01 August 2009

2006: Sussex

01 August

It rained last night and this morning. During breakfast, the sun came out brilliantly, but by the time I arrived in Calais, it was threatening rain again. Ferry is easy to find, and while EuropCar wasn't marked well, the car was finally dropped off in time for the noon sailing.

The SeaFrance ferry Berlioz is a large sucker, with a bazillion all-sized vehicles below on several decks, and above the cars are numerous bars, restaurants, duty-free shoppes, and just plain seating for watching the English Channel sail by. I was lucky enough to encounter yet another wonderful retired UK couple on their way home to Wales, their hometown just outside the Brecon Beacons. They drive their camper van to Portugal slowly, enjoy life, then drive back to Wales, just as slowly. When I suggested the husband would like Seattle and its environs, he agreed provided he didn't have to fly there. For the record, he is retired military, a paratrooper with 23 years experience jumping out of perfectly-good airplanes...

A quick bus trip through Dover to the train station, a 20-minute jaunt by train to Ashford International, then 45 minutes to Hastings/St Leonards on Sea. The taxi service outside the Warrior Square Rail Station quoted me an exorbitant eyes-glazed and lips-drooling tourist price for the ride to Sherwood Guest House, so I walked. I laughed first, but I walked. An easy 20-minute stroll down to the waterfront and along the promenade, passing storefronts and residences I remember very well, and I was at my destination. Moments later, I'm in Room #4, overlooking a lawn-bowling and putting green, the beach promenade, and the English Channel.

Life could be worse. Oh. My landlords agreed with me about the taxi price, for what that's worth. They think Mr Taxi Dude saw someone who didn't know the area and was ripe for the picking... Unless Mr Taxi Dude thought I wanted to purchase his car, he was being Bad.

Lastly. There's a new Chinese restaurant in West St Leonards, located right next to the Bo Peep pub. Over 150 dishes to choose from, priced right. Tonight's meal is Kung Pao Chicken with Cashews. Mmmmmmm...

Fans of history will appreciate the history of Hastings and St Leonards-on-Sea, Sussex, and that of the Bo Peep Pub not 100 metres from the Sherwood's front door. You should know what your children sing about when they chant the nursery rhyme. (grin)

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