To the Sea

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Lindisfarne

Quiet, remote, windswept and stark but indubitably prepossessing. This ancient island tenuously linked to the mainland, sometimes, is a haven from the world, at least until tourists flock like ravenous vultures.

The castle was sadly under wraps. However the sheep were welcoming and the remains of the old priory were beautiful. The true wonder of Lindisfarne is its bracing bleakness. Just remember to check the table of tides before venturing out or back.

Dominican Republic

Who would of thought of meeting Santa on holiday. But here he was gearing up with a beautiful Gallic smile, to boot!

This was in Samana. Away from the all inclusive hordes in Punts Cana. But wait a moment. Samana was home to French and Italians do no local delicacies. Only pizza and pasta. Oh woe is civilization. But the place was wild. Looking for a boat to the beaches around the peninsula, a guy on a moped asked. Yeah, why not!

We agreed a fee and s time and the die was cast. As we walked to our boat we noticed other craft with tourists kitted out in life vests. Us? No such thing. We crowded in with assorted Spaniards and Germans and off we went. Then off we stopped. The outboard motor packed up. A few dainty blows with a mallet and off we went again. The boat was small, the waves were big and our intrepid skipper really had to pick his timing and soured of power to get us through. As the hull thudded down for the umpteenth time we thought how useful a life vest may well be!

It was fun, beautiful and wild. And we survived. But what a ride! Now, what pizza go you fancy?

Jordan

I fell in love. Fell in the best way, as in taken off guard. The desert. Hot, dry desolate and stunning. Falling in love with the desert of Jordan was easy. The heat and the shimmering haze on the horizon blended with the red sands that changed slowly to deeper reds. We stopped in the canyon where T.E. Lawrence met and conversed with the then king of Jordan.

We met no king, but a wonderfully friendly guide who was lumbered with a few more Europeans. On starting to chat with me asked if I were English, yes I replied. Where are you going next he enquired. Into the desert for a walk I replied. Do you have water, one bottle which I waved as evidence, do you have headgear he ventured, no I said, do you have a map, no I confirmed. Have you sun cream he asked with increasing concern. My smile told him all he needed to know.

Ahh, he retorted, you really are “English”.

From sleeping in tents in Wadi Rum, to the magnificent ruins of Jerash, Jordan was a gem of a holiday. No air con sleek tourist buses for us. Backpacks and aging taxis and old coaches. Wonderful. The people were friendly and thoughtful whilst the food a delight.

Sitting in the desert smoking, legally, a bit of Hubble bubble and marveling at the sky is never to be forgotten. On the way back we met up with the drunks and mouthy tourists we had left at Eilat. Everyone to their own, I guess!