Haven’t been in Antigua long but already having fun. Now I get some hills to play with which means that finally my trail running shoes have come out – and beauties they are too. Gliding over Middle Ground tonight in a smidge over 22 minutes – which was pretty sweet considering some of it is more of a scramble or climb…….I like it.
This mornings walk was a bevvy of experience for my senses. Contrary to popular belief, the Caribbean, in particular, Antigua and St Maarten are not safe places to be. Every year I read stories of tourists or yacht crew being brutally murdered. It was still dark when I left the boat this morning so I stuck to the main road. As the morning light started to drop in, I noticed a man walking toward me with a machete. I am sure this is not normal for any part of the world so I braced myself to give him a swift punch in the throat should he decide to try and chop me up. Thankfully he decided to pass me by.
I even survived ‘Crack Alley’ as the locals call it. Always a heart stopper walking through there – at any time of day. Yes, I am talking about Antigua still.!
Finally got up onto middle ground where I saw my first real life Mongoose scurrying around with the goats. Then I saw something very worrying. A girl coming towards me with her ear buds in listening to music while walking the trail. Second time in two days I have seen girls on their own walking across here with buds in. So distracted was todays girl, that she failed to notice a bleating goat with its head stuck through a rock maybe 2 feet from where she had just walked.
At first I thought the little fella was looking through a gap at me, a bit like that dog I photographed in Mallorca a few years back
But no – this fella had crashed his head through a gap that his body was too big to fit through. the silly sod had also forgot that his horns on his head would act like a barb on a fishing hook when he tried to back up and draw his head out. Worse still, in his panic, his arse had also gone in the wrong direction and was also wedged against the rock – he was proper stuck and no doubt shitting himself as I passed by. I had to stop and help him. I tried holding his horns and guiding his head back through the hole but his arse kept getting stuck. So I tried pulling his rear legs but his horns kept getting stuck. The rock he was stuck under was too big for me to reach both ends of him at the same time so there was only one thing I could do – head back to the boat and get help.
When we got close to him again, the bleats were sounding a little coarse, like he had been screaming for help for hours. Poor fella was so distressed, when I reached down to hold his horns again, he turned his head away so that his eyes couldn’t see me coming. I am assuming that was his instinct, he thought he was about to be eaten and didn’t want to see his doom moving in.
This time with Richie on the horns and me pulling at the legs it looked more promising. I dug out some rocks with my hands, grabbed his legs and gently pulled him free. Hurrah I thought – I saved his life. The silly sod only tried to run straight back into the same hole again, no doubt trying to avoid myself and Rich on the other side of the rock. Lucky for him I still had hold of his legs so another grab backwards then I grabbed his horns and guided his head to the safe side of the rock and released him.
Now, this may sound daft, but he gave a short bleat as he went. Not a long cry for help, nor was it the call for his friends – they were much longer and different tones. I am certain this little short bleat was ‘thanks’ in cliff goat language.
I had started my day by saving a life ! From this point forward, I have been hearing the theme tune to Grey’s Anatomy in my head all day.
On the flip side – I also heard that Ravi Shankar had died. I actually heard this over someones radio as I was walking past their house this morning. I am guessing most of you will have no idea who Ravi Shankar is. Shame on you!
This weekend it’s deep dive time. John’s Wreck, a touch below 40 metres. Been a few years since I saw it, and back then it had only just been sunk so I am hoping that it is well inhabited now with local life. Dropped in at Pillars of Hercules on Saturday morning and managed to spot Matilda. A menacing yet serenely beautiful thing is this green Eel. Longer than I am tall and with a body thicker than my thigh – I don’t like to get too close to her and keep a respectful wide berth.
Stingray Alley also turned up trumps with a couple of big Stingrays in one dive. Even saw a carcass of a dead lobster that was head to tail as long as my arm is from finger tip to elbow. The local fish were feasting on its remains.
And of course the water temperature – according to my computer………… 28ºC
Have a moan - the beers are on me !!