First impressions of Antigua? The Lilt advert! Feeling hot, hot, hot! Lush greenery, lots of rum and some very friendly locals. We celebrate our first night on land with a fantastic meal (seared tuna, cooked rare, with soy and wasabi sauce), which was a taster for all the food here in Antigua – excellent!
Within the space of a couple of hours Michel, Dobby, Tim and myself sorted out some accommodation – a breezeblock house that sits on top of a hill, overlooking Falmouth Harbour. Every evening we sit on our balcony, rum punch in hand, and overlook our lucky find. The crickets strike up a Caribbean drum pattern and we sit there, getting slowly eaten by the mozzies gazing out at the huge super yachts in the marina (the masts are so tall they have to have red lights on top to warn passing airplanes of their presence).
A trip into St Johns, the capital, allowed us to buy our snorkelling gear. Snorkelling is the order of the day here, and with 365 beaches to choose from I can’t really see myself getting bored of the lifestyle! This place is so Pirates of the Caribbean that even a news story featured a guy getting beaten up by two blokes with cutlasses!
One trip to Long Beach and you’d be forgiven for never leaving. Everything here is a cliché, from the palm trees to the white sand to the turquoise sea. Oh yeah, and we saw a Baptism on the beach that day. Not so cliché, eh?
Other clichés include pick-up trucks driven around with 4 dreds in the back, all smoking fat reefers. Girls on the street selling pineapples. Lots of booty being shaken in the local clubs. Yet on Sunday morning when I woke up early it was just like a summer’s day in England with lawn mowers out and people washing their cars. The Englishness is very evident here, yet it’s quietly incorporated into a very Caribbean, laid-back lifestyle. There’s no ego here, other than the yachtie twats who pop up now and then, and although the locals see you as an opportunity to make a quick buck because you’re English, they are extremely accommodating and leave you to get on with your own thing.
Anyway, I’m off now to enjoy the sun, go for a swim and then think about hiring a moped to go do some exploring. I’ll be thinking of good old Blighty and what I’m missing this time of year. Nah, maybe not. Think I’ll just grab myself another rum.