the priest.

We were there

The religious element is now combined with an all-day celebration. As can be seen from the photos the atmosphere was superb and a great time was had by all.

 


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Getting to Kergarec from the UK

We’re situated in the countryside just two miles inland from the bustling seaside town of Benodet in Brittany. Most of Kergarec’s visitors arrive from one or other of the northern French ports. Roscoff is the nearest, just one and a half hours drive and the port of St Malo is two and a half hours away.

With your Kergarec booking you get a fantastic 20% discount through Brittany Ferries.

There are daily overnight sailings year round from Portsmouth to St Malo. From Plymouth to Roscoff there are 1-2 sailings daily (6-8 hour). The ferries boast superb facilities and overnight sailings arrive in time for breakfast. Book a cabin to give yourself a comfortable night.

There are more frequent faster crossings into Cherbourg and Caen but the drive to Kergarec is a longer 5 hours drive.

Alternatively for those without good sea legs taking The Euro Tunnel is very convenient – it’s a 35 minute journey and there are up to four departures every hour.  The drive to Kergarec from Calais is around 7 hours.

Flying and picking up a hire car is another option. Cityjet fly to Nantes and Brest from March to October from London City Airport. Typical one way fares are around £70-145. Brittany Tourism has a comprehensive list of routes and airlines serving the region from all parts of the UK.

Many people visit us on two wheels as the area is well served with cycle paths. There are some 1000km of voies vertes or green ways – designated traffic free paths. Combining your bike and the train is good for you and the environment. Find out more here. Train lines link the major cities of Rennes, Brest, Quimper and Vannes, and there are branch lines running to the ports including St Malo and Roscoff.

However you choose to travel to Kergarec, rest-assured that a very warm welcome awaits you. Bon voyage!

Britanny ferries Map

Kergarec is on Pinterest – have a go!

If you’re already a dedicated pinner, then fast forward to the end of this post and check out Kergarec’s virtual pinboards. If not, read on and in a few simple steps you’ll be joining us (and around 48 million others) in a virtual world of pinboarding.

You can find a quick and simple guide to Pinterest here.

According to a recent article in Zest Magazine, modern moodboarding is the latest way to boost your wellbeing. Stepping off the daily treadmill for a few minutes and looking at the big picture and quite literally ‘pinning’ the life you want is good for your health.

So to test this theory we thought we would introduce some Kergarec boards. We’re busy pinning interesting things to our boards – revealing more about Kergarec and the local area. Our boards range from ‘our favourite local beaches’ to ‘family-friendly activities’ and ‘delicious Breton food’.

Check out Kergarec’s boards here, follow us and share with your friends.

Happy pinning!

Pinterest Board

Visit Concarneau

20 minutes drive from Kergarec, Concarneau is a fishing port (claims to be the third largest in France) that is famous for the Vauban fortified town ‘ville close’ which sticks out into the centre of the harbour.

The medieval ‘ville close’ is what attracts me. It has just a few streets full of restaurants and souvenir shops, a fish museum (Musée de la Péche) and the ramparts.

Don’t let the name ‘fish museum’ put you off; it is fascinating and there is a 1946 trawler moored behind it which gives an idea of the life of a fisherman. (pic)

P1020487The best bit is the walk round the ramparts. It is possible to see most of the harbour, the fishing boats unloading, shipbuilding and a lot more.

A few years ago we had a lady visiting with her mother of a certain age who always wore a hat. They visited the ramparts admiring the views for a bit too long. When they got to the exit it was locked! In haltering French they explained the problem to the tourists below. Eventually a lorry arrived and it was suggested that they jumped on to the roof; they refused. Then the fire brigade arrived at the same time as the key-holder who solved the problem. I think they have dined out on it ever since.

Lots more to see and do. There is a maritime festival in August.

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Are we nearly there yet?

So you’ve booked your long-awaited summer holiday and you’re dreaming of some rest and relaxation. With kids in tow, simply getting ready for holidays can seem an overwhelming task let alone the looming journey, be it car, ferry, train, plane or a combination of all four!  Well worry no more; here are some tips for smooth travel with the littlest members of your party in mind…

1. First things first… take your time  – toddlers love to explore – you’ll keep your cool if you factor the toilet trips, tantrums and dillydallying into your journey planning.

2. Embrace technology – the most compact form of entertainment is a device packed with apps/games. There are lots of toddler-friendly apps – try those from Ladybird or Duck Duck Moose.

3. Give them a (child-friendly) camera – it encourages them to observe their environment and the results may surprise and will no doubt amuse you.

4. Service stations tend to be poor quality and expensive but they often have playgrounds – pack your own picnic and use the opportunity to stretch those little legs.

5. We have a new family tradition in our car. Everyone has an individual peg strategically placed in full view. If there’s naughtiness, whining or unpleasant behaviour then their peg is taken down. The next time the treats are passed around, anyone without a peg goes without. Call it bribery if you like but it works and our car is a happier place with a colourful little row of pegs adorning the sun visor.

6. For slightly older children a good stash of audio books is a godsend – Roald Dahl and Famous Five are favourites in our car.

7. Food is fuel but it also distracts, calms and comforts… keep stocked up with non-sticky snacks – carrot sticks, raisins, oatcakes –  to keep those tummy rumbles at bay. Avoid drinks in cartons – they can’t be resealed and they have a tendency to spill / explode in a confined space!

With these tips in mind your passage on holiday will be smooth and, if you’re lucky enough to be heading to Kergarec, your kids will be running free in the secure gardens, exploring the wonderful play area and meeting the Kergarec animals.

Bon voyage!

Niki Hanmer
Guest blogger
Mum of 3 young children

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