Speedos in Treguier and Trebeurden
Grumpy old man
How does a Policeman tell a joke? He goes to the top of a mountain, continually looks over his shoulder and whispers it. This was so true in the overzealous, politically correct, tree hugging environment I lived in where people were literally scared to tell a joke for fear of being sacked. I am glad to say that is now behind me and I can happily have the “grumpy old man” syndrome that affects all men of middle age. If you are not grumpy then you are either too young, on happy pills or dead. If you are the latter then you have a lot to be grumpy about and no amount of happy pills will help.
Sailing gives you freedom to go more or less where you want (although we do try to avoid dry land). We are sometimes constrained by tides and weather but we usually get there, eventually. There is no rush and no better feeling than to be gliding across the water propelled only by the wind.(A naked Kelly Brooke bouncing on a trampoline whilst you are eating a big boy’s breakfast might be a close second).
We left St Quay-Porteriux in the type of sunshine that makes you feel your face has been attacked by Botox. More importantly we were sailing with the wind. The rock strewn coast was rushing by and life was as good as it gets.
Treguier, a rocky entrance to a beautiful river.
As we neared the river entrance to Tregieur everything had changed. It was raining, there was lightning dancing on the shore and the tide was against us. The wind and the rolling waves were so big we could only just see the mast of a boat coming towards us as he dropped into the troughs. I had changed from shorts to trousers to full wet weather gear in an hour and there was a strong wisp of apprehension in the air. (This turned out to be bad wind from seafood the night before). My crew did not complain once but then again they were all asleep.
There is something disconcerting about turning into a river when you can see the waves crashing over rocks. You know there are only three routes in all which take you between those same rocks and over a river bed that dries at low tide. It is a bit like getting your manhood caught in your zipper. You know you have to pull it down again but it is the last thing you want to do.
Our first view of the town
The “AA” book did well and as we got into the Treguier river proper the sun came out, the wind died, the sea flattened and we were led into a world of splendour. The trees caressed the shoreline, quaint old cottages popped up and children were swimming and playing near to the edge. An hour further down the river several boats were anchored under beautiful natural cliffs. We then saw the ornate cathedral spire looking like a Swiss cheese dominating the town of Tregieur on the hillside.
Watch the tides in the river to Treguier
We had been warned about the strong cross tides in the Treguier marina that could turn a perfect day into a nappy of sloppy diarrhoea. Anyone coming to Tregieur marina would do well to heed this advice and in our time there four boats attempted to moor. One French boat made it by coming in at a Zillion miles an hour. The other three were last seen drifting off sideways upriver somewhere never to be seen again. The harbour master came out to meet us and took the lines but we still had a tug of war game to get in. Even our son took a leap of faith flying through the air like dog chasing a Frisbee onto the pontoon.
The town of Treguier
The old houses
Having secured the boat in a way Houdini would have been proud of we went ashore to view the town of Treguier itself. It is truly stunning and well worth the effort of getting here. The houses are old, wooden framed affairs and should Joan of Arc been dragged through the cobbled streets burning we would not have been surprised. The only thing missing in Treguier was a Guillotine. It is no doubt the most beautiful French town we have come across yet. During the day the main square has restaurants spilling onto the streets and the cakes in the shops leave you drizzling like a St Bernard dog in love. In the middle of the square are the cathedral with stained glass windows, a huge spire and a choir singing. It is the final resting place of Saint Yves, the patron Saint of Lawyers and protector of the poor. (Somehow they don’t seem to go together). I think it is a place all lawyers should visit to be locked in the catacombs forever with Donald Trump for company.
You need mountaineering skills to get ashore
From the marina you can drop kick a cat (come on, they are a waste of good D.N.A) to the town although when the water is low you need climbing gear to get up the walkway off the pontoon. Around the boat is the continual noise from fish intent on breaking the high jump record as they crash back in the water. Treguier marina is set just short of a bridge that is very low but you can risk taking the dinghy further upstream to view more. You might not get back in the strong current but there is a good bus service.
Sex toys, speedos and premenstrual women
Angelina.. Sex Toy?
The only blight on an otherwise beautiful town is an automated pizza machine that delivers a pizza, boxed in three minutes and a huge yellow video machine that dispenses sex videos and looks like a skip. I suppose its called progress but in this quaint old town they are as welcome as a slimmer’s world club in Somalia.
Before leaving we were treated to a “How not to moor” exhibition by the French version of Laurel and Hardy. The swooped in, full throttle, cigarettes in mouth as the French tend to do and wearing Speedos. Then the river had them like an afro cut to a Velcro headboard. They were swept onto the boat next to us and then still on full throttle it went down a line of six boats hitting the outboards on each one. It took four of us 20 minutes to get them out. By the time they had finished the side of their boat looked like it had been attacked by a premenstrual woman with an ice pick.
We worry that we may be coming a little “poncy”. We have started to drink wine in the evenings and even use goblet’s made from real glass. We are beginning to understand a French menu, know when to say Bonjour, Bonsoir and bon nuit. We even had French accordion music on the radio the other night but Jordan and Aiden have banned me listening to it for some reason. I even tried croissants for breakfast but the paper bag they came in tasted better.
We left Treguier with fond memories and our son took Cygnus III back up the river towards Trebeurden in glorious sunshine. It was a beautiful sail between rocky islands and the only problem we had was slowing Cygnus III down in the strong current. There is a sill in Trebeurden we needed to get over and it would not be possible to do so until later in the afternoon. It is the first time we have gone anywhere as slowly as possible unless you count the pub when it’s my round.
Trebeurden. It is only kinky the first time.
Trebeurden marina entrance
The approach to Trebeurden marina is a bit of a cheek squeezer when you first look at it. Rocks all around, a drying bay and a steel girder entrance that looks as if it is still under construction. As I tell Angelina, “it is only Kinky the first time and after that it is easy”. The same with this entrance.
On first impressions Trebeurden is more of a holiday resort compared to a lot of places but look under the surface and its surrounded by natural beauty. We have been to so many delightful places than the bar has now been raised and getting over it would need a plan devised by the “A-Team”.
The entrance low tide
I do have to say Trebeurden is the only harbour I have walked round. On the outside! There is literally no water unless you count the spurts from the razor clams that squirt up like miniature geysers. It is pretty spooky when you first see it.
The local’s pour onto the sand in droves every low tide digging up all manner of shelled seafood’s for tea. I did give Angelina a bucket and spade to try. Later I am going to the hospital to have them surgically removed.
Speedos are not big
Now I do have a complaint here about French men and Speedos. They all wear “Speedos”. It’s not right, it’s certainly not big, especially in the cold water and it’s not clever. I am afraid that the fashion Police are far too scared to get a grip and take the problem in hand. Speedos are the first thing I would ban when I rule the world.
Tomorrow we sail again westwards. One more stop and then we will go into Brest for a few days comfort stop. No, I refuse to use any more puns, well until next time.
If you would like to see more of our images of Treguier then click here but don’t expect me to pose in Speedos.