A Travellerspoint blog

St. Peter's Valley

A Rare Encounter with Nature

overcast 9 °C

St. Peter's Valley is one of the biggest in Jersey. Its vast woodland is habitat of the most amazing wildlife. It doesn't matter what time of the year you go, you will find different species of flora and fauna and today I just wanted to explore it. It is surprising how much you can see when you stop to look at things.

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The beauty of this walk is that you don't only see nature but learn a lot about some of the most pisturesque sites in the island. I have found 2 old buildings which are dated as early as the 11th century. The first one was Le Moulin de Quétivel which has been restored to working order by Jersey Trust and grinds its own flour. The second one, Le Moulin de Tesson is the oldest one. It used to divert water from the stream into a reservoir nearby when it was sold to New Jersey Waterworks Company. Now restored in its former glory, it houses some residents but can also be visited by the general public in the summer months.

If you want to know more about it Visit The National Trust for Jersey

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The rest of this walk was just enjoying the country side and letting nature to embrace me...Some pictures to give you a taste of what I experienced.

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Posted by Adoni Mosquera 11:54 Archived in Jersey Tagged fauna watermills valley countryside flora Comments (0)

Sand Dunes - A Sunday Stroll

Where new friendships flourish

semi-overcast 13 °C

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My best walks have been those ones I shared with friends. There is a certain element of discovery when friends are walking together. The things you encounter are seen in a different light and conversations seem to have a deeper meaning to those you do in your house living room.
The morning started with me calling out those who were ready for a Sunday stroll. A sunny day can't be wasted indoors as you always end up doing those shores you don't really want to do but need doing. At the end of the day, you realise you threw away a perfect day so this Sunday I wanted to gather as many as I could for the challenge.
My trusty Sunday walking companion wasn't feeling well. A weekend and a half of dancing have left us all a bit run down and wanting to put our feet to rest. However, the idea of walking and rewarding yourself with a nice lunch afterwards was too good to be missed. So despite that she nagged continuously she had left her beautiful sunny porch, she came to the walk and so did another two friends.

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Our objective was to go looking for a sunny spot. The sun seemed to have disappeared in a blink of an eye and the mist came closer and closer. The beautiful day we saw in the morning was nowhere to be seen; so it left us with no other choice that to enjoy it no matter what.
Those who know me well can describe me as a chatterbox but this time I was prepared to listen. It was our new walking companions' first time so it was imperative to listen and learn instead of contributing. The walk naturally divided itself in two pairs and the conversation flew easily. Discovering each other’s taste, work, personality, likes and dislikes was totally spontaneous. It just looked we have known each other for ages.
I always carry my camera to capture my experiences but for no reason I didn't feel the need to take it out. I wanted to enjoy the experience. My surprise today was to receive some much unscripted pictures of us.

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Thanks Jules, Patricia and Adriana for such a wonderful walking experience today. It definitely needs to be repeated.

So if you are keen walker, try it out with your friends. You will discover it is another experience all together.

Posted by Adoni Mosquera 15:51 Archived in Jersey Tagged lakes beach dunes Comments (0)

Noirmont Point

A mix of past and present history

sunny 11 °C

Noirmont point is a beautiful headland located on the western side of the island. I have heard a lot about it but I never set a foot on it until now. It remains as one of the unspoilt parts of the south coast and its amazing restored bunkers and guns emplacements brings you back to the 1940s and the German occupation.
Walking through it you can't feel but moved by the continous attributes to those who perished in WWII. Its fortifications are full of history which dated from Napoleonic to today. The mix from the old and new gives this place a unique sight that noone should miss if they travel to Jersey.

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What I like most about walking in Jersey is the type of people you meet and how friendly they are. There is no rush to say hello, to share your views about the weather or simply to talk about how old your dog is. There is a real feeling that you should stop on your way and share a moment or two. Despite that you bumped into lots of people while doing this walk, there is the odd place where you can sit, relax and enjoy the view of St. Aubins or Potelet Bay. I always think about sitting on those places to be able to write. Looking at the horizon and listening to the birds seems to be the best place to let your imagination go.

If you want more information visit : Jersey - Noirmont

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Posted by Adoni Mosquera 02:45 Archived in Jersey Tagged towers coastline bay cliff occupation fortifications Comments (0)

Portelet Nature Reserve and Common

250.000 Years of History

overcast 9 °C

Having my toes cooled down by the sea after a long walk has always given me an indescribable feeling. As I have been putting my body through its pace this week, I wanted it to be relaxed so the ideas for this walk could flow. Fortunately, the cold sea seemed to have helped me wonders.

This walk has definitely been an educational one more than a way to get fit. Discovering paths and stopping from time to time gives you the chance to get close to nature, to appreciate the world you live in. This time, I stopped to read carefully and found myself learning more than I thought. The pictures below show an ancient abreuvoir and a wood path located just before St Brelade's Bay. I regularly walk this way but I just never noticed them.

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Once you get to St. Brelade's & Ouaisne Bay the open and vast beach invites you to walk barefoot. Something I only recommend you to do in the summer unless you want your feet to turn blue.

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Reaching Portelet Nature Reserve was a real discovery. I have been in the island for almost 2 years, lived quite nearby but I have never set my foot on it. Portelet Common was designated an ecological site of special interest in 2007. It covers an area of 31 hectares and supports some 125 plant species. It provides ideal nesting and roosting sites for a number of seabirds and waders. Its real mix habitat is due to the south-westerly wind and how it lies only between 54 and 61m above sea level. If you are listening to music, turn it off. Enjoy the view and the smell; especially from this beautiful gorse which has a scent of coconut.

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My walks are interesting because of the people I meet on them, so when an experience walker told me about the human history found in Portelet Common; I thought my goal was to investigate. There are traces of occupation in this site by Neanderthal man dating 250,000 years with evidence uncovered by archaeologists. Such is the importance of it that public access is not permitted but you can still enjoy the views from St Brelade & Ouaisne Bays.

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At the other side of the Portelet Common you can view Portelet Bay with its magnificent tower called "L'ile au Guerdain" popularly known as "Janvrin's Tomb". It has been renovated through the times but it is still a fantastic site.

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After 2 1/2 hours of exploring, photos and interesting data, it was time to go home and climb the most excruciating 254 steps of the "Sir Winston Churchill Park". The effect of the cold sea was just a distant memory.

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Posted by Adoni Mosquera 08:19 Archived in Jersey Tagged tower fauna man flora neanderthal Comments (0)

Byways of St. Martin

The North East Countryside Walk

sunny 7 °C

Since I arrived to this island in 2012, I have always lived in the west. The west is an open land full of sand dunes and extensive farms most of them with direct view to the beach. However, the east provides you with a change of scene. The country side is very similar to the southdowns in England. Its rolling hills and green aspect gives you the sensation you are somewhere else but in Jersey.

This 4 1/4-mile easy walk gives the opportunity to learn something different. You are able to walk through some beautiful lanes and farms which have got some interesting and entertaining history.

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The first thing I came across was a camp site. Something you would expect to find in any country but in Jersey. It turned out to be one of the 3 camp sites the island can offer to travellers. However, the regulations about caravans and motor homes are so strict that I only wonder who is brave enough to actually camp here.

Once I left the camp site, the lovely country side opened up for me to see. Some very old houses are found on the way and their names haven't been changed since they were built. The most amazing property was "Les Fontaines Farm" probably dated from 17th Century. A huge apple-crusher which is probably dated as old as the house is in the back garden. What I didn't know is that in the 17th and 18th century, cider was one of the main drinks and farmers wealth depended on it. Cider was hugely exported to England with records of 270.000 gallons recorded in 1839.

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My biggest surprised of this walk was an old property called "Beauchamp" with a massive inscription in stone which read: EGD.FNC.1753. As I read in my reference book it turned out that it was a granite carved marriage stone with the initial of the husband on the left and the wife's on the right, with a heart (or entwined hearts) all within the date. I could not help myself to wonder what happened if they have got divorce.

My last building on view was St. Martin's church. It has a record of being there for 1000 years. The church has being rebuilt during centuries specially during 1616 when the spire was hit by lightning. You can only imagine what was the thought at the time of such event. The church has continued to expand and it is now the building you see today.

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in this blog I have to thank John Mallett which has inspired me to start walking again with his book "Discovering Jersey". His detailed anotations and interesting comments make my walks feel like fun.

Posted by Adoni Mosquera 02:01 Archived in Jersey Tagged countryside lanes Comments (0)

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