It will take a while for me to sort out visiting the final four countries in my target 197, so I have decided to gently add a few more territories to my list to give me something to do in the meantime (everything from the Faroe Islands to potentially Pitcairn). And in the spirit of being creative I thought I would combine my love of running with visiting a new territory and run around the island of Jersey (including the 5k to and from the airport to the coast, I reckon it’s about 87k of running and 77k around the island). I am taking it easy these days coming back from injury so have split it into two days of running with a night in a nice hotel. Early morning departures from Gatwick are grim, but I made the 5.15 Gatwick express and was well on time for my 7 am flight with bleary eyes.
We were an hour late but I eventually got out of the airport, and was delighted that the weather was nicer than expectedly. The run to the coast was frustrating…. my legs despise concrete so I walked it as I couldn’t find a path up on the dunes (though have figured that out for tomorrow). The coast was lovely but the tide was high so running on the sand was out of the question and the esplanade was more concrete so I wasn’t getting much running done.
After a lovely stroll up the esplanade, I finally hit the cliff path starting at la Porte….. aah happiness. There path from there on was fantastic. Stunning heather, endless bays, great views.
I was starving by 11.30 so stopped at the seaside cafe in la Greve for an excellent bacon bap and a modest slice of carrot cake (and a cup of tea and a Diet Coke). The cake was excellent but was probably a bad idea as it bounced around in my stomach for the next few km.
The rest of the day past swiftly jogging from village to village. I stopped again for two more diet cokes in la Vallette and filled up my water.
I arrived at the main road into la Rozel a little before four and promptly fell in the road getting out of the way of a car (an excellent graze)….. but limped my way up to the lovely country hotel where I had decided to stay the night. All in it was only about 37k of running (just under six hours) so the walking guide I was using must have been off on the distances. Oh well, not a bad thing to finish early, even though I was ready to do another 8-10k.
I chatted with the lovely folks at the hotel who found me some first aid supplies (it was a posh hotel and I was making the place look very untidy with blood gushing down my leg and sweat and dirt all over my face. I am always delighted when posh hotels don’t bat an eyelid when you turn up gross and sweaty.
They did tip me off that the path back to the airport if I continued was 90% flat road, which is my idea of hell, so am abandoning my circumnavigation plan and going back the way I came – the 25km of cliff path was fantastic
I had a bath, and headed down to the excellent local pub for steak and chips and knickerbocker glory! Life is good!!! Then in bed by 9pm
I woke up the next day to torrential rain. I had a full English breakfast and then decided to take advantage of the break in the weather to head out. It was lovely for about five minutes and the rain came back. Honestly it was a gruelling morning….. I wasn’t really prepared for the weather….after about 8k I had lost feeling in my fingers.
I made it to a pub at 12k and had a latte, tried to get feeling back in my fingers, and gave myself a stern talking to. I packed on a few more layers, a hat, some gloves and put on a podcast about a women who did a deca Ironman (literally 40k swim, 420k run and 1800k bike ride over 12 days), and told myself to harden the f up.
At 20k I decided to give into the shakes and retreat to a cafe. I had two cups of tea and a lamb roll and got the bus to the airport. I put all my clothes on and had two more coffees and some cake and fudge. It took me four hours to warm up. Hmmmm, note to self, pack more warm clothes for my upcoming trip to guernsey.
I would recommend the coastal path in the north. It’s lovely….. I stayed at the Chateau La Chaire, and ate at their pub in Rozel. It’s an easy trip from London with several flights a day.
Sunday 14 October, 2018