Wednesday December 2nd 2015 – 48/52 – Pembroke to St. Peter Port
I really never thought I would actually reach this stage, the last leg of the completion of 12 circuits around the Island in 2015, and the thought that there are only 4 more legs to complete my Autism365 challenge for Autism Guernsey – but here I am!
It was pretty gloomy weather conditions as I gazed across the bay at Pembroke, with cloudy and dark skies, but, fortunately, no rain. The German anti-tank wall that dominates the Bay looked even greyer in these conditions; I often wonder just how many tons of concrete and blood, sweat and tears went into the building of this wall?
My usual walking buddies, Anne S and Clive S, were with me again today as we set off in the direction of Fort Le Marchant, which apparently has been standing since 1680 but is now used as a firing range by a group of local shooters. I noticed a fishing boat out at sea on the horizon: it certainly would not have been my preferred option on a day like today with quite a heavy swell and possible rain! We were delighted to see the reinstatement of the coastal path at Fontenelle Bay: the States have done a really good job of pushing back the huge pebble bank towards the sea and restoring the former pathway. Previously on this section we have had to walk over the pebbles or take a detour around the area.
Onward, and around to Fort Doyle, completed in 1805 and named after a former Governor of the island, Sir John Doyle, then on to Beaucette Marina, which more or less dovetails into Fort Doyle. Today it was very quiet apart from the ropes and wires on the boats’ and yachts’ masts clanging in the south/south westerly wind. On we went, and through the lovely quiet lanes around this area of the island, heading back to the coastal path. Hommet Paradis is the largest of the small islands in this area and is protected as a nature reserve, not that far away but dangerous for both human and doggy swimmers due to the rip tides than run through this gap.
Cutting back inland from the coastal path and walking around Bordeaux Harbour we were quite surprised to see two elderly ladies walking up the slipway, having just been in the sea for a swim! Presumably the sea temperatures are still reasonable with the outside air temperatures being higher than they normally are at this time of the year.
It was time for a toilet and coffee break at Bordeaux Kiosk, then we were off around Vale Castle and into the area of the Bridge, with its busy traffic and congested roads.
You cannot see the open sea again from here until you reach Richmond Corner, but then you get this huge half moon route which takes you all the way back into St Peter Port. The sea views are just superb, with the other Channel Islands to see, although today was not good for visibility – but it is also a busy shipping lane, with cruise liners, fast ferries and local ships and boats. I love the grassy areas along the Banques near the Halfway, and have often thought that the installation of some open-access gym equipment would be a very useful addition to facilities in this area.
As we approached St Peter Port the weather was steadily improving and we had avoided getting a soaking, and despite stopping for coffee we had made the finish in a good time of two and a half hours.
Despite the fact that this leg is some 7 miles in total, it is very flat and less physically demanding than the other 3 stretches, but it is interesting as it takes in sea, rural and built up areas of Guernsey. The next time we do this leg will be at the end of the year, 30th December, the very last leg of this whole 52-week project!
Should you wish to make a donation, as this is the reason I took on the Autism365 challenge, you can send it to Autism Guernsey, Suite 1, Cranwell House, Route du Picquerel, L’Islet, St Sampson’s, GY2 4SD, quoting 71, Eric & Angela Graham.