Sunday, 7 August 2011

Sark, part three

The tour continued around the island, heading for the chocolate factory and La Coupée: the natural land bridge which links Big Sark with Little Sark.  Having met a tractor, we were soon overtaken by another boy racer (actually, it was the same boy racer!) but George preferred to continue at his normal leisurely pace.  According to April, the only place he accelerates is at a blind bend with a nominal speed restriction, but that's another story.

Next stop was La Coupée, which had to be crossed on foot (even bicycles had to be pushed).  While the land bridge itself is natural, it was reinforced with concrete and provided with safety railings after the Second World War.  The work was done by German PoWs, many of whom were left on the island after liberation.  Before the reinforcement, apparently it was sometimes necessary to cross La Coupée on hands and knees, owing to the strength of the wind.

La Coupée is also a good vantage point, as well as providing access to one of the best beaches on Sark.  Only a few hardy souls on the beach the day we were there - possibly related to the number of steps which need to be climbed on the way back (see above).

Eventually George took us back to The Avenue, at which point the rigmarole of reversing the horses into position started all over again.

We then wandered back to one of the eating houses on the island, which turned out to be part of the school.  Possibly the only school I've ever been to which has a comprehensively equipped bar!  While wandering around we spotted the doctor's house (including emergency transport) and another tractor which appeared to be delivering provisions to one of the shops.  Either that, or it belonged to a family which needed lots of pet food and toilet paper.  We also went past the Seneschal's office, from which the island is governed.  Posted outside was a list of recent proceedings, including details of a resident who had been "black listed" from all licensed premises - presumably for being drunk and disorderly.

After an ice cream (from the aforementioned Polo lady) we walked slowly back to catch the ferry back to St Peter Port.  This took us past the island rubbish tip, a multi-purpose telephone box and the less-than-glamorous ticket office belonging to the Ferry Company.

The journey home was relatively uneventful, although we did spent quite a long time looking as if we might crash into Herm on the way home.  In the end the ferry negotiated the narrow gap between Herm and Jethou and we arrived home unscathed.

All in all, a great day out to a unique island.  One day I'd like to go back and stay there for a few days, just for the peace and quiet.  Always assuming that the tractors don't continue to multiply and the whole place hasn't been taken over by the Barclay brothers, that is...