Guernsey cycle

Went off to Guernsey too early on Saturday morning, 4.45am the alarm went off thanks to Mary, plenty of time to do her hair.

We cycled to the Condor Ferry Terminal, met up with over 40 other hashers and boarded the boat to St. Peter Port, obviously some breakfast and liquid refreshments were in order so we proceeded to eat all the eggs & bacon and I admit that my first can of beer was about 8am, about half an hour behind some of our party.

We arrived at Guernsey and it took several minutes, probably about 30, for us all to get our bikes off the ferry and moving in an anticlockwise direction around the island, but what a pretty island it is? The big houses are impressive obviously but I was particularly taken with all the little fishermen’s cottages, and not just the quaintness of them or their fabulous sea view locations, but also because it was very obvious that the owners had spent a lot of time and money making sure that they appeared in perfect order, walls, windows, gutters, doors, drives, outbuildings and gardens all meticulously manicured, right the way around the island! Very impressive.

As you can probably imagine, there were a goodly number of beers stops and our £45 per person fee also included an excellent lunch at the Cobo Bay Hotel which I whole heartedly recommend to all. Sadly, the ambience of the sea view terrace, tastefully expensive outdoor furniture and the exquisite food was blighted by the sight of Nobby (a fellow male hasher) stripping naked to put a ladies swimsuit on, and to make matters worse he managed to get a toe caught in the gusset and so spent sometime hopping naked between the tables, not a perfect sight to accompany the meal I can tell you. Quite a few well heeled guests looked on from their £280 a night balconies at the spectacle with mildly concerned looks on their faces that only left their visages an hour later when we left the hotel.

Short swim done, we cycled on bravely if a little tipsy to pub after pub after pub until we reached the 3 o’clock point of the islands imaginary clock face where there is a pub at the bottom of the big hill, no idea what pub or hill are called sorry but it was an “off-piste” stop, not on the official itinerary and though we stealthily went into the public bar, it was only to find all the rest of the hashers there doing exactly the same before the islands only vert face!

So more drink there and Mary & I decided to make an early start on the hill before many of the others had finished their pints and saddled up, I was only slightly ahead of the good lady wife and thought things were staying that way (well they were last time I looked around about 3/4 of the way up!) only to reach the top, turn to offer encouragement like a good husband only to see Sonic, another male hasher, grinning form ear to ear as he imparts the news that, very close to the top of said ruddy great hill Lovely wife Mary had to turn around and go back down to the pub….. she’d forgotten her rucksack, probably my fault for not inspecting her before we set off from the bottom but there we go, Mary is fortunate to have benefited twice from the rigorous exercise that the afore mentioned hill can provide, lucky girl I say!

So, again, many pubs later we make it back to the imaginary 6 o’clock point of St. Peter Port only to find that the rest of the hash took a slightly different route back (as planned apparently) and had taken in a final hostelry on the final approach. We were not to be out done so Mary, Elvis & I retired to a cosy wine bar that offered an excellent Rioja and partook in large measures. An hour and a half later, the rest arrived, they’d been doing much the same as us but in a crappy pub so I conclude that we won!

Dragged from my lovely wine bar to the ferry port, I was offered a meagre chip or two from Cupid Stunt which I took with relish (meaning happy excitement, not sticky tomato sauce with bits in) and sat near my bike patiently awaiting the arrival of the ferry home. Not so easy young man, the Condor man said! “Your ferry is going to be an hour late!” he says so, being very quick at mathematics (I can’t write maths in case someone from across the pond reads this and fails to understand my gist!) I calculate (do it with me) an hour to waste….. wine bar 2 minutes on the bike away…. and 2 minutes back…that’s….56 minutes to drink wine that we’re wasting! I hail to raucous applause “Follow me!” and retire for the second time to the lovely wine bar for even more Rioja. Joy, the view from the wine bar enabled us to see the ferry coming in too so timing wasn’t even an issue for the departure, simply see the ferry coming into port, finish wine, and cycle to get on the ferry. Now I ask you, “What could possibly go wrong?”

The Post Script of this little two wheel based jaunt is a fellow drinking partner held in hospital (back in Weymouth, well Dorchester if you wish to be a pedant, mainland at least) with a broken elbow and his hand requiring surgery to put the bones back where god intended. Two or three others fell at the last hurdle as well although, happily for them, only minor injuries occurred, Bookend the handy elbow chappy wins the prize.

Until the next hash (Cocktail hash, tomorrow night, 7pm at the Nook on Weymouth Sea Front) we tick along as if nothings happened.