Archive for August, 2001

Before we get too carried away about this little tale, there needs to be a bit of a warning & an explanation. First the warning. Mum, you don’t want to read this, but if you do, it is all lies. Thinking about it, if you are easily bored, you probably don’t want to read it either.

And for the explanation. Why Jersey? People look at me funny when I said I was going to Jersey & said why. Well the reasons are many & simple. It is not London, it is an island & therefore inherently cooler than the UK. Before you get started on the state of my geography, the UK is not an island. You can walk to the UK from Europe (thousands do), it is part of Europe in all but a strict cartographic sense. Also I got some really cheap tickets for the ferry.

The plan was simple, nothing could go wrong. Catch up with some friends at the pub, catch the train, catch the ferry, buy all the duty free booze you carry. We got to the train station with enough time so that there was no hurry, but not too much that we missed too much of that drinking time. Sweet.

Things started to go less well at this point. The dude at the train station had no knowledge of the 10:30 train to Weymouth, & reckoned that the last one went at 8:30. I blamed Tom, for being too stupid to be able to read a train timetable. Rather unfairly, he tried to pass the buck to the train company for changing the timetable without notice, putting incorrect information on the website, or most gallingly of all, me, as he claimed that as I was there when he was checking the times, I should have checked his maths (am I supposed to do everything?)

Anyway, after ascertaining that no train was arriving from anywhere within a time which would allow us to catch our ferry the next morning, we decided that the only option would be to catch the train to the place nearest & figure the rest out from there. This closest station happened to be Poole, a mere 30 miles (or so) from Weymouth.

So we arrived in Poole at 1:30 (yes am) & after spending 1/2 an hour walking around in a nice 1/2 circle, we found signs that pointed to places on the way to Weymouth. So off we went. We got lucky, and after about 1/2 an hour or so of walking we managed to hitch a ride a few miles up the road. Then we started walking again. At this point a number of things were remarked, like how nice we were sure the scenery was here, how narrow these roads were & how poorly designed for pedestrians & NOT how lucky we were that it was not raining. Ill prepared we may have been but stupid we were not.

We did start to remark that distances were somewhat further when they were in imperial measurements, and mooted that they should change all of the signs to kilometers so we didn’t have so far to walk.

But someone was smiling on us. Some dude who muttered a lot decided that he should pick up 2 people who were hitching at 4am in the middle of nowhere. Community care of people who should be in mental institutions has some benefits I guess. But after a while of uh huhing to his muttering, we finally reached Weymouth & he dropped us off.

So we wandered to the ferry terminal & had a little nap.

Arriving in Jersey (after another little nap) we did the usual – wandered around the shops, had a look at some of the stuff in town & then decided “lets rent a car”. So we rented the cheapest car we could find at the first cheap & dodgy rental place we came to. It was an 850cc clone of a car with a name I had never heard of, and previously would not have beleived would sell in the western world. But enough dissing the car. I got to drive it cause the rental agreement said only I could (bad luck Tom). Tom got to hang on. For a poxy little car it had pretty good acceleration & revved nice and freely (must have been cause it was red). And only started to smell like it was on fire occasionally & only then after the more fun bits.

But this allowed us to wander all around the island, take in the sights (although for some reason Tom wasn’t that interested in them & kept putting his hand over his eyes). We found nice mostly deserted beaches, lots of cool castles, a vineyard with a distillery (it was calling to me). All and all a nice cruise around the island on a sunny day. And then it was time to head back to Weymouth, where after arriving at 1:30 we checked into our seaside accomodation. This being a budget trip, was one of the more out of sight docks that adorn the town. I slept fine, but Tom complained more. Hey Tom, next time bring a sleeping bag. At about 6 Tom decided that as he was cold awake and bored, the only reasonable action to take was to wake up the warm, asleep and (previously) happy Pat. Last time you get invited anywhere Tom.

Then it was time to catch that train & head off home.

So, to ensure you don’t fall into the same traps as I did, the lessons learnt from the weekend are:

30 miles is a long way when you are walking.

Jersey is a nice place to go to

Red cars do go faster

You can hitch a ride at 4am, it just takes a while

Tom can’t read train timetables.

Duty free on a 3 hour ferry trip is a great concept.

If any of you care, Tom insisted that he get an opportunity to put his lessons learnt for the weekend. Get your own website dude. But anyway, here they are:

If Pat thinks something is a good idea it isn’t.

Dunno what he means by that, but it kept him happy.