Friday 9 June, 2017
And so, to France
Well today, for a change, it is back on the ferries. Condor again, with a fast ferry through to St Malo. But before I start on the usual obsessive boat details I need to write about yesterday. And without talking about the boats. They do warrant a paragraph or to but not at this time.
Sark completely captivated the two of us, through to pondering if we could live there for three-month period some time. Perhaps we could get a long-term rental and perhaps J could volunteer at the garden she found. I would simply write, or perhaps write simply, walk, sleep and, well nothing much else. The traffic on Sark is either tractors, bikes, or horses. The community has sensibly kept motor scooters and small motor bikes out (as well as cars, of course). They may tolerate mobility scooters; however, we did not see any operating although we saw one on the luggage tray of a tractor. I think the terrain and rumpity roads would put paid to mobility scooters in short order.
We arrived on the island about 11 in the morning and didn’t stop walking, apart from the gardens séjour, through until about 3.30 in the afternoon. Our first foray was from the harbour up to the village. At a junction early on, I blocked the view of the sign pointing to the village and watched while a group of continentals trudged past turning on to another track. They were all wearing serious hiking clothing and had Nordic walking poles. None of them spoke, all of them frowned, many of them leaned forward into the rise. They were a serious group doing serious walking. I meanwhile, whistled Dixie. We saw them again later in the day, same line up, same frowns, same serious intent. They did though, look a bit tuckered out. I guess route marching does that. Maybe they never found the village.
Sark is crisscrossed with narrow dirt roads and paths. Walking all over is the way to do it, though many come off the boats, climb on the tractor trailers to go up to the village, and then tour the island by horse and cart. We walked at much the same pace as the horse and carts. There are also sit-up-and-beg bikes for hire, but J ruled that out before I had a chance to raise the possibility. She did so on the grounds that a stationary bike at the gym was not the same as stone littered dirt tracks.
At the North end of Sark is Little Sark with its very narrow, very high path across a spine. The sea has cut into both sides and maybe in the years to come Little Sark will become an island by itself. Sark makes it living from tourists. In another week or two there will be many boats a day to the island and much of its tranquillity will dissolve into thin air. Our day in Sark was spent very much on our own with few encounters with other day visitors. It was interesting to watch the few locals we saw. Locals never looked at the day trippers, they ignored them. It was as though we were not there. I admired this.
A highlight of Sark was the sign outside a house saying its garden was open for viewing and everyone was welcome to wander through it. This was a different garden from the formal one we visited earlier in the day. There was no entry fee or donation box for this second garden of the day. The garden was charming and the chooks looked as though they had found paradise. I suppose some, at least, would end up in the pot.
It is now about 10 in the morning on Friday, the day after our Sark visit. We are sitting in a café. J is repeatedly saying bum while she is peering at her screen. I’ve learnt over the years to ignore this muttering at computers. If it’s not ‘bum’ it’s ‘This is so annoying’ or ‘I just don’t understand’. I am doing a happy squint and peck writing this. The St Malo ferry leaves at two this afternoon. Between now and then I will probably find an op shop and look for another DF.
The weather is good with no wind and I predict the ferry (with its four water jets) will hurtle us to France.