Inland to Geffosses

by Administrator 21. May 2008 18:38

St. Germain Plage to Geffosses

Got bread (2 baguettes) and ate one with ham for breakfast then set off down coast over looking saltmarshes, interesting building called ‘Le corp de Garde’ (the guard room). A building built in 1669 to allow the port to be under surveillance.

After the 6 miles planned as an easy day to let Tim’s shin recover, arrived in Lessay had a coffee and found the campsite did not exist. 2 trips to the tourist office and we were on our way to Geffosses where the helpful tourist office lady said the camping was open. It wasn’t but the grass was being cut and the man said no one would care if we wanted to stay any way, there was hot water but no electricity. Still, tired pilgrims can’t be choosers.
The way was down Green lanes often more brown than green and sometimes passable only by hanging on to hedge branches and keeping feet on near vertical side walls. It did relieve the weight from the feet but we both came near to a close encounter of the muddy kind.
Link to where we are on Google Maps


From Barneville

by Administrator 20. May 2008 17:07

Tuesday Barneville to St Germain sur Plage.

Today after a bit of difficulty found the GR and then got on to the beach and then down to PortBail, which had a market in progress, we wandered up and down and bought a large flatfish called a something in French can’t remember but the lady fishmonger expertly filleted it and we will eat it shortly, also some fresh garlic (not dried) never cooked with that before! After that across the foot bridge (a better crossing than yesterday) and back gradually to the beach.

Along the beach for a way brought us to another minor estuary with the tide out, this one was much more to Tony’s liking and there was no need for persuasion to save another 2 miles before lunch on the other side above the high tide mark. We have really been lucky with the tides in cutting these corners. At two points on the beach we saw locals racing horses with the French equivalent of Irish Jaunting carts, we think these were training exercises as there were no crowds or bookmakers!

St Germain really is out of season, so we were lucky to find a small supermarket which opened at 4:30 to pick up some liquids for supper.

Link to where we are on Google Maps


Down the Cherbourg Peninsula

by Administrator 19. May 2008 17:08

Le Rozet to Barneville Carteret.

We started out at about 08:30 and after some interesting twists down the green lanes on the GR223 we went over a headland to see a beach stretching to the vanishing point (well about 5 miles anyway) so we made excellent time along it on firm sand seeing maybe 3 people in 5 miles. As we approached the headland at the far end we struck inland to pick up the GR/ Way of St Michael into Barneville Carteret. Disaster struck soon after, we could have followed roads 3 km into BC but elected to follow the GR, it soon became obvious as one old fence gate followed another that it was heading for the end of the headland and then back again along the port and minor estuary of the stream on which the town is founded. Mistake 2, we tried to cut off the corner ending up after a slog through sand dunes in a holiday development and trying to cut downhill required us to exit to a road via the garden of a fortunately unoccupied house. Either neighbourhood watch does not exist in France or it is just not functioning in Barneville Carteret. We made our way to the portside to find the tide right out - this was fortunate for us as there is no bridge or artificial crossing to the other bank (the trip round would have added another 2 miles). At that state of tide the water was only ankle deep and the solution to me seemed obvious. Tony was most reluctant, the word nutter among others were used as I descended a ladder to the sand/mud of the harbour and changed boots for flipflops and paddled safely across, not to be out done he soon followed. About another couple of miles brought us to a campsite near the shore at about 14:30.

It was a lovely morning as we left the campsite, and the nice lady at the reception had even raised a Union Flag on one of the campsite flagpoles in honour of her UK visitors.
Just outside of Barneville Port I really didn’t believe it when Tim said he was going to wade across the river as I envisaged him disappearing up to his neck in quicksand. I stayed on the bank waiting to rush off to find a fireman or something (fat chance as all of France was at lunch), and felt faintly stupid when the water only came up to Tim’s ankles. Well we all live and learn.
After we arrived at the campsite we walked back into Barneville Carteret to find the nearest place to buy food as nothing seemed to be open in Barneville Plage this far out of main season. This added another 2 miles or so to the day but it seemed so much easier without a heavy pack on.

Link to where we are on Google Maps


First day in France

by Administrator 18. May 2008 17:31

A good night’s sleep for all and our gallant sailors pleased, I think, with the prospect of strong NE winds for their return home. We part company for the GRP De la Hague to take us to Le Rozel. At first we don’t pick it up but as we leave Cherbourg we pick up some markers and cutting off a corner via some meadows at Sideville to Pont Roger we saw two otters in the large stream passing through the meadows. Really the sight of the day. The markers for this and most other GRPs in France are Red and Yellow, the GRPs are the system of local 1 or 2 day paths across France, the true GRs or Grande Randonnees are marked in red and white, these are the true long distance, multi day or week, place to place walks across France.
The rest of the walk was really similar to Dorset - occasional beech wood and open fields with cows (spotted French ones not Friesians as in England). We thought that we could stop at a campsite in Les Pieux but once again it had been turned into a play area come holiday village for children, so we had an extra 2-3 miles to the coast and the Camping Le Grand Large site. Now a bit tired after 18 miles but the shin seems to be holding up if not improving.

Trevor on the boat last night complained about a buzz saw running all night. What was that all about?

Link to where we are on Google Maps


Across the Channel

by Administrator 18. May 2008 17:26

I don’t remember a lot about the crossing (a bit like the 60s, if you can remember it you weren’t really there). I am told it was a good crossing as calm as it gets with a good wind and took just over 12 hours. However my seasickness and tablets mean that the memories of it are ones I would rather not have.
I seemed to improve as we sailed through the entrance to Cherbourg harbour and was glad to see land and the port facilities for a shower etc.
Penny Arthur and Cheryl went shopping while we walked to the nearest camp site, the plan being an early start to the crossing for them and us to return for food in the evening. However the camp site had changed into a play area/football pitch/ and skateboard park. So we walked back again slept on the boat and left at 08:00hours to start walking.

I don’t believe that I have travelled before on a medium sized boat as in my past I have done a bit of dingy sailing and used ro-ro ferries to get to various places. Life on a 36’ boat is a bit different, like camping with even less space.
The sea was very flat but even so I took some sea sickness pills twice on the voyage. These seemed to do the trick but I stayed out on deck as much as possible as down below tended to make you queasy very quickly. We all took turns at the helm on the voyage.


Captain's Blog, Supplemental.

by Administrator 16. May 2008 17:48

We are now in the sailing vessel Teaser having transferred our kit and gone for a walk round Weymouth. Trevor managed to borrow this boat from a friend.PICT0015 His web site     As you can see a pretty gloomy day in Weymouth. Though speeds of over 6 knots were achieved in both boats. So setting off at 05:00 tomorrow should see us there in Cherbourg well before dark.


The boat with a hole!

by Administrator 16. May 2008 10:54

We have now returned to Portland harbour and seen the boat lifted out of the water and unloaded our gear. Skipper Trevor has managed to beg borrow or steal another boat and he and Arthur have gone off to the middle of the channel to fetch it. We are in the Cafe at Aqua Hotel Dive Dorset, been here before diving. PICT0028 We shall spend tonight in Weymouth aboard the new boat and try again tomorrow.


Portesham to Weymouth.

by Administrator 16. May 2008 10:43

A pleasant amble without rucksacs into Weymouth to find the boat in the harbour and have  some lunch, meet with Betsy, and set up tents for us and the gallant crew of the sailing vessel Sapho in Pebble Bank campsite. A pleasant little field above the bank of Chesil beach and Fleet Lagoon (along which we walked to get into Weymouth).

PICT0008 A gentle day and at last a chance for the shin to sort its self out. Little did we know that a longer rest was in the near future.


Leaving Weymouth

by Administrator 16. May 2008 10:13
10 miles out from Weymouth the skipper (Trevor) noticed water coming into the bottom of the boat.

It was deemed appropriate to return to Portland and lift the boat out of the water.

The new plan is to borrow another boat, check it out this afternoon and sail again in the morning.
Link to where we are on Google Maps


Longburton to Portesham

by Administrator 14. May 2008 21:18

The Big Day.

Tim does not intend walking this far in one day again, 25 miles with pack and around 3,000 ft of up and down is a bridge too far, so we were glad to be rescued by Betsy with cold Cokes at about 17:15. Tony on his third day out decided enough was enough and graciously accepted a lift (what is this? a pilgrimage! I’m supposed to suffer?). Tim however, albeit minus pack, completed the last 5 miles to Portisham just as the rain started. But the tents were already up.
The day began in the B&B Longburton and his shin was very happy for most of the morning and afternoon. We wandered over fields and the tops of the downs via green lanes and bridle ways. Including a long ascent through Melbury Park now owned by Ilchester Estates who seem to be most concerned about the deer living in the park. Very nice gates with a fox in wrought iron as well as more interesting stiles. See that post later.

Tomorrow the coast path to Weymouth to meet with our sailor persons. and to work our passage across La Manche.
Link to where we are on Google Maps