I guess we should have come to Antigua anyway - English Harbour being of historical significance to sailing, and Antigua Race week of course. I had no interest in the race, but did enjoy wandering Nelson’s Dockyard, which has been fully restored to its former Georgian glory - and the only one of this era in the world. Full of history, originally developed as a base for the British Navy in the sailing era, expanded by Nelson, and eventually abandoned in 1889, it is full of beautiful old buildings, now used for modern hotels and restaurants and the like, but without losing any of its charm.
The best thing here we did have done here though, while waiting patiently for what we need but also trying to keep our place in the queue among the Antigua Race week crowd, is the really enjoyable and scenic walk to Shirley Heights and back. We took a water taxi across to Galleon Beach from Nelson’s Dockyard, then climbed up to the lookout. I make it sound like a strenuous effort, but it wast - just a nice steady climb. It was a good walk and gave panoramic views across other parts of the island, but the real treat (apart from finding some yummy goodies at the top), was the return journey where we took the coastal path, and found ourselves walking a stunning clifftop walk with heaps of this unreal cacti!!
Its called Pope’s Head Cactus, and in some places Turk’s Head Cactus. Its genus name is Melocactus, due to its short rounded watermelon like base. Its really cool and only found in this general area.
After spending a couple of days trying to sort out what we needed for the boat (and a bit of a walk), it was clear we might be here a while, so I decided that I should head to Barbuda for a couple of days on the ferry as Matt wasn’t too fussed with the idea. Off to explore tomorrow!