Douarnenez has always been a fabled place to me. For years I’ve seen pictures of its classic boat festival and friends who’ve been have talked about it. Simon went in 1996 with his Dad and some friends who used to run a sailing business from Falmouth and who now live near Camaret and he’s always raved about it. After a lovely weekend here, I can firmly say it is everything I’d hoped it would be.
We were ushered into the lock at Port Rhu (Douarnenez’s inner harbour) by a sandy haired man looking uncannily like a tall Asterix, complete with large moustache, who gave us a great spot and persuaded us to stay for the weekend. It turned out there was a mini festival going on. I love it when that happens.
It turned out to be a festival of moules and chants marins, which basically meant that the square next to the boat was filled with trestle tables and chairs, there was a small stage and one big tent. On the stage were shanty singers and other live music, and in the tent were vast quantities of mussels, chips, mayonnaise and Breton cider, all at a very reasonable price. Amazing. It’s like someone looked into my head, saw what I was thinking and laid it on for me.
So we filled our boots on Friday night and wandered back to Planet in time for a lazy day yesterday. Up until now on our trip we’ve tended to try to make the most of every last facility – if there’s a reasonably priced washing machine use it, if there’s electricity charge everything etc – because you never know when you might get the chance next. But now we’re so close to the end of our trip we don’t want to miss a thing, so apart from a few essential jobs on Planet and using the showers here, we’ve generally just been enjoying being here. On our way into Port Rhu we passed a boat that is normally moored in the Percuil about two down from Planet – presumably here on holiday – and it brought it home to us just how close to Cornwall we are.
Si looked round the maritime museum today while I updated the blog and wandered up to the shops. Yesterday evening’s musical offerings were less good than Friday’s; evidently they peaked too soon and only had the dregs booked for last night. The final act was so dreadful we gave up in the end and retreated to the safety of Planet’s cockpit with our cider…out of sight if not earshot.