After a couple of mediocre 3.6 mile loops in the week I pulled on the runners and fired up the Garmin yesterday morning (Sat). I headed off slowly eastwards on the coast road knowing I could loop back at several points if I felt rough. It’s also on a good bus route and I had a couple of ££s in my shorts pocket! After a couple of miles though I realised that I was feeling almost normal again with the biggest problem being the low-rising sun. A perfect morning for a canter and I was feeling good.
Nothing of great consequence as I trotted the 6.5 miles to Gorey. As ever there’s the picturesque harbour at La Rocque. This where Baron de Rullecourt landed with 1,000 men on 6th January 1781 prior to the Battle of Jersey. They chose the date well as the local militia were pissed, it being a holiday. As is well documented the French marched to town which was surrendered to them. Young Major Peirson had other ideas and rallied his body of troops, seeing off the French invaders. Both he and De Rullecourt were killed in the fighting, the latter being consigned to a quiet corner of the town churchyard.
Onwards and a little diversion off the main road trying to find the building which was the former Grouville Station on the old Jersey Eastern line. I still haven’t identified it but, with the help of the pic attached, I surely will next time. Sad to see the old Wimbledon Hotel now converted into apartments. I was last there in 1998 on that memorable night where England played Argentina in the World Cup and Beckham was sent off. The place rocked that night, especially when Sol Campbell headed the winning goal – only to have it chalked off. That was the occasion when the Queen is reputed to have used the F-word for the only time in her life.
In a bid to avoid death on the road coming down past Gouray Church I nip up to the Castle Green (another waste of a fine old pub) and up Mont de la Garenne. I’m not even going to pretend I ran up it, but instead admired the almost-vertical and much photographed côtils and, from the top, the brilliant view of Mont Orgueil, Gorey Harbour and the Royal Bay of Grouville. Along the rather mysterious Rue des Marettes and onto La Grande Route de Faldouet. Some very interesting buildings along there as you approach St Martin’s Village. Turn left at the Royal and head for home. Easy going to Five Oaks and then down towards town. At Palace Close I turn into the estate, the site of the former Palace Hotel once managed by Olympic sprinter Cyril Gill who indeed included himself in the nightly cabaret before WW2 broke out. As we know the hotel went up in smoke in the final days of the Occupation. Now, I’m here to tell you that there is no trail from Palace Close down to Bagot Manor Avenue as marked on various maps – you can however make your own through the scrubland to link up with the one that comes out behind JCG. It’s a lovely drop down to Longueville through the fields and, for me, a few hundred yards further to home. A very pleasing 13.2 miles in the circumstances – 2:18 if you must know but the time was irrelevant.
Miles on the week – 21.3
Miles ytd – 1,150.0