As the sun shone on the righteous (nos) in Guémené yesterday but with the usual band of walkers doing other stuff, Ian & I decided to do a very local randondée and explore a part of the area’s disused railway line.
This is something I’d been meaning to do for ages as the path beckons enticingly as you drive from the town centre across the old railway bridge. Try as much as I did, no Google search came up with information about when the town lost its rail links although I have heard that in its hayday it had no fewer than 4 lines criss crossing it and now the nearest that’s left is a station in Beslé on the Paris – Rennes – Brest route.
So with Ian on his bike and me with my Nordic walking sticks (upper body workout?), we set out and soon found the first part of the walk quite muddy and churned up due to farm tractor access but it was still navigable.
A little way along the hedgerow had been thinned and allowed a lovely view over rolling countryside on the left. We passed a delightful private area with a lake and Shetland ponies which was obviously someone’s holiday getaway and then a small stream meandered under the path.
. Passing another farm on the right, I noticed the remains of old farming equipment doing service as part of the fencing – the French are great recyclers and never throw anything away that might still have some use left in it. I’ve seen some very ingenious uses of old bed springs as plant supports and even as a mechanism for closing a gate. As we walked on we thought how lovely it would be if the people of Guémené still had the train service to Nantes and imagined seeing the countryside from the carriage windows. Pretty soon we arrived at a tarmac road and what was obviously an old station house (now refurbished and lived in) on the opposite side of the road and that was the end of our line as far as we were aware. . Not wanting to end up walking to either the D15 Blain road or the D3 Plessé road, we mooched around the small village of La Mignonnais and soon picked up the train track again – not quite a circular route but about 6km all told. I later found some maps online and found that we could have picked up the ongoing train track on the other side of the station house and that’s what we’ll do the next time we go walkies. Although that will make it a much more substantial walk it does seem to end at the village of Cowdray . Come and explore our lovely and diverse region and find your own holiday memories to treasure, click aquí to whet your appetite.