27th December 2020
I go to one of the local rental car companies in Falmouth. When I expressed my wish to rent a car for the next day, I was told that no reservations would be accepted for a rental period of one day. But I could come the next morning and if I'm lucky I could get a car. I'm speechless. When I asked what it was all about, I was told that after all, someone could come and rent the car for a whole week. That's why they can't promise me yet. However, when I look at the overcrowded parking lot of the rental company, it hardly looks like all the cars will be rented by tomorrow. Then I am advised I could try next door. So much business acumen leaves me speechless. But here you think big, you'd rather not do a business than a small one.🤣.
I'll try the next lender. I'm more lucky there. I reserve a Wrangler Jeep. Together with Wiebke and Ralf from SY Flora , we set off the next morning. I'm glad that the two of them are there, so the skipper has to adjust his pace a bit and I may have the opportunity to enjoy one or the other sightseeing destination with more leisure.😉
From Falmouth (A) we first drive west. According to the travel guide of Antigua's most scenic road, Fig Tree Drive (B) is where we go first. We will not be disappointed. We drive through lush vegetation to Carlisle Bay (C). There we make a little stop on the beach.
As we drive on, the view of another beautiful bay opens up on the next hill.
Our next destination is Mount Obama (D). When Barack Obama became president in the USA, Antigua named its highest mountain (402m) after him. That sounds interesting, we want to take a closer look at this mountain - or perhaps better hill. The way up is adventurous. It's good that we have an off-road vehicle.
When we get to the top I'm a little disappointed. What I didn't know: there is a telecommunications station up there. The summit is not really accessible. There is no viewing platform or anything like that. Too bad. But Volker still manages to take some nice photos. After all, we were now on the highest mountain in Antigua.
And from up here the two skippers can of course have a wonderful view of the surrounding anchor bays.
Once back down, we drive via Falmouth to our next item on the program: the donkey care station (E). (More on this in the next blog post) .
Then it's on to Betty's Hope (F), a former plantation and rum distillery. In contrast to what we have been going on other Caribbean islands, there are only ruins here.
Only the two windmills are still preserved.
Then it's time to take a break. We drive to another beautiful bay, with a long white sandy beach and turquoise water, the Long Bay (G). There is an Italian restaurant here where we stop for lunch.
Shortly after Long Bay is another sightseeing point: the "Devil's Bridge" (Teufelsbrücke, H). Here the sea has created an interesting rock formation. Compare the two photos of the skipper. which were made in quick succession.
The next destination on my list is Parham (I). I read that Parham, founded in 1632, is the oldest city in Antigua. That sounds interesting. I assume that there are some remarkable remains of the colonial era here. When we get there, we don't find anything like that. Parham has no real town center, the only remnant from the colonial era is the church. However, this is closed. For someone from Europe, it doesn't look like the architectural masterpiece it was referred to in one of my travel guides.
Never mind, let's go straight to Antigua's current capital “St. John's ". But we don't have the time for a sightseeing tour here. It's getting dark already. We prefer to use the opportunity that we have a mobile stand to fill up our supplies. We drive to by far the best-stocked supermarket on the island to stock up on fresh fruit and vegetables.
When we get there, Christmas carols are playing. At the entrance there is a huge section with Christmas decorations. I would like to take something with me to decorate escape for Christmas. It's a horror for the skipper. He has nothing for such kitsch. He forbids me to buy anything and threatens to throw everything overboard 🤣. He quickly chases me on to the fruit and vegetable department.
Even when I put two bottles of white wine in the shopping cart, he is not enthusiastic. However, he is running out of arguments because he has already packed several cases of beer and a bottle of gin into the car. After all, we have to be prepared for the next sundowner 🍻🍹 🍷.
Then we drive back to Falmouth by the shortest route possible.
It is always worthwhile to visit a destination by land. Sometimes that is neglected with us as sailors. I plan to get myself up and plan sightseeing tours on land more often in the future.
Escape is still securely moored in Nelsons's Dockyard. We would like to take this opportunity to take a closer look at Antigua.