One of the advantages of sea kayaking in Brittany is that when the wind is blowing hard and paddling on the sea is something that is probably best left for another day, there is always the opportunity to discover some of the delightful estuaries which punctuate both the north and south coasts.
One of my favourites is the Laita, which lies just to the west of Lorient, close to the eastern border of the Finistere Department. We have always aimed to complete a two way trip, paddling up the river to Quimperle on the rising tide, lunching in this delightful Breton town before catching the ebb tide back towards the coast of southern Brittany.
For much of the trip the road pulls back from the banks and there is a sense of isolation, which is increased passing through the reed beds where even access by foot is difficult if not impossible.
The total distance for the return trip is 16 nautical miles but it can feel much less due to appropriate planning, resulting in tidal assistance in both directions. I have paddled most of the Breton estuaries, with it normally being seen as a bad weather alternative to kayaking on the open water. The reality is that this is a delightful place to paddle in all weather conditions and the Laita is possibly my favourite estuary paddle in the region.
Nicky just upstream of Le Pouldu
Typical paddling conditions. The valley had a remote feel with a wide variety of birds encountered. We saw Kingfishers and Green Sandpipers on the banks with the inevitable buzzards circling overhead.
The railway bridge just to the south of Quimperle
Arriving in the centre of Quimperle, progress upstream is stopped by the weir. Lunch was taken on a slipway in the centre of town.