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We’d heard that the Shirley Heights Lookout was the place to be Sunday nights in Antigua. Lured by rumors of steel drum bands, cheap drinks, and sunset views of English and Falmouth Harbours, we gathered some friends together for what we thought would be a short hike up the hill to this military gun battery turned island hangout.

After consulting with several locals (who assured us that the hike would take just 30 minutes), our group of nine (we were joined by friends on Neko, Planet Waves, and Discofish) set out on the steep and winding road to Shirley Heights. 30 minutes went by. Then 45. Then an hour. Vans filled with passengers flew by us. Clearly, we’d chosen the more scenic (and sweaty!) route.

An hour and fifteen minutes later (plus one unexpected charge of $10 US /person), we were inside the fort ordering drinks from the bar, in the company of every sunburnt resort vacationer and cruise ship passenger on the island. We waited patiently in a queue to take photos in front of the harbor. We were elbowed and jostled waiting in line for drinks. It was a scene with a capital S.

Yes, the views were stunning – they were definitely worth the hike. The party? Meh, not so much.

In this cruising life, we’re very lucky to have the best of paradise to ourselves most of the time. On rare occasions when we stumble into pockets of vacationers, it’s serves to remind us of just how good we’ve got it.

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The guy i asked to take our group’s photo did a pretty awesome job, don’t you think? We got half of Pete’s face, Joanna is obscured, and one additional stranger made it into the shot!

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