It took until 11 o’clock before the sun finally managed to burn its way through the mist that shrouded Dinan this morning. From there it turned into a beautiful, clear day.
We walked down to Dinan Port and hired a small boat for a few hours. This was comfort cruising as it had a steering wheel like a car and actual cushions – not your basic tinny at all. We headed downriver past some beautiful countryside and a couple of houses that might or might not qualify as villages. The sea is not all that far away from Dinan and the river widens quickly, although there is a narrow but clearly marked channel you need to stay within. The river was perfectly calm, apart from us the only thing causing ripples were fish jumping and birds diving.
We’d brought a picnic with us so didn’t stop at the next major town, Port Lyvet, just turned around and headed back up river.
After passing back through Dinan we continued up-river under a little arched bridge and the huge viaduct. Here the river gets, naturally enough, progressively narrower until you are motoring though a green-sided channel surrounded by trees. After about 15 minutes you come to the first up-stream lock. Sadly for us, the locks only operate after 1 April (in general you can’t hire boats until then either but the good weather had led the couple who run the boat-hire to open up early). So we turned around again and sailed back down-river to Dinan.
The boys did most of the driving and had an absolute ball. They did a good job keeping us on track too with only the very occasional dramatic intervention required.