La Coupée

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    • Day 38

      A Journey Back in Time

      September 27, 2017 in Guernsey ⋅ 🌧 16 °C

      When I prepared the itinerary for this trip over a year ago, there was one place that I was really intrigued by and I had been looking forward to seeing since the ride began 5 weeks ago.

      The tiny feudal island of Sark is part of the bailiwick of Guernsey and it is situated about 1 hour by ferry from St Peter Port. The entire population of the island is under 500 and the way of life here has remained largely unchanged for decades. One of the unique features of life on Sark is that cars and buses (along with most other motorised devices) are banned. The only vehicles you find on the narrow roads are horse drawn carts and tractors. Even the local policeman uses a tractor for his transport. This feature helps makes it a magical place to ride a bike.

      After the somewhat choppy ferry ride across to the island we walked up the steep walking path to the only settlement on the island (known as "The Village"). We had arranged to collect some rental bikes from a local business but we were very apprehensive as to what sort of bikes they would have waiting for us. I thought that we would probably end up with an eclectic mix of penny farthings, tricycles, velocipedes and horse drawn walking frames. The actual bikes turned out to be slightly better than this, but only slightly.

      Our riders spent some time trying to come to grips with the rusty bikes that looked like they probably dated back to the time of the German occupation. After trying to adjust seats, etc we finally just thought "what the heck" and wobbled off down the dirt road, accompanied by a cacophony of rattles, creaks, groans and numerous other noises (some of which were coming from the bikes). It was impossible not to laugh. This will certainly be a day we will remember for a long, long time.

      The next few hours were spent exploring Sark and the even smaller island of Little Sark. The rough rocky coastline is certainly spectacular and the so called "WIndow in the Rock" could have easily ushered the way to a premature death if we had taken just one more step.

      The temperamental weather that these islands is famous for was kind to us for most of the day, and only started to crack up when we returned to the wharf to catch the ferry back to Guernsey. This made for a very choppy voyage, but I did manage to catch sight of a couple of dolphins frolicking in the wake of the boat.

      We arrived safely back at St Peter Port around 6 pm and headed back to our hotel for another hearty meal. It had been a marvellous day and certainly a highlight of our trip.
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    You might also know this place by the following names:

    La Coupée, La Coupee

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