We did indeed finish the ironing at around 1:30 in the morning! We had a wake-up knock at 6am. Hirut's parents stayed at the beach house with friends last night, setting up. Above is all of our ironing put to beautiful use. Although, apparently, it was all irreverently gathered up and dropped on the floor! Noooooo... :oO
There was yet more dainty work to be done on arrival: the folding of napkins. Then pinning them with ribbons. But, oooh, don't they look pretty? NO! Don't you DARE wipe your mouth on that!
This is Shenge beach, about two hours out of Freetown. Completely secluded.
Down where the marquee is, you turn right, go up some steps, and you're at the beach hut. Herbert's trying to turn it into the next holiday home venture. They've formed a committee, planning a hotel and more beach huts. If they can balance tourism and still maintain the seclusion, I think they're on to a winner. It's a truly outstanding area of natural beauty.
The dinner was extremely scrummy. Llyal's mum and dad (absolute top people) had brought back smoked salmon from the US, so we tucked into that, followed by a wonderful buffet including lobster, caught locally, and chocolate and rum cake for pudding. The wine flowed freely, as did the Baileys and Champagne.
Family also gave speeches to celebrate Herbert's birthday, and Hirut also gave one. After which, I made for a long walk up the beach and discovered the crabs! Little holes in the sand about the size of your fist, and when the tide comes in dozens of crabs appear and scuttle about on the sand, running into the waves and back out again - they're so cute :o}
The sunset was absolutely spectacular.
At night, when most of the guests had left, we sat outside with Hirut and Llyal's parents and picked at the remains of the lobster whilst drinking fresh tapped palm wine. The kid came to change the cans and I watched him walking up the trees attached by a hoop of bark like this guy on the SL Tourism Video.
I learned that different trees have a different taste, from sweet, medium, to strong. The cans are emptied in the morning and evening.
It was a wonderful day. If anybody is going to Sierra Leone and wants to rent a beach hut in a stunning area of undisturbed beach, this is a project to look out for. Sierra Leone should definitely be capitalising on this type of tourism, although it's hard outside of Freetown because the law says the land belongs to the various tribes, and anything on it. Which is bad for development because who wants to invest in a building that could just be repossessed at any moment? This project is still just within Freetown though, so it's freehold. Interesting legal quirk.
Today we've just been recovering in front of the TV. Watched a couple of movies: Girl Interrupted, which I remember wanting to see when it came out but never got around to. Not bad, marginally entertaining, Angelina Jolie at her angry-sassiest, bit Sylvia Plath. The second was absolutely fantastic: Mr. Brooks. I'd never heard of it before, but it was like Dexter in film form. Extremely well done - there has to be a sequel.
We also went to the first tailor and picked up our clothes: red sequined skirt, matching tie-dye skirt and halter-neck. Very pleased with them. Will take some photos at some point.