Right now I am sitting in a small stone cottage writing my first blog article in about three weeks. It seems like a long time to me but, as I write I am thinking about all that has occurred and what I have done whilst writing the more than two hundred and fifty articles posted over the last two or more years. Great things have and are still occurring in this outrageously unexpected life of mine.
As I said, I am sitting in a stone cottage writing at an old cane table with a red and white checked plastic table cloth covering it. There is a little business around me as my friends Jean Jacques (JJ) and Vivian (Viv) discuss the preparation of tonights dinner. It’s currently about eleven in the morning, the sun is out and there is a cool breeze wafting through the cottage. The coffee has just announced it’s readiness and life is very relaxed right now.
I think this is the most remote place I have ever spent time. We are twenty kilometres off the coast of the most western point in France on an island. It is arid and very rugged. Granite outcrops line the coast in pink and grey and the North Atlantic batters the shore in an unforgiving manner every single moment of the day. This is a different kind of wilderness.
Ouessant (pronounced Wesson) is stunning, it is savage and peaceful all at once. It’s unexpected beauty is breathtaking and I feel very privileged to be able to experience this place. Karine and I are here with JJ and Viv for two weeks. It is les vacances d’ete (summer vacation) here in France now and we have been asked to join our friends here in this special place.
Yesterday we spent the day cycling around the North Western most part of the island. We began our trip at Le Phare du Creac’h (The Lighthouse of Creac’h) and wandered around staring at the moss and lichen covered rock that guards the shoreline. The beautiful summer flowers pattern the ground and it reminds me of my time in the Scottish Highlands walking through the heather.
We lunched in the garden with the sun on our backs and the breeze blowing gently. Viv made a beautiful light omelette and a salad of heirloom tomatoes from the local market. We simply soaked up our day one moment at a time and were just happy being.
Deciding to continue to explore after lunch, we headed a little further a field and searched for the pure Northern coastline. Three kilometres later we arrived at a grassy track and continued down to the edge of the cliff. We didn’t realise we were standing on the upper section of a cave entrance. When we moved to look further around, the surprise was very real. The roof of the cave entrance was not thin but enough to make us a little uncomfortable.
Along the coastline the walking track are well trodden and the arid scrub is flowering with splashes of fuchsia everywhere. There are an incredible number of small flowers in a variety of colours blooming at the moment and thick moss covers the ground making walking a spongy experience at times.
Well, that was day one on the island and there are a few more to go. Its time to head out now for crepes and local cider!
Ouessant is a well deserved UNESCO World Heritage sight and has also been established as a bio-spheric reserve. It is situated in the d’Ouessant-Molene Archipelago.