Wednesday, August 25, 2010

25 August 2010 Rye (Kent) and Hastings (East Sussex)

Lyn with Python

Eurasian Eagle-owl

Eurasian Eagle-owl



Mother pig and piglets

Check out the name of the bakery in Hastings

25th August 2010 – Rye in Kent and Hastings in East Sussex

Woke to an overcast morning, with heavy rain forecast for this afternoon. We had a slow start to the day. Lyn didn’t wake till 9.15am and by the time she fiddled about it was 11am before we left the motel. We decided to have a drive down to Rye and Hastings.

We took the M20 towards Folkestone exiting at Junction 10 onto A2070 and we were driving along merrily until Mick saw a sign to the Rare Breeds Centre so we decided to stop and have a look.

The Rare Breeds Centre is owned and run by Canterbury Oast Trust, a charity that provides homes, care and occupational opportunities for adults with learning disabilities.

What a lovely little place it was. There were animal handlers in many places with various animal and birds so that the children could touch them to see what they felt like. Lyn put a large Burmese Python around her neck, as she appeared to be the only one game enough to do it. Most people seemed to think that the snake might bite them.

The next handler we found was holding a young Eagle Owl which can have a wing span of up to 6’. There has been some discussion in the newspapers here about exterminating them as some experts believe they are not a native species and the law here says that any animal species that is not native to this country should be destroyed.

Next was the butterfly house. When we entered it we were hit with a tropical atmosphere and Mick’s camera lens immediately fogged up. So many beautiful butterflies flying about and one landed on Lyn’s finger. People were complaining it was too hot and sticky but as Lyn said to one lady “it is like this Cairns and Broome in the wet season” as she had already told her that we came from Australia.

As we wanted to go to Rye and Hastings before the rain set in. We left the Rare Breed Centre and continued down the A2070 towards Rye.

Rye is a quaint little English village with a lovely nature reserve and many wild birds to see. There was a large information sheet with pictures and narrative of the various birds in the area on the side of an information shed in the car park (free) near the water. Unfortunately it was pouring with rain and Lyn said she had left all the wet weather gear back at the hotel so we could only see it from the car.

After a quick look around we headed off to Hastings in the pouring rain and when we arrived, did a circuit of the town and parked the car in an undercover car park, which cost £1.40 for two hours, which we thought was reasonable.

We then headed off to the city centre under our umbrella, which we had found in the boot. About 50m down the road in the pouring rain, Lyn suddenly remembered that we had the wet weather gear in our large suitcase, which was in the boot, so we trudged back to the car to dress for the rain.

First stop Costa’s for a lovely Latte and toasted ham and cheese sandwich and then off for a walk around the shopping centres which were very nicely laid out with a good variety of stores.

Mick took the picture of the bakery from inside Costa's. What a cool name!

As it was still pouring with rain, which the Brits don’t seem to worry about, we decided to make our way home rather than get drowned.

As we had passed through the town, the GPS decided we should keep going down the A21 and then onto the A28 back to our motel at Ashford.

This evening we again went for dinner at the restaurant next door to the motel and Mick had a rack of Pork Spare Ribs and Lyn had Chicken Breast wrapped in bacon.

As we settled down for the evening the power failed in the motel and all the buildings within sight. Luckily we had the laptop switched on to provide quite a good light as the motel rooms were in complete darkness. There was, however, emergency lighting in the corridors. The power was off for about 50mins.

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