18 August 2010 - Ie Tre'ach, Ile aux Moines

Magnetic Attraction
Roger and Margaret Pratt
Thu 19 Aug 2010 09:11



An email from Bet Perrins, asking about the weather (not just the wind.) Yesterday it rained – but by and large the weather has been OK. It tends to be warm and sunny in the morning, with light winds: then, during the morning, the cloud starts to bubble up and the wind increases. In the sun and the shelter, it’s warm; but in the draught, chilly. At night it’s cold! The wind drops, but the sky is clear.

We sort of swithered as to what to do today. The options were to go into Vannes for a couple of days, or to use the day to explore the Island, and then tomorrow to start making tracks back northwestwards. The warm sunny morning, together with the forecast that the wind will go SW tomorrow, decided it – after an early lunch we went ashore with the bikes and cycled round the Island. It was very interesting, especially as compared with Arz. The Isle aux Moines is much more developed and built up. There are hundreds (literally) of bikes – in all shape, sizes and styles: tandems, childrens’, pulling charabancs, being pushed, stationary, etc. The cycle hirers next to the vedettes must do a roaring trade! Very few cars – we saw a couple of taxis, vans and mini-moke , and more small motor bikes, some pulling trailers.

Roger found the restrictions on cycling irksome after Arz. The best cycle routes were interdicted to velos , and we were limited to tarmac’ed lanes (very narrow and full of bikes and pedestrians!) Nonetheless we cycled all the way round, up hill and down dale. There was a very impressive Allee Couverte at the bottom of the Island, overlooking the sea. We ended up in the village for an ice cream, feeling as per Chris Darch, that we had Done Moines to Death! There has been significant investment from the European Regional Development Fund, including a bakery – but nonetheless the economy seems marginal. There was one (very expensive) Viva! Supermarket, a bakery built by ERDF funds; and a pharmacy that was closed – it is being strangled (sic) by the absence of funds promised for the past 3 years from the mayor, and will be closed for medical reasons between the 16 August to 1 September. Please sign the petition! In all, pretty sad and not as enjoyable as Arz.

The pleasant afternoon was spoiled on return to the boat. Just before we left two charter boats had come into the anchorage. Roger was reassured, before leaving, that they were “parked” at a safe distance. However, on our return the first boat the PAMACK (no, Jenny, I’m not making this up!) was lying within 6feet of us. Mrs Mack would have been mortified! I think the most charitable statement would be to say that racial stereotypes were activated, especially as the occupants didn’t return until dusk, after dinner, and after we had moved to a safer position.

PS Roger says that I have not done justice to his feelings or his language!!