Florent's tale : 3 days in a kayak between the sea and the countryside

"It's been wanting to leave my house and take a long kayak trip... "
 
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"It's been wanting to leave my house and take a long kayak trip over several days for a while, to explore places I'd never seen before.
Once my route was planned out, I carefully worked out the departure time on the Friday evening so that the tide was high at Collet harbour and the arrival time so that the tide was going down on the Sunday morning towards Frossay."
I brought 40 kg of equipment with me:
a tent, mattress, duvet, food, 5 litres of water, sunglasses and a camera.
La Bernerie en Retz
Day 1: La Fontaine aux Bretons / Le Tenu (around 30 km)

"I left on Friday evening at 6 pm from la Joselière (la Fontaine aux Bretons). I headed towards la Bernerie-en-Retz and its wild coast. The sky started to turn pink and orange making the rocks and cliffs I paddled past extraordinarily beautiful.

Going past Les Moutiers-en-Retz, the setting changed: the coast is made up of dunes here, with fine sand which is much lighter and fishing huts... so many fishing huts, one after another. The view from the sea was beautiful! And also I wasn't alone. I was close to Marais de Lyarne and its fauna. I came across turnstones, Eurasian oystercatchers and plovers.

I arrived at Collet harbour at nightfall and headed towards Machecoul, at around 3 am I finally arrived near the River " Tenu" where I set up camp."

 
  • Les dunes du Collet
  • tournepierres
Day 2: Le Tenu / Buzay (around 30 km)

"On Saturday morning, I took the River Tenu again towards Port-Saint-Père. This is a narrow river, wild with a vast number of trees. All along the route, I enjoyed the view of houses with pretty gardens, small pontoons, water lilies and lots of countryside animals including cows, sheep and horses. When I reached Port-Saint-Père, I came across fishermen and could spy a church in the distance... it must have been the one dedicated to Saint-Pierre.

 
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After passing under the bridge on the Nantes/Pornic route, I paddled onto the River Acheneau. The special feature of this river: the current can go in both directions. Of course, this is done artificially to control the level of the Grandlieu lake. I saw farms, cows, pigs... I love this type of agricultural landscape. I finished my second day on the banks of the River Loire."
Balade en paddle à Tharon
Day 3: Heading down the River Loire / La Fontaine aux Bretons, Pornic (around 60 km)

"Sunday, 8 am, I headed back down the River Loire in the fog with the sound of cow bells and foghorns from the boats in my ears.

As I crossed Donges industrial zone, I came across freight boats and at Cordemais I spotted the famous Villa Cheminée. It wasn't the only permanent artwork
 
I had the pleasure of admiring on the artistic "Estuary" route. When I reached Paimboeuf, I saw the famous Jardin étoilé... I really have to go there one day... and towards Saint Brévin-les-Pins the majestic Serpent d’Océan... which was very impressive to see from the sea.

Towards the Tharon/Le Cormier beach, I came across paddleboarders. They were right to head out then - the weather was perfect and it's the ideal setting! From the sea, you spot beautiful houses and lots of small coves and beaches which are practically private (some are only accessible at low tide).

 
Quand le vieux port de Pornic s'illumine
When I arrived near to the Pointe Saint-Gildas at Préfailles, the sun was already starting to set. In Summer, I offer trips at sunset around here - even though I'm extremely familiar with the landscape it still continues to amaze me. Navigating this area requires specific technique as I have to pay attention to the different currents running into one another, the rocky plateau and unfurling waves.

At around 11 pm, I spotted the lights of Pornic harbour. I lingered for a while to admire the different colours reflected in the sea before heading home."
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