Fun in the sun
29.03.2007 - 11.04.2007
Okay I'll just say it. We stayed in a brothel for 10 days. No big deal. Besides, at $7.50US a night compared to the next cheapest at $40US, whose worried about the rotten smell in the crusty sheets, the outrageous heat or the giant mosquitoes? We don't think the brothel was active for the world cup, but who could be sure?
Now that is out of my system I can digress. Having arrived from Cusco where we lived like kings for peanuts, we were ill-prepared for the high prices and low quality in most of Antigua. It's hard to describe Antigua but maybe the best comparison is that it is somewhat like Bali, purely a tourist destination and in pretty ordinary knick. The main difference is that after currency conversion, things cost roughly the same for us as they would in Melbourne. But we were here for the cricket so being the purists we are we weren't going to let stinky sheets get in the way of some great cricket. Our first match was Australia v Bangladesh, hardly a promoter's dream. We were thrilled that overnight rain had ceased and a beautiful day was gifted to us from the Gods. Arriving at around 9:40 for the 9:30 start we were surprised to see the game hadn't started. Apparantly there were some wet patches that needed drying but the game would be underway soon. Not to be. about four hours and fifty rums later the game started; I remember about 8 balls of the Bangladesh innings and slept through the Australia dig. Although I remember little, the things that stick in my mind is watching the ground staff use foam pads to try soak the water up and the others sleep or have their lunch while we waited for the game to start. Apparantly the two super soppers in Antigua had broken down and there is a story going around that they wouldn't let the repair man in at the door so he told them to bugger off and went home. Needless to say I learn a lesson about Caribbean rum. It is strong and they give healthy pours. After my sleep I recovered nicely and was out until the early hours in English Harbour where Rosie managed to interrupt Adam Gilchrist during dinner and get his photo taken. Other highlights of the day was being able to SWIM AT THE CRICKET!!! And having Ricky Ponting kick a sherrin into the party stand while we were waiting to keep us entertained.
So our first cricket experience wasn't a dream start but I feel we took something away from it all. The next day was a bit of a battle and we spent it wishing it was over. Rosie slept a good 18 hours so we made up an April fools joke that Gilly and Symonds had been put in a lock up and that it must have happened sometime after he had his photo taken. We delighted in asking him what he thought the papers would pay for his photo with Gilly given it was the night the Australian vice-captain was locked up. That night he told everyone he knew and hence started a vicious rumour- shit bloke. That night we went to a gig called Shirley Heights, which would've been good except we were all as hungover as ten men. I learnt the fine art of bribery and flicked the lady cooking the BBQ $15EC (about (7.50AUD) and she filled me up with BBQ'd goods. Everyone followed me and for once we were well-fed for very little money. I should mention Australia actually won the match, but I'm learning the result is a footnote in ones World Cup experience.
So two days after the cricket and we were feeling well again. Taxis are expensive so we made the best decision of our stay and hired a car. This gave us massive flexibility because Antigua's 365 beaches (one for everyday, some marketing guy in Antigua is pleased with himself) are quite far apart, the roads are horrible, the cabs expensive and whats a bus? Rosie saw a nimbus (a car for the less enlightened, one he and his family have driven since Jesus was on the half-back flank for Bethlehem) and this may be the highlight of his trip. We drove to a beautiful beach called Darkwood and I finally felt like I was in the Caribbean. The rest of the week was spent sampling the 365 beaches and as an idea how amazing they are the four of us all had differing opinions on our favourite. The highlight though was getting rolling drunk on a couple of crates of Wadadli's (Antiguan beer) at Half Moon Beach. We invented an esky in the sand consisting of a hole, a garbage bag, ice and a wet towel (I really feel if put in dire circumstances in the dessert, we could survive). We met a lovely bloke who owned the bar called Harry and he fed us some good grub pretty cheap and was going to join us for one when he locked up. But we left a little early and as we were leaving he gave us a massive bowl of some spicy popcorn so we gave him a few of our beers! We didn't need them. Other than the drinking though the beaches were stunning, the best I've ever seen. Torquoise waters, white sand and palm trees. It really was paradise.
After all this beaching we were ready for another game of cricket. After 8 days it finally arrived in the form of Australia v England and we were champing at the bit. We arrived early, found a good spot and had a gatorade to hydrate ourselves. It was time.
England won the toss and had a bat. Tait finally found his rythm and with sheer pace got rid of Vaughn (he's no good) and Strauss.
From there I was worried we'd rout them but fortunately they have a South African in their team with some intestinal fortitude. Unfortuntely he's an egomaniac and batted for his century instead of his team and England posted a pretty miserable total. We stayed sobre for as long as possible and watched Australia do it easy. We really gave it to Pietersen who had the misfortune of fielding close to the party stand. He took it like a man. During England's knock Brad Hodge had copped it but he gave it back and it was thoroughly entertaining listening to him sledge the English and a local Rasta who was having a crack at him about his waist. Hodge reminded him that he paid his money to watch him play and told him to save his money to watch Lara play for the last time because the Windies aren't going any further in this tournament. Really good stuff. The good thing about the grounds is that you feel like you are amongst it. You can hear the calling between the wickets and a fair bit of banter. As the day progressed and the rums got stronger (I can't stress enough how strong they pour rum, when they add the 3.4mls of pepsi in, its still rum brown) interest in the cricket faded. The game finished slowly and our cramped room hosted some guests before we went out. The night went forever and the sun was up by the time our heads hit the pillow.
Although we had fun in Antigua, I must admit I was pleased when it was time to move on. The whole time I had an indifferent feeling about the place and the shoddiness of the housing etc was a bit depressing. Also I'm getting used to being in places short times so I guess I was just ready to move on. To add to it we were there for Easter which was terrible. Absolutely nothing open and no chocolate. At least in Melbourne you get chocolate and the ODD shop open. NOTHING OPEN on both Good Friday and Easter Monday. At least in Melbourne you get the footy on Easter Monday. Anyway we are now safe in Barbados sharing one single bed between us. We made friends with the lady here and she has given us a matress. Its actually a really nice place except we are in a small room but we are now well and truly used to sharing a bed (there were three in the bed at one stage in Antigua, a bloke called AB lobbed with us after both cricket games). There is even internet here, a kitchen, a TV and we have a fan!!!
All in all we are having an absolute ball.
I have started using facebook so all those who are signed up can check our albums, all those who aren't I will post the URL's of the albums so you can view them.
(there is no space in the address but it didnt fit on one line)
(same again with the space)
(and same again with the space)
Copy and paste them in your browser to the pics.
Our next game is on Friday against the Irish and I've heard there's a few here and I feel like a Guiness so I might sound them out. The English team is here also so there'll be a lot of Poms about to have a drink with.
Hope everyone is well and the dogs have a win this weekend.