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May 2021 - Day 3 - Sun, Sea Views & Castles

Another hot night which was worse than the night before in that it was really hot in our room despite the window being open. Well I thought so anyway. Karen is now worried that as I have a mysterious blister appeared on my right shin that I may have cellulitis coming on again. Not sure why it would only effect me for a few hours overnight though and cause me to be really hot.

Breakfast today was much better. We had much nicer seats in the Conservatory. Well if I was allowed an opinion that is what I would have thought. Karen was not happy as it was fully in the sun. She was too hot even before they came to take our order. This morning Karen ordered the pastries instead of toast. To our surprise she received a whole plate of pastries as well as one piece of toast. I just got one piece of toast again. Karen though couldn’t eat all of her pastries and so she generously gave me her toast which I devoured.

Our destination this morning was to be Beachy Head which we had never visited. Car Park was £1 per hour which I didn’t think was too bad. We set off for a walk up to the top of the point. The weather was stunning as was the views. We made it to the top and carefully peered over the edge to look at the sea and lighthouse some 500 feet below.. It was sobering to think of all the poor people who had thrown themselves off there. On average it was more than one person each week. Thankfully we didn’t see anyone hanging around on.their own.

We walked to the visitor centre and had a wander around before returning to the car to get a couple of bananas to eat on a bench admiring the view back towards Eastbourne. It was idyllic plus it made sure we got full value from the car park fee I had paid. The rest of our trip would have to really go some in order to beat the time we sat there.

Karen then had the idea of finding a supermarket in Eastbourne and after buying some lunch there leaving our car whilst we went for a walk. A good idea except none of the supermarkets were anywhere near the sea. We eventually found a Waitrose and bought some things for lunch and some things for later. We drove and found a road to park on near the promenade. By now the sun was high in the sky and it was really quite warm. Whilst we found many empty benches that had obviously been placed to look out to sea, the council had not kept any of the bushes trimmed. We could see nothing and could have been anywhere but nevertheless had our picnic lunch in the sun.

Our next port of call was Pevensey Castle to take advantage of our new English Heritage membership. Disappointingly I still to pay for the public car park (have I mentioned how much I hate paying to park?) We walked round to the entrance. The castle was reasonably impressive. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky as we queued to get in. The entrance was a bit chaotic and needed a redesign. The ticket office doubled up as the gift shop and in front of us was a spoilt brat of a kid who was given his Mum’s credit card to get what whatever he wanted. He ended up spending £40+ on what was quite frankly rubbish. I bet he broke it all in the car on the way home.

I declined the free audio tour although Karen was keen to do it. The castle had had a number of incarnations in the past, but the one that fascinated me the most was that it was reused again as defence in WW2. There were pill boxes built into the towers and anti aircraft guns were placed and hidden in the grounds. Very ingenious I thought. I did venture into a small exhibition about that in one of the towers but the rest of the time I sat in the sun in the keep watching Karen make her way round. I think there is only so much history I can take on every trip.

After this we wandered through the village looking for a drink. The only cafe was boarded up. The best looking pub had an enormous queue waiting to get in. The only other option had a band playing in the gardens, but Karen didn’t like the look of it for some reason so we went back to the car very thirsty.

As I had paid for 4 hours parking and only used 2 hours of it I gave the ticket to the next car coming into the car park to use. That was the second time in 2 days I had done that. It felt good paying it forward and also a small victory against the Car Park tycoons out there.

We decided to drive to take a look at Normans Bay but although the road was very close to the sea it was busy but not worth stopping. Instead as we had passed a Starbucks on route and so I drove back there to get Karen a proper coffee fix.

Back at the overrated Hotel we got ourselves sorted ready to go out for the evening. Tonight we both fancied having Fish & Chips on the beach in St Leonards. We had googled a couple of potential places that looked as though they may be open but then drove past a ‘Deep Blue’ Fish & Chip shop. This is part of a chain that includes our local at home. Whilst not the cheapest, the quality is amazing. Karen jumped out and got us both Cod & Chips. We found parking at St. Leonards on the front and ound a bench overlooking the beach and thoroughly enjoyed our meal which was as good as at home.

After this we walked along the promenade back towards Hastings. There were some lovely large house that we passed. It did seem strange that it was all residential with no commercial or tourist premises. Just as the Promenade came round the bend to where Hastings started there were a few boarded up shops including what was a cheap looking carpet shop of all things directly opposite the sea. I’m not sure it would have been the place I would have thought of visiting if I wanted to carpet one of the large expensive houses we had passed. All very bizarre. This part needed some serious investment.

Back at the Hotel, Karen tried to watch The Masked Dancer but the TV signal was so weak tonight that no channels were watchable. Just wait till I’m next on Dragon’s Den with that Ballantyne bloke. Not to worry as tomorrow I’m out….

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