Mont Saint Michel Pilgrimage Day 1

St Malo to Le Vivier-sur-Mer 18.92 km

Wayside Cross Near St Malo

Walking from St Malo to Le Vivier-sur-Mer offers a refreshing escape from the conventional tourist routes. This is not a marked trail but a more direct route. The experience of walking the 19km between them provides a different perspective on the beauty, history, and culture that define this region.

St Malo, with a ferry from Poole in the UK served as an ideal starting point for this short pilgrimage. The town’s maritime heritage is palpable as you stroll along the cobbled streets past its imposing medieval walls and ramparts which offer panoramic views of the English Channel. Fortunately, we have visited St Malo before as on this trip I did not have time to explore the historic Old Town, its vibrant markets, and the iconic Fort National before setting off.

After terrible night of no bed and no sleep never using Virgin Australia hotel bookings and F1 Hotels ever again! Left at 6am still annoyed at having a booking but no bed available and it took me a while to let it go. The sun rising at the first stone wayside cross I come across helped remind me why I was here.

There are many reasons for these crosses, but I like that Alongside a pathway, a cross may indicate a direction. During the Middle Ages they were erected to guide pilgrims on their way and perhaps provide places to stop for prayer. Along the Compostella pilgrim route these crosses are often engraved with a cockle shell, the symbol of the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostella in Spain and St James.

I am making my own way across country today following roads and farm tracks and trails towards Mont Saint Michel.

Unfortunately sometimes where there is supposed to be a trail there just isn’t! In todays case I can see a road about 100 m ahead so I decided to bush bash through what turned out to be an exciting combination of blackberry thorns, thistles and stinging nettles.

After about 11km I reach the coast well a coast that is not a coast. The water is miles away. Now at the coast I can follow the Coastal track toward Mont Saint Michel which I can now see in the distance, about 20km away over the ocean that is not an ocean.

Arrived at the hotel Bretagne at Le Vivier-sur-Mer at 12:20 the lady kindly gave me a room early so I could have a nap!

Route Video

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