Took a midweek trip, down to Mudeford, for lunch with some friends. The weather was brilliant, blue skies and sunshine. Needless to say, for this time of year, it was crisp and the wind was brisk
Fishing boats still land their catch on Mudeford Quay. Their pots and markers are stacked ready for use.
After a warming lunch and a very smooth pint, courtesy of the Haven House Inn, we took a stroll around the quay enjoying the low winter sun as it illuminated the Black House and beach huts over towards Hengistbury Head. A couple of swans were enjoying the sunshine too.
From the quay there are fine views all around …..
…… and further along the shore towards Avon Beach you can get fine views across to the Isle of Wight and The Needles.
After a gentle stroll along the prom it was time for a nice hot chocolate at the cafe on Avon Beach before returning to the car and heading for home.
A glorious afternoon spent with good food and good company.
Just barely into the new year and we had a gorgeous sunny morning. This guy was just sitting, enjoying the rays.
This was how my car windscreen appeared during our recent frosts ……
And here is part of the roof …..
I never fail to be amazed by nature.
For some days now we have been warned that our road is to be closed for two days. Presumably to fix the surface which has been abysmal for getting on for thirty plus years.
Along with several neighbours, I moved my car off my driveway the night before so that we wouldn’t be stranded during the upcoming works.
The picture was taken around lunchtime. By sunset this evening there was still no sign of any activity.
The yellow sign is the only notification we, the residents, received that any works were planned.
I rang the number shown, only to be informed that the number had been replaced by a new number !!!
For those interested the new number is 0300 555 1388
Eventually I spoke to a very pleasant young lady and I had explained that I have a delivery scheduled. That schedule had taken into account their published road closure. And, since their work schedule seems to be something of a moveable feast, I was concerned that my delivery could be jeopardised. Especially, if the carrier cannot get access to my house driveway. I suspect the carrier may baulk at having to carry my goods a couple of hundred yards. Especially as the multiple packages will be a two-man lift.
I also queried why no leaflet drop had been made informing the residents that they would be stranded for two days. The lady that lives opposite does not go out often and would likely not have seen the sign. Apparently, leaflet drops aren’t always made, but had there been any businesses in our road then there probably would have been one.
So, let’s worry about the businesses but not individuals.
Another thing I was told during the call is that they often allow a day either side of a project schedule and when she checked her system she informed me that the works were actually due to start yesterday. So, in essence, they are two days behind schedule.
Aforementioned pleasant lady informed me that my query/ concern would be forwarded to the engineer responsible for these works. Presumably to come back to me with their plans.
At the time of writing I have received only an acknowledgment email along with a reference number.
Let’s see what tomorrow brings.
Antigua is said to have 365 beaches, one for every day of the year. Although we did visit a number of beaches, we didn’t try to visit all of them. Our visits tended to be towards the later end of the days and deliberately so. Antigua is a popular stop for cruise liners and there is a never-ending supply of tour companies willing to ferry cruise passengers to the beaches.
Typically the liners only stop for one day so the passengers only have limited time available to them and since they have to be back on board around four in the afternoon, most of the beaches generally start to empty by three as the tour guides head back to St Johns.
Jolly Beach is a prime example. As you can see, the beach is jammed solid with tourists, not.
On Jolly Beach,as on most Antiguan beaches, you will find the ubiquitous bar/restaurant. In this case it is called Castaways and here we availed ourselves of some well chilled Wadadli beers and a spot of lunch.
Antigua’s beaches are a superb basis for observing sunsets. Darkwood Beach is especially good for this, especially when one can imbibe an ice cool rum punch or partake of a tasty Goat Curry or perhaps the tenderest Jerk Pork Chop.
Don’t forget that Rum Punch, Mango Daquiri or perhaps a bog standard G & T, while watching the daily sunset.
The view from Shirley Heights is simply stunning, in all directions.
Another quiet beach is West Coast Valley Church Beach, home to The Nest Beach Bar. Again, this is a great place to watch the sun set.
Perhaps I was wrong to call this beach quiet. It was nearly totally devoid of people. However, the folks in The Nest were playing some music, very loud. But that was alright as it was a recording of a reggae based concert which featured a guest appearance by guitarist Carlos Santana.
One word, Superb.
By now, viewing these photographs you must be getting the idea that Antiqua is an awful place to visit. And I will admit that the four of us did mention, regularly, just what a chore it was spending two weeks there.
The bad news is that, during our stay, we failed to observe a truly orange sunset. Which of course means that we may well be forced to go back again and try to capture that classic shot.
Moving briefly away from the beaches, we took a trip down to English Harbour and Nelsons Dockyard. So here are a few more views which include boats
Perhaps most interesting is the small boat that isn’t in the water.
James began his journey on 21st January, 2005 from San Sebastian de la Gomera in the Canary Islands and travelled 3,479 to Antigua. His epic journey took 116 days and he arrived on Antigua 17th May, 2005.
The following shows his daily routine which, if my arithmetic is right, means he was rowing for over twelve hours every day.
That’s no mean feat especially when he didn’t allow time for a beer. Just reading about it has given me a raging thirst, so here’s a bottle of the local brew.
And just for good measure, before I sign out, here are a few more snaps from around Antigua’s shores…..