Saturday, 17 August 2013

Lost in Eastbourne

Eastbourne is an odd sort of town.  Just about 20 miles along the coast from Brighton, the people there claim that they have much more sun than we do here, and that may well be true.  However, Eastbourne is a much more sedate town than Brighton has ever been.  It always had the reputation of being God's waiting room with bath chairs on the esplanade.  Until only the last few years, the whole place seemed dead after about nine o'clock at night, although I think it might have become a bit more lively nowadays.  It certainly seemed that way on Thursday.

My visit was because somebody had phoned to offer the Lions a large quantity of books.  Our bookman was unable to do anything due to a visit from his family, so I volunteered.  I downloaded a map showing the new road into the town and set off.  Had I taken my old, out of date street plan all would have been well.  As it was, the map I had downloaded did show the way to the address I needed, but I was unable to pull over to study the map as I needed and, as a result, got well and truly lost.  Eventually, I followed my nose in ever-decreasing circles and found the address by my own unaided efforts.

After loading 13 large boxes full of books, I refused any more on the grounds that I was unsure my car's suspension would stand the weight, and set off for home.  I decided not to use the road I had travelled from Brighton, but to go along the coast road and visit Beachy Head.  I also decided that to do that, I would first hit the sea front.  That was where I made my second mistake.  I followed the signed route to the sea front, only to discover that I had been deposited right at the far side of town from where I wanted to be.  That would not have been so very bad, but the annual airshow was in progress, which meant (a) that there were swarms of people on the sea front and so much traffic that I was able quite comfortably to watch a Spitfire performing aerobatics over the sea, and (b) that part of the coast road was closed to traffic which was diverted along clogged, narrow streets.

Then I got stuck behind one of those gigantic cranes that travels at about 2 miles a fortnight!

Still, I did get a picture of Beachy Head and the lighthouse.  This is the highest chalk sea cliff in Britain, rising to 531 feet about sea level.  The lighthouse is 141 feet tall.

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