March 25, 2002, Monday
Beg an Fry and the roast road, Brittany (France) Temp: 6 C, morning; PM temp: 15 C; wind 6-10 knots from the NNE
Back on the road headed south from Primel-Tregastel, to Plougasnou then east along the coast road passing the point, Beg Gracia to again explore the fabled point, BEG an FRY. This time, after lunch, the “holy hour” in France, my wife came along, since she had never been BEG an FRY. The word “BEG” means “point” in the Breton language. This sunny morning had been virtually windless, temperature was now near 60 F.
This site, about 7 miles from the cottage that we are staying at in Primel-Tregastel, has a small access road running over the spine of the bluff, which is about 250 feet high. We left the VW Bora parked at the first bend, and walked in from there. Today my wife and I noticed many little foot paths that led away at right angles from the narrow 300 yard access road. We went all the way to the blown up German bunker and started down the rough stairway and narrow path that led to the bottom on the north side for some exploring and picture taking. Brittany is loaded with all sorts of hiking trails.
As we descended to the lower levels of the bluff, the wind started to puff in from the north. Ah ha! After about 45 minutes. We came back to the top and proceeded to walk back to the car through the Gorse lined road on the spine of the bluff. Wow! The heat here was intense, as well as the sweet smell of the vegetation. This high pressure day was producing total sunshine, activating the prickly, man high, yellow flowered Gorse (in French, Ajonc) with its millions of little thorns and yell flowers on both sides of this last section of the dirt access road. The Gorse completely shielded the wind as well as the view.
I went to the car and got the Pixel and walked back to one of the foot paths that led away to the north from the access road. Lo and behold! Within a few yards from the access road, a beautiful sight came into view: 100 yards to either side of me was the soft “pillow” vegetation that is the best landing material ever made for “crunchies.” With this, who needs a foamie? Straight out in front of me was about 100 feet of this same vegetation, gently inclined, to a more severe drop off. All of this was easy to walk over, not like that nasty, thorny, yellow flowered Gorse. Looking behind me toward the road, I could see that I had been fooled yesterday into thinking the there was only nasty vegetation here. This is one of the most perfect slopes that I have ever been to, anywhere on two continents.
BEG an FRY can be flown with N, or SE, and NE winds. There is a bowl shaped bluff about half a mile across on the SE side.
Launching the Pixel into about a 7-8 knot wind, it went straight out over the north bluff, picking a little altitude as it went past the drop off. I flew for about 20 minutes with my wife snapping a lot of photos, and then proceeded to bungle my landing about 20 yards to my right. One of the funniest sights that I have ever witnessed is the Pixel stalling from about an eight foot height and coming nose down at a steep angle. Normally this produces a sickening sound (thud, thwack, etc.) and some unwanted damage; here it produced the crazy sight of the Pixel bouncing up backward about a foot after hitting the thick vegetation. No damage at all.
We left about 2:30 PM for the cottage to go to the town of Morlaix to exchange the VW Bora for the Renault Scenic. After driving the Bora, everything else is an old lady’s car.
I came back alone to the coast road at BEG GRACIA about 5:30 PM. This is a very remote road with only two houses on it for the whole of the two mile length before it turns inland to go toward BEG an FRY. I flew here twenty years ago, and nothing has changed here. The road twists and turns for its whole length, finally dead ending on to a wide dirt road, which is just at the turn of the road that takes you inland. I started flying at this dead end with the Pixel again. Good conditions here, wind still light and steady from the north, but after a while I noticed gulls massing on a point about 500 yards to my left. So I landed on the vegetation that makes you think that your plane is a foamie, picked up my plane, and drove over to the spot with the gulls.
Launching into this light air at this new point seemed to get a little more altitude, but not much else. After about a 20 minute flight, I landed