Saturday, 20 September 2014

Finally getting to Carnac and seeing lots and lots of stones

We've meant to visit the ancient standing stones alignments at Carnac for several years, but have always managed to distract ourselves with other beautiful areas of Brittany so not made it so far west. This year, we drove straight from St Malo - where we were practically first off the boat at some ridiculously early hour of the morning - and arrived at Camping Kerebus shortly after lunchtime on Thursday. It's a pleasant campsite with two areas for tourers and several statics in the middle. There's a tiny office and no shop as such, but the pitches are big enough and surrounded by trees so very shady. Sadly the wifi is pretty ropey - it's 1 euro for an hour and that gets a slow signal, even this late in the evening, and is the reason why this post isn't illustrated. I'll come back and add the photos when we get somewhere better for that!

The main attraction of Camping Kerebus is its proximity to the main Standing Stones site which is only about a ten minute stroll away. We made the effort to walk around the closest of them on the very first afternoon and were glad to have done so although I was a bit underwhelmed by the stones themselves. They're smaller than expected! However, our luck was in today, Saturday, as we had planned to walk further to the other clusters of stones and found special notices on several of the gates: 'Ouverture exceptionelle du site' courtesy of the Centre des Monuments Nationaux. What this meant was that for this very weekend we could actually walk right up among the stones rather than looking from a distance over fences and stone walls. The further we walked, the more incredible this area became. There are thousands of standing stones here, all in rows, and these rows were originally longer than the eye can see. Centuries of wear and damage have now resulted in gaps but we walked nearly an hour out today and still there were fields of stones! We also saw dolmen and a large menhir, named Le Geant, which I think will rival the largest Iberian one we saw near Antequera. I took a photo with Dave stood by it for scale so just need to compare the two when wifi permits! We've been reading up in the fascinating books lent to us by our friends Steve & Frances and it's incredible to imagine people 5000 years ago being right here creating this monument. If only we knew why!

Carnac also has long sandy beaches so we've been swimming in the sea on two afternoons already - and we've only been here for three. The sun is hot, the clouds are generally gone by late morning and the sea is pretty warm by sea standards. It's going to be tough to move on. Tomorrow, there is a market we would like to visit and also the annual Triathlon is taking place along the seafront with the cycling loop coming out as far as the campsite. Hopefully we can get close to the changeover area which we saw being set up this afternoon in readiness.

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