Jersey feeds itself with the plentiful supply of potatoes that grows here; but all carbs and no protein is good for no man, woman or child, as you’ll all know. God knows this too, clearly, because he gave Jersey plentiful coastlines which, in combination with suitable climatic conditions, are the perfect place for oyster (protein!) breeding plantations. Which is where, unexpectedly, we were headed for a continuation of our touristic inspection of the island – shrouded by a thick fog and on the most unusual means of transport.
Here’s our ride:
When the tide goes out here, it really goes out. More so than in Zanzibar: two or three miles even!! It was here where once Jersey was connected to France eons ago, so it was here where trod wild animals and Neanderthals. Our guides told us how under the top layers of sand you can dig down to find all sorts of ancient black earth. The sun wasn’t out – hidden behind the fog – so we couldn’t see all that far; our imaginations had to fill in the blanks. But common sense told us it was just as well it was murky: it added to the slightly spooky effect of the whole experience!
Here we are in the center of the oyster farm, all the while being informed all about it by our friendly guides.
I mean, these spooky, endless rows – it’s like in the Matrix. Around about when Neo wakes up and looks down at the myriad pods. Only here – they’re for oysters.
We got a taste of the aphrodisiacal seafood too. Yum!
Raw, of course :-):
And all washed down with champagne!
The plantation owners are a jolly, friendly lot. Hmm, what exactly are they? Oyster farmers? Oyster growers? Oyster fishermen?… Aha!
But we need to get back onto the mainland: the tide’s coming in…
Down there where the sea’s coming in is where we’d just been having our super fresh breakfast!
Once the tide starts to come in, there’s hardly any running away from it: it advances at 10km/h! Even if you were a fast runner – can you run that fast on crumbly wet sand? So what do you do if you get caught out? Well, you sprint to the nearest beacon – like the one on the horizon in the next pic. You then sit tight until rescued, or until the tide goes back out :-).
And over there is Seymour Tower, built in the 18th century. You can stay the night there if you like your lodgings very rough and ready (no bedding, no toilets??!!). I imagine it’d be quite the unforgettable experience however – perhaps more so precisely because of its rough-and-readiness (and being in the middle of the sea) :-).
We had to get back to the mainland, but not before grabbing ourselves a few more oysters for later…
The sun emerged towards midday, making it a lot warmer than it usually is at this time of year here:
You can just make out Seymour Tower in the distance on the horizon – now miles out to sea. Well we were right next to it – and with dry feet standing on the sand just half an hour ago!
And that was our oyster farming excursion over. But I just couldn’t get the paraphrased Beatles tune out of my head, no matter how hard I tried :-).
To be continued!…