Last few days in Antigua

Dick and Irene Craig
Fri 20 Apr 2012 13:55

Antigua might well advertise 365 beaches but to access them by road is no mean feat in fact, it is impossible; at least that is what we found when we drove towards Dickensons Bay with the mistaken idea of obtaining lunch there and playing for a while on the beach and in the water, with Mia.

That end of the island appears to be much more prosperous than the rest; Sandals and other all inclusive hotels with beach access, as well as many expensive, private properties, populate the area.

We found three beaches, one quite tiny. It was next to a Trappas style restaurant although the tables were all adorned with pristine, white table cloths and quite unsuitable for a noisy dynamo named Mia.

Although there has been next to no rain since we moved into the apartment 7th March, it poured with rain before 8.30, on the morning of Easter Sunday and Monday. Fortunately, although the rain was heavy, it was short-lived and the sun came out but there remained a fair bit of cloud throughout the day.

There have been some wonderful pelican displays just before dusk, at Nelson’s Dock Yard. At least twenty were soaring and diving on at least two evenings over the Easter holiday.

Dick has started to play on-line Bridge and has had several sessions playing tournaments with our friend Richard who lives in Spain. It is amazing to see the various locations from which players connect. We have played with and against, people who live in India, Brazil, Guadeloupe, Australia, Italy, UK, Switzerland, Poland, Russia, etc. Quite incredible really that the www can bring all these people together like this. Mind you, there is still a lot of agro via messaging back and forth between partners and against opposition.

One of the things I find off putting is that people don’t appear to be very committed to the game they are playing and think nothing of leaving the “table” while half way through a game.

Now that we no longer have the boat, we have started to plan where we might like to spend next winter and have been checking out locations on the internet. At present, I quite fancy Brazil, particularly as Mia might be able to spend some time with her Brazilian relatives if we do go there. Possibly think about South America in general and definitely Cape Horn.

Easter Monday, Caroline and I went to Hot! Hot! Hot!  This is a café at the Dock Yard, where we were to attend an art lesson.  However, this is Antigua and we are on Caribbean time so, we were not too put out to find that the class had been rescheduled for Tuesday because Monday was a holiday. We went back again on Tuesday but the café was closed and no-one was sitting outside. We climbed up the external, wooden stairs to the Signal Locker to make enquiries and were told that the meet was behind the building. Although we were not early, there were only three people present. Another joined ten minutes into the session. Caroline is so very talented but any talent I have has all but disappeared from lack of use; Dick did a brilliant job of looking after Mia while we were away, on both occasions.

It was a useful session and we were set homework to produce at least one drawing a day until we all meet again on the following Monday.

We are tending to eat too much, having lunch out every couple of days. Lunchtime suits us better because Caroline and Mia are able to join us; also we don’t really care to go out after dark, especially as we are not in a very populated area.

I roasted a turkey breast for lunch on Easter Sunday but as there were only three of us, plus Mia, we didn’t have the bacon rolls, sausages or gammon; to have done so would have meant that it would have crawled away on its own before we could have consumed it all. As it was, we were eating the dessert for several days before the remainder was put in the freezer.

By mid week, Mia had a fever with a temperature of 102.7º; very scary for Caroline who, alone on the boat, spent all night trying to cool the baby down. Fortunately, by late afternoon the next day, Mia’s temperature appeared to be back to normal.

I haven’t been able to buy any grapefruit this week. Don’t know whether that is because Easter messed up the boat delivery from Dominica or whether the season is over.

We located the Red Cross centre in St Johns with a view to donating the things we won’t be taking back with us to Europe.

Once again we ate at Trappas, this time accompanied by Chris and Graham from Eowyn; they had arrived the previous day and were spending a few days in an apartment at Jolly Harbour, before their boat is put back in the water. The next day, Dick’s birthday, we met Caroline and lunched at a beach restaurant at Long Bay. Mia was unable to join us as coincidentally, it being her father’s birthday, he wanted his toddler to spend some time with him.

It poured with rain on the morning of the 15th April and heavy cloud remained throughout the rest of the day, reminding me that when we woke on that morning in 2000, still living in Hampshire, it was snowing and the snow had started to settle. This was just a tiny bit daunting because we had arranged to spend a couple of days on the Solent, in a motor cruiser, learning how to operate it, with a view to possibly buying a similar type of boat.

It poured with rain while we were lunching at Long Bay and it became necessary to move to a table which was less likely to get wet. The wind was strong and Caroline, unused to the colder weather was quite chilly. We were grateful that Mia wasn’t with us as she would not have been very happy with these conditions. In fact, we would have had to abandon our lunch to find somewhere warmer for the baby.

The rest of the week, our last week here in Antigua and there has been a lot of cloud and rain at least once a day.

We filled the car with bags of clothes and produce which we took to the Red Cross centre at St Johns. Caroline kindly took for us, yet another box full of medical items, mainly dressings and bandages, to the paramedic’s office at Falmouth.

I packed the bags and we were ready to go. Goodbye Antigua, don’t know when we will see you again.