I really wanted to call this post 'Between a Rock and a Hard Place' but that would have been corny and so predictable and it must have been used thousands of times already in relation to this place:
It's called Castel Meur and it is famous for having been built between two huge blocks of granite. Of course, back in 1861 there were no restrictions on where people could construct a house, though it must have taken either a lot of courage or a large measure of stupidity to build your home with its back to the sea and at the mercy of the storms that batter this coast.
Perhaps the first owner knew that one day his home would be famous.
During the years since his death it has stood empty, served as a second home and then came into the possession of his grand-daughter, although I don't see how the numbers add up, if he built it in 1861 he would have to have been born almost two hundred years ago but who knows?
The new owner returned from America in 2004. I'm not sure if she lives there full-time but when I went there were cars outside and the front door was open so someone was in residence. It seems that the lady was not happy with the house's notoriety, and when a coachload of Japanese tourists stole some of the roof tiles as souvenirs it was the last straw, and she had a wall built to encircle the house and land, and banned the use of pictures for commercial gain, which put an end to the previously popular postcards of Castel Meur.
It's not just Castel Meur's owner who is protected in these parts, the rocks and pebbles are where the rare plover chooses to nest and to lay one or two eggs each spring.
Just as along the Sentier des Douaniers, walkers here are restricted to wire-lined paths along the sea and steered away from the flora and fauna. The result is that the area is incredibly beautiful, a real wild rock garden.
Visitors are also forbidden by law to take the pebbles from the beach.
In fact they're banned from the area of the beach where the pebbles occur lest they disturb the plovers.
Someone seems not to have heeded the warning notices...
this pebble was the size of my hand, beautifully blue and speckled, like a bird's egg.
I wished I'd taken a bag for rubbish.
There were a few bits of paper, tissues, plastic bags and cigarette ends on the paths and they offended me. I'm not averse to clearing up after other people and I do usually carry a bag for such purposes and a hand gel to protect myself from the germs - a hangover from chemotherapy days - but this time I was not well equipped.
Next time though...
When the tourists have left and I can return to enjoy a more solitary, less sociable morning.
I couldn't quite decide if the novelty of the house's location and the beauty of the shoreline would provide adequate compensation for the disruption caused by the tourists who flock to this spot.
Even an abundant supply of pine cones may not be quite enough. Have I ever told you that I love to collect pine cones? Don't even wonder why, I am just a human squirrel!
Maybe the wild fennel growing among the rocks would help?
Fennel and freshly caught fish for supper...
and then a glass of chilled white wine as I admire the sunset and look for dolphins and whales in the granite rocks.
Please tell me you can see the baby whale?
I think that I proved how smooth a driver I am that day.
As I pulled into a car park at the restaurant for lunch someone tapped on my window and waved my fitness bracelet at me, seems it had been on the roof of my car since I'd left the car park by Castel Meur, some three miles away. Sadly those extra miles had not been added to my mileage total.