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I'd been working for 3 long years in a popular all-inclusive resort, island hopping in th Caribbean, wasting my days dancing, getting a tan, and socializing with guests. That was my life. My biggest concern was which heels to wear to the party that night...until I grew bored of that life. I needed a change! I needed peace and quiet! I was a 23 year old party girl...and I moved to Sark.
You must know that prior to going to Sark, to work for a small hotel there as the Assistant to the Proprietor, I knew very little of it, other than seeing a few pictures of lush green hills and rocky beaches below mile-high cliffs. I figured it would just be an extension of my former life as a G.O; there'd be beaches, I'd be in a resort, and I could meet all kinds of new people.
I got off the ferry at the Sark Harbour, wearing stilletoes - of course! - a chic trench coat, and my little black purse adorned with Canadian flag stickers. As I walked up to the little ticket booth, tucked under a huge, looming cliff, and surrounded by "ramblers" in their hiking gear, I started to feel out of place. I asked the woman there to please call me a taxi. She said, "Dahling, you've missed the last tractor up the hill...no taxis here, I'm afraid...you'll have to walk" She pointed at the cliff up ahead and the rocky trail leading up with raised eyebrows.
I swear my eyes filled with tears as I looked down at my sparkly stilletoes. I started to walk...
Sark is an island where cars are not permitted. Once I reached the top of the cliff - sweaty and thankful that I'd gotten to the top without breaking something - I was greeted by a team of horse and carriages, asking if I "needed a lift, Luv". I shook my head no, and continued to walk on.
The roads in Sark are mostly dusty dirt paths, with beautiful gardens lining the sides and fantastic old houses. There are a few tiny restaurants and many tea gardens that serve the most incredible Cream Teas I've ever had. They're all tucked away in verdant little oases of roses and blooming flowers of all kinds, with chirping birds all around, and white cast iron tables and chairs...it's likely any poet's idea of paradise. Even for me it was...but only once I got those shoes off and had a hot shower.
In my (brief) time in Sark, I made a few friends of the locals, enjoyed long bike rides along the island's bumpy trails and meadows, and one glorious walk along La Coupee, a bridge between Sark and "Little Sark" (very little...it's just a tiny piece of land with a bench overlooking the English Channel. I swear on that clear, perfect day I could see France...it was spectacular.
It wasn't long before the peace and quiet and greenery started to bore me...hey, I was a resort girl, after all. When the owner of my hotel told me to "Go stand by the sandwich board outside and try to get people to come in" I knew my time was up! I went to a payphone to call my friend in London, and whine. He interrupted by saying to me, "Where ARE you? All I can hear is horse hooves in the background!" Yes, time was up for me.
The very next day, I was on my way to the Ferry again...this time down the cliff in the tractor they provided, and on the plane in Guernsey.
As I looked back at Sark, I felt a little pang of sadness; I was certain there would never be a time in my life I'd discover such an untouched gem of paradise again...I was right.
It was back to the party life for me, but Sark gave me a whole new perspective.
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