We had a marvellous time in Antigua, I'm pleased to be able to report. The weather was on the whole fantastic, about 29 degrees with a good breeze, oodles of sun and very little rain, still about 24 degrees at night. Of course, when we did see a bit of rain, it was Caribbean-style, that's to say a mega downpour for ten minutes before reverting back to glorious sunshine! Yes, there are quite good tans being sported in the HenHouse, though not so much by the Munchkin who was slathered in high factor lotion most of the time (and which alarmingly, was blue!) The resort was great, far too much good food, few outings (just too hard to drag oneself away from that beach), quite a lot of rum punch and pina coladas, steel bands and so on. Yes, a perfect cocktail.
Hope you'll indulge me in some full-on photos of the beach. Ah, sigh...
I thought you might like to see a few photos of our trip? I've put together some mosaics to compact them a bit which I hope you'll enjoy.
Antigua is quite dry and sparse as far as Caribbean islands go, nowhere near as lush at St Lucia, for example but it does manage some pretty and exotic flowers. These were growing just in the hotel's grounds.
You don't see these growing back home!
These were right by the swimming pool and tasted marvellous. It makes you realise how tasteless and under-ripe the bananas are we can buy back at home. It's great to be able to show a child where bananas grow and let them eat one, straight from the tree! Sadly, although the mango trees were laden with fruit, they were not yet ripe as the mango season proper is a few months off. We did see some pineapples, which in Antigua are called the "black pineapple" and which they claim to be the sweetest pineapple in the world (of course). Unfortunately, we didn't get to eat any. We did see, and indeed eat, plenty of melon on our holiday. Please please, no more melon for a very long time!
Its fair to say that the Munchkin had a marvellous time. He was much more active this holiday, being a year older (make that "too active" sometimes!) The children's club, however, was also great and it being the Easter holidays, there were plenty of children around so we managed a good bit of peace and quiet whilst they were entertained for us!
There's not an awful lot in the way of sightseeing to be done on Antigua, not like Barbados, for example, but we did manage a few trips out. We couldn't miss the English Harbour and Nelson's Dockyard. The name will have told you that this is the ex-Naval dockyard where the Brits used to maintain their ships, indeed the dockyard meant they were able to keep a naval presence in the Caribbean all of the time. The dockyard dates from the 1740s and is still a harbour to many yachts today.
Antigua is a mecca for yachters, indeed next week is the official Antigua Sailing Week and there was already evidence of many yachts having arrived ready to compete in the races and a fair few yachty crews were spotted in bars and restaurants.
Sunday late afternoon and evening, sees the highest point on Antigua, "Shirley Heights", putting on a great party, definitely the place to be. There is a fabulous view down over the harbour not to mention a brilliant steel band, a yummy bbq and usually, an opportunity to see a wonderful sunset. Sadly, it was quite cloudy the day that we went so we made the most of the band and the booze!
The Munchkin just couldn't keep those little feet still!
Another trip was made, off roading in a zebra-striped jeep followed by a spot of kayaking and finally ending at a dreamy uninhabited island, "Bird Island", for the obligatory lunch, rum punch and swimming in the crystal-clear waters.
It was just perfect to have some time to relax. A spot of crochet was indeed done (didn't try to take my stuff in the cabin on the way but managed to get a metal crochet hook, needle and scissors onto the plane on the way back!) Mr HenHouse and I realised just how hectic the pace of life is back at home. Inevitably, all too quickly, it was time to say so long, Antigua...
Its exciting to be back home, though! We missed our three furry boys very much (although we did find some in Antigua but they were not very friendly!) and I managed the odd sneak at some blogs via my 'phone but I have lots of catching up to which I can look forward. Everything has changed so much in the few short weeks we've been away. The garden looks like a very unmanageable jungle! Most of my seeds have germinated and we're looking forward to making some progress outside. Of course, there'll need to be some progress inside too, in particular in my den! I'll be hoping to share that with you, so please, come back soon...