Stampede at at Le Mont Saint-Michel!
Our summer of 2022 trip took us to France, where we visited Paris and Brittany. We made a slight detour to Le Mont Saint-Michel, which is perhaps technically in Normandy but right on the eastern edge of Brittany. We had spent a few days in Paris before taking the high speed train to Rennes, where we picked up a rental car. The drive from Rennes to Mont Saint-Michel was only about an hour.
The parking situation around Mont Saint-Michel is a little tricky, with some areas being gated off and only accessible from paid parking lots. Outside that area, there are also hotels and trails which lead towards the Mont. We spent one night in Ardevon, a small town of a few houses clustered around the main road with easy access to the fields around the Mont.
When checking into our guesthouse, we found out that the sheep that graze in the fields are herded up and run through town each night to their barns where they spend the night. We happened to be staying right on their route, so we had front row seats to what would be a really fun experience.
As the time grew closer, I moved up along the road to an area where I hoped the sheep would pass. Eventually, the sheepherders appeared with small all-terain vehicles and dogs, and soon enough a large column of sheep was streaming towards us. I put my camera on continuous auto focus and tried to get focus on the ones closest to me. A cloud of dust rose behind them as they stampeded toward us.
Most of the sheep were intent on getting through the gate, which was just to the right in the photo. However, a few would stop and graze, such as those on the left. Eventually the dogs would move them along.
This was a really incredible experience and something I’m glad I got to see. The next morning, my wife got to see them go out into the fields (I was off photographing something else).