Guernsey, 2010

Back at home resting after a very enjoyable week of walking accompanied by intense eating, drinking and being wind-battered on Guernsey. Our entertainment came courtesy of our very kind friends, Steve & Rosemary, who invited us to share their annual timeshare week at Vazon Bay on the west coast of the island. The weather was, shall we say, interestingly mixed, the most constant feature being wind.

IMG_9203_Guernsey IMG_9197_Guernsey Vazon Bay faces pretty much north-west and catches waves after their largely uninterrupted journeys across the Atlantic. It comes as no surprise, therefore, that Vazon Bay also acts as a  magnet for those keen on surfing, themselves trying to catch the very same waves. To the uninitiated (i.e. me), surfing appears to consist of paddling out a long way on a surf board, sitting for some time nattering with others doing very little, then, when a good looking wave turns up, paddling back towards shore like fury whilst attempting to stand up on said board as it climbs the roller. Assuming one gets stood up and remains that way, it is then necessary to bail out before being dashed onto the rocks that fill the bay. Assuming one is still alive, one turns around and paddles back out again. Great fun! In order to protect the shore from the now pebble- and surfer-ridden Atlantic rollers, there are some very interestingly eroded wooden breakwaters which you can see here. [Ed: Do not adjust your sets, one of these shots really is monochrome.]

Guernsey is essentially a six mile by six mile triangle, the western hypotenuse being about nine miles long. Being retired, I’ll leave you to do the precise maths. The maximum speed on the island is 35mph with many roads being restricted to 25 mph. Quite why rich folks living on such a small, restricted island spend their dosh on vehicles like Porsches, Aston Martins, Ferraris and AC Cobras is completely beyond me. However, many do. On one day of our visit, though, the stretch of coast road passing our Vazon Bay accommodation had been closed to regular traffic to act as an all limits removed charity drag strip. In favour of a good cause, all the island’s expensive, normally restrained vehicles were being given their head. So was a Vanden Plas Allegro, presumably in the funny car category.

IMG_7928_Guernsey IMG_9304_Guernsey On the opposite side of Guernsey from Vazon Bay, facing the French Cotentin peninsula, lies the capital, St Peter Port. St. Peter Port seems to be known simply as “town”, at least by the bus drivers. The island has an excellent, very reasonably priced bus service and much of our time was spent riding buses either to or from one end of a walk or another. Sometimes it was necessary to combine bus routes through the “town” terminus but that was fine because it enabled us to buy some excellent local fresh fish from the excellent local fresh fish monger which overlooks St. Peter Port harbour. In contrast to the monochrome view of Vazon Bay above, here is a very vivid view looking back over the harbour to “town” itself. Many of the aforementioned buses (mostly green and yellow) can be seen at the “town” terminus beyond the harbour. Further out beyond the fishmongers lies Castle Cornet and  a modest lighthouse with the occasionally less than modest wave as can be seen right.

IMG_7798_Guernsey IMG_9062_Guernsey IMG_7897_Guernsey Linking Vazon Bay in the west and St. Peter Port in the East, much of the coast of Guernsey resembles Cornwall but in miniature. The seascapes can be by degrees both appealing and/or spectacular be it in sunny, settled weather or in less than settled conditions. A few contrasting examples from three of our walks are presented here.

We had a great time. How lucky we are to have such gracious friends. Thank you so much!

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