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Buck30 - Other Trail Journal - 2023

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Brian (Buck-30)
Begins: May 10, 2023
Direction: Westbound

Daily Summary
Date: Sun, Sep 17th, 2023
Start: Coad Trez Bihan
End: Douarnenez
Daily Distance: 20
Trip Distance: 1,724.0

Journal Stats
Entry Visits: 101
Journal Visits: 7,486
Guestbook Views: 91
Guestbook Entrys: 5

GR34 Day 16 (Overall Day 134)

Excellent forest camping and only tiny rain a couple times overnight. We
were possibly in for a wet day of walking to town and were walking by 8:30.
So late for us, but the sun doesn't rise till about 8 at this point. And
there is no need to get up before the sun out here.

It was an excellent walk to town, easier than the last few days although
still plenty of little ups and downs. But lots and lots of beach walking.
We had a huge low tide that allowed us to walk several beaches for longer
than normal as we were able walk around a couple points that wouldn't be
passible other than at low tide. The final beach we did get hit with some
pretty heavy driving rain and our Zpacks umbrellas suck in the wind as I've
mentioned before I believe. But it was pretty short lived, we got pummeled
earlier on too that was short lived as we stood under a large brush tree
that provided good cover with the umbrella.

Our final day for a bit was nice as we walked into Douarnenez and found a
fast food place. We haven't eaten out at all in France, I've been mostly
downing baguettes and croissants from the grocery or bakery. I ordered a
chicken curry "taco" which seems very common but is actually more like a
pita stuffed with stuff. It was delicious and the fries were hot. Because
it was a Sunday afternoon there were no grocery stores opened and I was
very upset that I couldn't even buy a soda for the hotel. Our chicken curry
place had 1.25 liters in the fridge and I paid way too much for a Fanta
Orange to bring back with me, such is life in Europe where everything is
closed basically all the time.

Our hotel was nice enough although we had a battle royale over the use of
the fan. With no air conditioning it was stuffy and warm in the room. I
haven't even seen a fan in 5 months and was very excited. Heather does not
like fans. She was not pleased with her sleep by morning.

Tomorrow we take a short bus to the major city, Quimper in the SW corner of
coastal France. We've booked an apartment for 4 nights. It was a great
deal. The upcoming weather I mentioned a few days ago is not good. There is
a fair bit of rain coming, but the real issue is that the wind is
forecasted to be gusting 30-50 mph over the next 4 days. It's just not
remotely possible to camp out in the open in those conditions with our
ultralight tents. At least night after night plus rain would be maddening.
Normally we'd restructure our days to make sure we camped in forest, but
that's just not possible going forward. There is almost no forest at all,
just totally exposed beach and ocean walking. It also wouldn't really be
all that enjoyable to walk exposed all day with rain too.

We contemplated just moving on from here and heading to our final hike, the
Massif Central section of the TEAR, but even if we slowed down a bit we'd
still end up with a ton of extra days before we flew out. And we had
already booked our train out of here and changing it wasn't going to be
cheap. We also considered when heading over to the Central Massif section
and then once that was finished we could start the Pyrenees section
(planned for 2025) by just continuing on. There are 3 routes there and even
the 2 more sane ones are still high up in the mountains. Given our luck
with the weather, it's likely we'd be getting snowed on or something as
later October is kinda the end of the good season for the Pyrenees. So we
scratched that idea too.

In the end, we decided to stay here and hope that the forecast is hikable
after our 4 nights off. Initially the wind and rain looked awful for 8
days, but it seems to be getting better and it's possible we can get back
to hiking after our 4 nights. That would still leave us with a week of
coastal hiking which would be awesome. Fingers crossed. Europe hates me and
I hate Europe. No surprise there!

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Journal Photo

Trans-European Alpine Route (TEAR)

The Trans-European Alpine Route (TEAR) crosses mainland Europe by traversing 6 major mountains systems. It passes through 16 countries, 16+ national parks, and is roughly 6250km long.


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