The Town Crier has gone on a little adventure! Yes, Glastonbury High Street has fallen silent; his bell is at rest, his regalia swapped for sun hat, sunglasses and shorts. Accompanied by my good lady, we’ve decided on a little excursion to Bimshire and have consequently booked some lodgings, at a little place by the sea there.
For the next couple of weeks, I thought I’d bore you all witless with a few stories of my travels, random observations of foreign “goings-on” and the odd photo of the unusual. So, here beginneth the first of a few travel blogs to help me pass the time and possibly give you something to chuckle about.
I’m writing this at 36,000 feet, at 560mph, over the mid Atlantic heading in the general direction of the “most ferocious hurricane in recorded history, ever to cross the Atlantic.” Luckily, Bimshire is quite a bit south of the path of this highly destructive meteorological beast but no doubt her ladyship’s gin and tonic not to mention all 279 passengers will be well shaken before we’re done, by the turbulence on its periphery, as we attempt to fly over it or around it, to get to our destination. As I write this, the plane suddenly climbs an extra 2000 feet in a very short time and we exchange nervous glances. Things are beginning to bump around!
The holiday has got off to a generally good start. Neither the M3 nor M25 were in car park mode when we planned to negotiate them, but we did manage to turn up at the WRONG hotel for an overnight stay prior to flying. Now how stupid is that, to have two hotels near Gatwick, both called by the same name, within spitting distance of each other? Google maps is so easily fooled. However, the first hotel looked rather old and dilapidated, dripping with “Gothic charm”, shall we say. The man on the Reception Desk, I swear, was Dracula’s younger brother!
No matter how many times I fly, airport security still irritates. It’s bad enough being temporarily parted from your wallet, passport, phone, watch, shoes and trouser belt but the stress of having to ensure that one’s trousers don’t succumb to gravity, thus causing an act of gross indecency, is something I could really do without at such times. Added to that, the young, overweight, burly female security attendant, shouting at people for not stacking their valuables trays, was all too much. (She clearly must have honed her people skills at the Genghis Khan Charm School for Young Ladies!) Or perhaps she was just having a bad day……..
Virgin wined and dined us well in flight but I felt so sorry for the cleaners at our destination who have just an hour to transform the litter-strewn aircraft into a clean habitable place for flying somewhere else. I was saddened to have to pick my way through the eight and a half hour’s worth of accumulated detritus, where the cabin resembled a battlefield, with numerous discarded bottles, papers, packages, magazines, and other general travel rubbish. When it comes to “fouling our own nest”, we humans must be up there with the leaders!
It was a good landing in sunny, hot Bimshire. June and I always score marks out of 10 for the smoothness of the landing. The pilot got a creditable eight and a half out of ten!
On arriving at our hotel we saw our first Caribbean sunset for this year. To start with, it was totally bland and without colour. We felt slightly disappointed. But once the sun was below the horizon, there was an eruption of colour. Not just above the sea, where the sun had just set, but also above out heads and behind us as well the Sun’s rays illuminating clouds several miles above our heads. Quite the most extraordinary sunset I’d ever seen, that changed dramatically from minute to minute.
And the tequila’s good too!