Wednesday 9th December 2015 – 49/52 – St. Peter Port to Icart Point
I caught the bus in St Martin’s with Anne S as we headed for the town terminus and the beginning of the 13th circumnavigation of the island. What a fabulous morning it was, with blue skies, a gentle SSW breeze and temperatures around 12-13 degrees, much more like an early spring day than a December winter day. Clive S was already there waiting for us at the Aquarium, so we set off with a spring in our step and headed for the Fort George area and then on to Fermain Bay.
One of the distinct advantages of the mild conditions is the fact that the cliff paths have not got too wet and boggy as they can so often do at this time of the year; there are lots of leaves on the paths, but at least they are dry.
There was no-one around at Fermain, despite the sun shining brightly; it looked “picture postcard” as we looked down from the viewing point at the opposite side of the valley. I just love this walk from here on to St Martin’s Point as it is so sheltered and the views are just spectacular; Clive says that the view through the pine trees and on to the other islands and the sea is one of his favourite Guernsey views: that is one of the reasons this is also his favourite leg of the 4 round-the-island walks.
Climbing the steps up St. Martin’s Point was really hard work today despite the mild conditions, and both Anne and I were struggling by the time we reached the top. Angela, my wife, was there to greet us as she had brought Andy, our son, to join us. She had already dropped him off at Doyle Monument as they did not know exactly where we would be, and he was heading back towards us on the cliff path from Petit Port. Anne decided not to miss the opportunity of a lift back home with Angela at this point – normally she would drop off just before Moulin Huet and head back home into St Martin’s and leave me and Clive to continue on to Icart, but today she felt she had done enough.
We met up with Andy just before La Moye Battery; I was delighted he was able to join us for this leg as he has now completed the majority of the 4 walks around the island, and considering he was the originator of the Autism 365 project for Autism Guernsey, it was important to him to get a good feel of just what it entailed for people involved. The Pea Stacks, six giant rocks in this area, looked superb today – no wonder Renoir was so keen to paint them.
Petit Port was also well worth a photograph today as the tide was out, exposing those lovely golden sands and craggy rocks. On we went around to Moulin Huet, and, taking the lower steps today, we were able to get a very clear view of the battery that recently was featured in a double colour spread by reporter Rob Batiste for the local newspaper, the Guernsey Press.
We took the opportunity of a water break when we arrived at the viewing point high above the wonderful sea views near the now empty Bon Port Hotel, and then carried on to Saints Bay via the new path, which Andy had not been on before. It is great to see how well established it has now become: I would think that for those people who do not know, it would seem that the new path has been around for a lot longer than it has.
As this was the last time we would be doing this leg I also deviated from the cliff path steps heading up to the exit for the Saints Bay Hotel, as there is an alternative route which also brings you back to that spot at the top and gives you panoramic views right across Saints Bay and back to Petit Port and The Pea Stacks.
From here to the finishing line at Icart takes another 15-20 minutes at a good walking pace and we arrived at Icart Point just after 1pm.
They were lovely conditions for the completion of this leg from St Peter Port to Icart for the very last time; we had all enjoyed the very best of what Guernsey has to offer cliff walkers today.
The photograph of the Pea Stacks is courtesy of Julian Osley –