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Friday, 2 September 2011

JERSEY: THE CHANNEL ISLAND WAY: 4: The East Coast (i)

OR: I COULD GET USED TO THIS

Our day started with a massive ‘Full English’ (well, we did have strenuous walking ahead of us… and The Inn is well known for it’s excellent food) and the sun streaming into the hotel lobby.

A chap arrived dressed in a suit with a very smart vehicle with dark tinted windows. We bundled into it to be taken on our first assignment. All very ‘The Apprentice!’ But today no-one was going to be fired.

As we trundled along the country roads Arthur explained in very broad terms how the island was laid out: Imagine a breakfast tray in bed sitting on your legs: If you were to lift your knees slightly the long edge of the tray nearest your knees would be higher than the edge closest to your belly. Just like Jersey. It’s highest at the north coast and slopes down southwards to the south coast. The valleys then run north to south. All very sensibly arranged, is Jersey. It means that there are not too many whopping great valleys dissecting the cliffs along the north coast, which means that the cliff path along the north coast is a delightful airy traverse along the tops. Apart, that is, from the few really big down & ups – but there are not too many of them – which is ‘perfick’ for an idle middle aged, greying, thinning haired chap with a burgeoning belly like me!

However, today we were to set off down the east coast from the north. So that meant that in theory we should be waltzing down hill all day. Does it get better than this?

The day was already sunny and hot when we were dropped off at the north eastern corner of the island near Rozel. We strolled down a quiet track overhung with broad-leafed trees to come quietly onto a bright blue, flat calm sea. It was a wonderfully peaceful spot. The scent of wild flowers and the sea air just added to the bliss.

Looking to Rozel

We trundled about the remains of a five thousand year old burial chamber; Le Couperon Dolmen and poked around in the adjacent battery and gunpowder magazine; an interesting juxtaposition of a monument to the dead and the tools to make it possible.

Le Couperon Dolmen & Gunpowder Magazine

Then we were off, up a small road to head over to Fliquet Bay. We bumped into one of Arthur’s family members, once removed, and slipped into an easy conversation about this and that. It seemed as though Arthur and she knew the entire island.

I think it’s pretty difficult to get lost in Jersey as there are little signs all over the shop to help you find your way:

Helpful Signeage

 Jersey Cream Factory

Back down to Fliquet Bay and the coastal scenery was sublime.

Fliquet Bay

We strolled along the low sea wall in the sunshine.

Fliquet Bay wall

And came across beautiful wild flowers – I am absolutely positive that Mark will have great shots of these Jersey Lilies!

Jersey Lilies

We passed another old coastal fortification; St Catherine’s Tower, designed to ward off the French. There are quite a few of these towers dotted all around the island as the French were particularly troublesome in days gone by…

 St Catherine's Tower

We carried on around St Catherine’s Bay, passing Kyron Bracken’s new pad, still under construction. (We had a little nose about, well… you have to, don’t you? It was all very stylish but very exposed) We passed bay after bay of complete tranquillity; frankly after a while I just took it for granted that the next bay would either be just as gorgeous as the last or even more beautiful.

Anne Port

It was on the beach shown above that we bumped into Sarah, who I noticed whilst Mark was busily acquiring fragrant handfuls of Jersey cherry tomatoes from a roadside stall with an honesty box for the princely sum of 50p.

Sarah was sporting a daysack and my eagle eye spotted that she was carrying Arthur’s guidebook in her hand. With a very waggy tail, I introduced her to Arthur who very sportingly signed her copy of the Channel Island Way.

Arthur & Sarah

Munching Mark’s tasty tomatoes, we set off once more up and over the headland to another defensive fort; the Victoria Tower, which set us up perfectly for the view down to Gorey, and lunch:

Mont Orgueil Castle & Gorey

14 comments:

  1. It would never have occurred to me in a million years to go to Jersey for a walking holiday. But there you go. Sun, sea, history and interesting places – the ingredients for success. So long as Bergerac’s irritating father-in-law Charlie Hungerford isn’t still around, I might go over myself sometime.
    A thoroughly enjoyable report, Alan.

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  2. I quite enjoyed old Charlie Hungerford... At least he enjoyed the odd tipple, not like poor old sober Jim Bergerac...

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  3. Looks tough, but someone has to do it. Very beautiful. Reminds me of Cornwall

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  4. Hi Robin
    I thought that, to start with. However there are major differences.

    There is no litter in Jersey.
    I didn't spot a single shop selling tourist tat.
    All the locals were really friendly.
    I didn't spot any barbed wire near any of the footpaths.

    There will be more later!

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  5. Very strange this parallel blogging. I read this post when I was half way through writing my account of the same day - I found myself thinking, "Oh - I've used a photo like that. And that. etc etc."
    I didn't take a picture of the puddings however!

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  6. The gratuitous shot of the puddings is only included for the gourmands amongst the congregation (there are a few).

    They will want to know about the rations available on the island; I am merely providing a public service in letting them know were their food-drops can be found.

    Those dehydrated meals came up a treat, don't you think?

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  7. Fantastic pictures, been to Jersey but never thought of it as a walking destination. I really must try alternatives to the Lake District!

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  8. Thanks, HC. It's a point & shoot job with hardly any controllable twiddly bits. I am of the school that if you point and click enough times something might turn out good enough for the blog...

    If you have a little time on your hands to really take your time, Jersey is a fantastic walking destination. I wouldn't rush it - there's too much to see. Mind you, having said that, I don't rush any of my walks...

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  9. After our recent Hebridean trip, I've been told we're going abroad next year, I wonder if Jersey counts???

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  10. Fraser: It's like abroad, only better. They have their own pound notes, you know!

    And their potatoes... oh, Jeez.... their potatoes... like angels kissing your tongue and dragging the mother-in-law down to hades.

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  11. Like the last photo - picture perfect sandy bay, blue sea, boats, harbour all overlooked by a proper castle. And with beer and food thrown in. What could be finer for two gentleman bloggers
    Andy

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  12. Andy: I agree totally. All quite perfick!

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  13. I've done the week-long Jersey around the island walk twice with Arthur, and thouroughly enjoyed it and strongly recommend it. Met some lovely people, some of whom I am still in contact with. I love the Bergerac TV Series, and particularly Charlie Hungerford, but sadly the house used for his home was demolished in early 2012 and can no longer be seen. The actor who played him, Terence Alexander, sadly passed away a few years before.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Si
      :-)

      I was only talking about Jersey & Arthur yesterday! I really really like Jersey. It does Britain better than England. And Arthur is a shiny star who knows the place and the people like the back of his hand.

      Sorry to hear about Mr Alexander - he will always be remembered with affection.
      :-)

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