Monday had been scheduled as a rest day, so we were all looking forward to a lie in and a day on Myrtle Beach. You can perhaps, therefore, imagine our annoyance as we stepped out of the motel room into a torrential rainstorm; if so, you’d be entirely incorrect. The rain was so warm it felt like a hot shower and splashing through the puddles was like wading through a hot spring. Since we were all dressed for the beach, it didn’t matter so much that we were almost immediately soaked to the skin, though we probably did look a bit daft loaded up with inflatable rings and bucket and spades. There was a slightly hairy moment when I stepped into a gutter and my flip-flop was swept away, but fortunately Leo was standing downstream and was able to recover it for me.
We spent a showery afternoon at the beach, though we were disappointed to be told by a lifeguard that our inflatables were not allowed in the sea. The lifeguards were later seen telling off the parents of small children for allowing them to play with little inflatable duck-shaped rings. As Ed would probably put it: fascists. Anyway, we swam and sunbathed for a while until eventually the lifeguards went home, then we got the inflatables out and quite possibly violated state law. Meanwhile, Neil, Leo and occasionally Andy had been working on what started as a sand castle and eventually became an enormous complex of citadels, with bridges, moats and towers.