Mountains to climb
First night back on the airbed - and yes it was uncomfortable. I know it will take a few days to get used to it again but was delighted to wake up to the birds singing.
Caught the bus to the Mont as I didn't fancy donning all my gear just to ride the scooter a few kilometres and then leaving it in the carpark all day. The town bus drops you right at the entrance to the Mont so you can avoid the long walk from the carpark to the causeway and the ride on the packed causeway bus. Pity the town bus only runs once every 1.5 hours.
The Mont is undergoing some major redevelopment inside as well as outside. Everything is covered in scaffolding and there are workmen everywhere. The Mont is famous for its tidal estuary and, on a regular basis, people get caught by the tide and stuck in the quicksand.
Many years ago they stuffed up the environment with the causeway and the dam and now they are trying to reverse the damage. The causeway was put in for the tourists and the carpark used to be right at the base of the Mont. On a Spring tide, several vehicles got filled with water as the owners were unaware of just how quickly the tide rises. They've now moved the carpark to the
other side of La Caserne and make all the tourists walk past all the souvenir shops to get to the bus which takes them across the causeway.
The dam was put in for the farmers but now Mother Nature is biting back. The estuary is silting up so badly that the farmland is being choked. They are attempting to dig it all out again and replace the causeway with a bridge to once again re-establish waterflow all around the island.
As expected the Mont was packed with tourists but I didn't quite expect the overwhelming souvenir shop assault. The entire entrance street is jammed with crappy junk and expensive cafés.
I had 20 minutes to get to the abbey for the English speaking guided tour. 350 stairs - straight up.
It was worth the climb. The guide was excellent and told us some interesting stories. The tour lasted 1.5 hours and deposited us outside the abbey and we couldn't backtrack to explore on our own. My recommendation for anyone doing the Mont: explore everything on your own first and then join the afternoon tour to finish the day. In fact, I would stay ON the island itself, no matter what the price, as I'm sure it would be a thousand times more charming after all the tourists had gone home. (Kinda like Venice)
I wandered around the ramparts which were surprisingly free of tourists, and then descended into the hell that is the entrance row. I had a very overpriced but rather delicious omelette for lunch which allowed me to sit down for half an hour and rest my poor knee.
I wandered some more until both my camera battery and my knee packed it in. I missed the town bus by 15 minutes but had little choice but to wait for the next one as I would not have been able to walk the 4km back to Beauvoir.