When the Cuisniers agreed to move to a deserted island with no trace of human civilization whatsoever, they didn’t expect it to be an easy ride. But they thought they were ready for the challenge.
But what they thought would be a fun and enriching experience would have more catches than they initially expected. And when the straw that broke the camel’s back finally happened, they understood that they had to leave the island and never come back.
Quéménès is an island near the Breton coast that has been abandoned for nearly 50 years now. It’s about one mile long, and the weather can be challenging at times, although it makes it possible to cultivate the land.
The arrangement was a part of a program by the Coastal Protection Agency on behalf of the French government. They were looking for people to repopulate the island. The Cuisniers, a French couple, saw this as a real opportunity to garner some valuable experiences and strengthen their bond as a couple.
Have you ever thought about what it would be like to live on a deserted island? The first thing you think about is probably its downsides: no people around, no places to go to, not much to do…
But you may also think that it could have some great perks. No annoying neighbors, no landlord, no need to pay rent, the chance to enjoy nature and relax away from the noise and bustle of the city… However, the deal offered to the Cuisniers didn’t have some of these perks.
For example, they still had to pay rent. Yeah, you read right: one of the conditions of the arrangement was that the new inhabitants of the island would have to pay monthly rent.
You may think that this would be alright provided that the living conditions on the island were comfortable enough. Well, you might have to think twice.
There was absolutely no trace of human presence on the island. What this means is that there was no electricity, no running water, and no agriculture whatsoever.
But still, this didn’t hold the Cuisniers back. They thought they would manage to transform the island into a habitable place, stick it out and come up safe and sound. They didn’t know what they were getting themselves into.
When the couple first arrived on the island, they knew it wouldn’t be easy. Their first preoccupation was how to get warm water to have showers, as there was no electricity and the weather was quite cold.
“We opted for solar heating skillfully crafted with 5-liter water cans surrounded by a black trash bag,” the couple said on their blog. But this would soon be the least of their problems.
As mentioned before, they still had to pay rent. So they had to find a way to turn the wasteland into a profitable farm. They cultivated vegetables, raised animals, and eventually managed to make some good money out of it.
But it wasn’t easy. They had to face occasionally harsh weather and even a plague of rabbits that once devoured most of their harvest. When this happened, they were close to giving up.
But they didn’t. “One year we lost a whole potato crop because of rabbits…But luckily, we’d diversified with other activities, so we just got on with it, and eventually, the hard time passes,” they narrated.
“Just like in winter, when there is bad weather, you stay warm by the fire till it’s over.” But this wouldn’t be their last setback or the reason that finally convinced them to leave the island.
One day, the couple was wandering around the beach, enjoying some rest time after a hard day of work at their farm. Despite the difficulties, things seemed to finally be on the right track, and the couple was starting to love and enjoy their life on the island.
They were feeling good, calm, and delighted. But that would turn out not to be a nice, romantic evening. Something happened that would spook them to no end.
They saw four human skeletons! All of them were completely peeled off any flesh at all. Those macabre grins in the moonlight made a terrifying sight.
The bodies were probably from sailors that had died in the sea and were then brought to the shore by the waves. There was no way of knowing when they had died, but it was probably long ago. The Cuisniers silently stared at the skeletons and then returned home, moved by what they had just seen.
They would have some more difficult moments. For example, one day Soizic, the husband of the Cuisiniers, cut his fingertip off by accident. They immediately called the emergency services and hoped for the best.
Fortunately, the helicopter ambulance was there in 20 minutes. This was just a minor accident, but something else convinced them to leave the island for good.
The straw that broke the camel’s back was a dispute over the rent. The Coastal Protection Agency had caught on to the fact that the Cuisniers’ farm was quite prosperous and profitable. More than they ever expected.
So they decided to increase the rent. And they did so unannounced; on top of that, the increase was so significant that it made the Cuisniers think twice about staying on the island. So they ended up leaving.
They had lived on the island for a total of four years. And although there were difficult times, they didn’t regret a minute of it. It was a valuable experience that showed them what they were capable of.
They had managed to turn a wasteland into a rich and prosperous farm, making it easier for other people that might move there in the future. And that wasn’t all.
They had also started a family during their stay on the island. By the end of their time there, they had brought two healthy children into the world.
This was probably another reason why they decided to move out: as much as they enjoyed their time there and managed to overcome the hardships, a deserted island is not the best environment to raise two children.
So in the end, it was a great experience for them. They learned more about themselves, and ultimately, they made the world a little bit better.
What do you think about this story? Would you have agreed to move to a deserted island in the conditions offered to this couple? Or maybe in different circumstances?