Like the Basques from our favorite region of France, the Bretons had a longstanding separatist movement and still maintain their own language. Many of the road signs are in two languages.
While Quiberon is in Brittany and fascinated us with its varied coastline and nearby prehistory, I don't think we were quite prepared for Finistere. It was much more stark than we had imagined - almost bleak. I had heard a lot about La Torche, the surf break with its famous Ascenseur (Elevator) - a current that runs at up to 8 miles per hour and is great for propelling you back to the lineup but we really weren't expecting any waves as the surf forecast wasn't promising. However, with our great introduction to Brittany in Quiberon, we had high hopes for this more remote area.
Even the names of the towns seemed intriguing. Lot's of 'P's and apostrophes in names like Penmarc'h, Pouldreuzic, Plozevet, and Pluguffan.
After several miles, we turned back passing through the village of Ploumanac'h, and then catching up to the GR 34 again. There was some small crowded surf in the afternoon but I decided to pass. That evening we had another fantastic dinner, this time at La Suite overlooking the beach in western Perros.
For breakfast the next morning, we stopped at a artisanal bakery where we found some of the best bread we've eaten in France - and that's saying a lot! We're big bread fans and the French with their 3-4 bakes a day supply some of the best, freshest bread in the world. But I do love heavy breads like the black breads found in Germany and eastern Europe, so I really enjoyed the hearty fresh bread of Brittany.
In looking back at our quick trip up the west coast of France with our stops in Ile d'Oleron, Olonne-sur-mer, and Quiberon (which is part of Brittany), clearly Brittany wins out. We felt at home there much as we do in the Basque Region. Between the history (actually pre-history), the spectacular landscapes, the rugged ocean, the GR 34, and the interesting people, there's much to explore and experience. Without a doubt, we'll be going back.