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.
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.
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:
Back down to Fliquet Bay and the coastal scenery was sublime.
We strolled along the low sea wall in the sunshine.
And came across beautiful wild flowers – I am absolutely positive that Mark will have great shots of these 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…
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.
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.
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: