With only a few corporate tours & charity fundraisers left for this year, I thought this wet saturday morning was the perfect opportunity to make sure my ‘tour admin’ was straight & to summarise my first full season as a very part time tour guide.
By the end of 2022, I would have led a total of 25 walks (phew a nice round number) mostly on the town walks rota. I have led my ‘Constitution, Law and Order’ walk the most but, whilst I gets some fantastic feedback on that one, I think it is GY1 – Ghostly & Ghastly that is the most popular……especially when I wear my costume it would seem.
I enjoyed introducing my new ‘Coast to park’ tour in the spring walking festival, with that one also receiving some great feedback and, getting a further outing with a social group. It was important to me, to do a tour in the parish which I call home.
I did a couple of cruse ship tours, which were good fun but, with working during the week, it’s not really feasible for me to get too involved with the ships currently.
Sadly I think I did literally ruin one poor American lady’s life, when i had to break it to her that the Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie movie was not filmed here, so I could not show her scenes from the actual movie. Especially the ‘little harbour’ where the evacuees left from. I was of course able to share some occupation stories and, show where the evacuees actually left from but, alas it wasn’t the same as the movie…….I hope I am forgiven now.
Nationality wise I have had many UK, US and, Guernsey folks but, also Czech, Canadian, French, German and…..(drum roll please) Puerto Rican. Yes I think I will dine out on the last one for a while, I am still puzzled how they’d even heard of little old Guernsey but, not only heard of, have completed a thesis on the Guernsey cow for their degree (in Agriculture).
And speaking of cows. I was truly surprised at just how many visitors wanted to speak cows. I put my foot firmly in my mouth when one gentleman opened by asking me if the ‘Guernsey cow was our national animal’?, I mused for a second and responded with either the cow or the donkey…..stunned silence ensued before another of his group sidled up to me and whispered in my ear……’he has literally been researching the cow for 3 years in preparation for this visit, go with the cow’. So, as we set off on the coach I was desperate to make it up to him and, find some cows, so he could share his research with us……could I find a bloomin cow, no I could not!! It was unbelievable, it was like all the cows had vanished. Even when we got to the little chapel where there is usually a field of cows, as I exited the coach before the group, all I could see in the very distance were cows backsides disappearing.
For me the pleasure is in having shared our beautiful island with visitors and, shown some locals things they perhaps didn’t know or had forgotten. It is also a few precious hours out in the fresh air, without a computer screen, phone etc and, a little bit of holiday money. It really is win win win.
Whilst most guests are simply passing through, there is one couple who visited and stay in touch and, I have met up with one of my local guests (previously unknown to me) subsequently. One visitor returned and, looked me up on her repeat visit and, some local guests subsequently sampled a different tour having enjoyed the first one.
I’m looking forward to 2023 already. It is my intention to stay on the town walks rota if they’ll have me, maybe submit a walk for the spring walking festival, create a new walk……and, I already have a booking for my first presentation. But, first, a very quick plug for my fundraisers for the St Peter Port Christmas Lights. All proceeds will go to the charity and, each walk finishes in the beautiful Town Church (which will be full of Christmas trees) with mince pies and mulled wine curtesy of Creasey’s/M&S. What better reason to book asap (JoMaytours@outlook.com).