Jersey (East), 2010

The lady at reception suggested that we visited Gorey Castle, also called Mont Orguell. After consulting several timetables, she worked out that we were best off taking the Number 14 bus, rather than the Blue Explorer bus, into St Helier before changing for the bus to Gorey.

First signs of bus trouble

We walked to the bus stop down the street. It was for the Explorer Bus and not for Bus 14. After some discussion, we agreed that the correct bus stop was probably the unmarked one across the road. However, Bus 14 never came at the scheduled time, and we ended up paying £6.50 for the Blue Explorer bus instead. So much for timetables.

"We don't do scoops"

At Gorey, we found a nice bit of rock at the foot of the castle, and just sat there enjoying the sun. Before leaving, we got some ice-cream from a shop run by a peculiar old lady. As we stared at the selection, she guessed that we were looking for chocolate flavour.

"We don't have chocolate here. But we have them in tubs."

B asked how much it was for two scoops.

"We don't do scoops. We serve it in cornets."

B asked for the rum-and-raisin flavour. We counted six mini-scoops on the cornet.

Rocky coast

The bus took us away from the coast to Samares Manor, where we walked back out to the coast. From Le Mare Slip we walked up to Green Island. This was a rough and rocky part of the beach. I love rugged coasts.

B: This is like walking on the sea bed without the sea.

We walked past houses that led straight onto the beach. People were gathering around for a barbecue. Most of the children - especially the girls - were dressed in bright neon colours.

The seagull incident

Exploring the area, we came to a small rocky bay where fishing boats were anchored. I watched a seagull flying overhead with a clam in its beak. As it flew, it dropped the clam, dived down, picked it up, dropped it again.

Me: Look, it keeps dropping the clam.
B: It's breaking the shell.
Me: And there I was, thinking, what a clumsy bird!

I felt very stupid after this. The seagull strutted around, looking very smug, after successfully breaking the shell and eating the clam, as I marvelled at its cleverness. Soon it was going in search of more food. Another clam went up in its beak and down upon some rocks. This time it took the seagull just one toss to crack it.

Neon games

It was time to head back. We passed the neon girls again. They were playing a game in which one person would throw a ball behind her, where the others were waiting to catch it. The person had to guess who had the ball as the group chanted a rhyme, complete with complicated hand gestures:

Ali Bali, Ali Bali, who's got the ball?
Ali Bali, Ali Bali, who's got the ball?
See, I haven't got it
It isn't in my pocket
Ali Bali, Ali Bali, who's got the ball?

More bus trouble

As we walked in search of a bus stop, we realised that we didn't know what one looked like. We ended back at Le Mare Slip, but along the way we managed to figure it out: bus stops are marked on the road with a line halfway across the lane and the word BUS below the line, followed by a four-digit number identifying the stop.

We were early for the bus and for a while, we were the only people waiting. A pair of ladies joined us later, and as we saw the bus approach we took turns being polite, saying to each other, "You go first." That all changed when the bus arrived and the driver announced that only two could board. We gave in. The next bus was in 20 minutes. If we waited for it, we wouldn't make our connection. I suggested to B that we walked, which gave us a shot at getting to St Helier before the last bus to St Brelade. We missed it by ten minutes.

B: It doesn't pay to be nice.

She didn't mean it in a bad way. She was just sore at herself for not at least trying to plead with the bus driver to let us up.

Two-star meal

Starving by the time we got back to the hotel, we indulged in a bit of pre-dinner snack at The Terrace and then a drink before heading to Ocean restaurant at The Atlantic Hotel for a two-Michelin-star dinner.

I had no trouble sleeping after all that.

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