Saturday, 20 December 2014

Day XII, part II: A FERRY to Jersey (or Should I bring back a sweater or a cow?)

At 3:30 pm I walk towards the ferry terminal.  It's been a while since I took my last ferry !

Non, despite appearances, I have not joined any of the orders of nearby Mont Saint Michel ;-)
I walk through Intramuros, i.e. what most tourists consider Saint Malo 'proper', i.e. the accumulation of overpriced restaurants and shops within the walled old city that you'll find in every tourist trap worldwide.  And THIS is where all the people are.  I have clandestinely been deliriously happy that the beach was so empty and was always afraid to ask for the reason.  Here is the reason.  Dull people walking over dull streets and spending their dull-earned Euros in dull stores to be able to show off to their dull friends.  More power to them as long as it keeps my beach EMPTY of dull people ;-) 

Have I mentioned before that I'm an opinionated bastard?

Fortunately I leave the excess-spending-money mob quickly behind me. 

Then it's time for 3 Ooops and a very brief visit to England, the island of Jersey in particular.

The first oops happens when the clerk at the check-in counter of Condor Ferries tells me that I have paid for a seat on tomorrow’s ferry instead of today’s ferry.

He quickly changes it to today’s crossing.  

A brief note to anyone inclined to complain about the prices charged by BC Ferries in Canada:  
For a total ferry riding time of ~ 2.5 hours (1 hour 15 minutes each way), CONDOR ferries charges me 44 Euros, which is roughly CAN$ 62.  And this is the LOWEST rate for a foot passenger; I declined the offer of paying 20 Euros more to sit in the reclining seat area ;-).
Boarding the ferry

The second oops hits me when I realize that it’s already getting dark when the ferry leaves Saint Malo at 5:15 pm.  I won’t actually get to see Jersey, except maybe some lights of the harbour area.
Re-enacting the battle of Britain 
The third OOOPS occurs as soon as we are 10 minutes under way. I realize that the ship is rolling quite a bit and I come to the conclusion that I might have to deal with sea sickness before the day is over.  Watching hordes of young male English binge-drinkers trying to navigate their way through the aisles of the rolling ship does not help much.
Looks very similar to St Malo!
The one hour and 10 minutes of being slightly nauseous and the prospect of not being able to see anything when I get there actually awaken a strange thought in my head.  I don't want to take any more ferries. OOOOH. Blasphemy !
Very happy to see this sign and to get solid ground under my feet !

Time to get off the ferry. As soon as I have solid ground under my feet, I don't even mind the passport-checking line-up.   I have time for a few quick cigarettes on British soil; then it's time to check-in again for the return voyage.  Strange as it may seem, Jersey is actually in a different time zone !

When the captain predicts 'calm waters' on the way back so St. Maaahlo (British Captain speak), I feel like throwing up on his pretty boat.  But the forecast is accurate.  Maybe it was the wind that made the first journey unpleasant. Or maybe the Fish & Chips with wine that I consume at the beginning of the return voyage has fortified my stomach?  Be that as it may, when I go out to the smoking area just before we return to St. Malo, the deck is CROWDED with people leaning over garbage bins or the ship's railing. I have to watch where I step because quite a few of the unfortunate heavers didn't quite make it to their intended unloading areas ;-(

In Saint Malo it takes close to half an hour to get all the foot passengers off the ship and I'm starting to wonder what would happen if the boat was sinking.

I decide that this trip to Jersey wasn't worth my time or my money, but at least I managed to go on a FERRY trip ;-).   On my way back to the hotel, I reward myself by walking along the beach instead of the road.

bon nuit !

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