As we all know the price of fuel is rocketing. Last week it passed two Euros per litre. Prices are rising all the time. Inflation in the UK is well over 6% which is the highest it has been for 30 years. And it’s unlikely to stop. Some people are already being very badly affected.

We try to keep our fuel bills down by using a wood burner. In fact this week we’ve been outside sawing up a large branch that fell off a tree in the garden during storm Eunice. I’ve been chopping the smaller branches and putting them into bags. We also ask people near to where we live if we can have wood out of skips. The next project is to construct a shed to store all the wood in. For the branches off the tree that weren’t useful I shredded them and used them as mulch on the flower beds. This keeps the weeds down and makes everything look tidier – although the local cats see it as a handy loo and then my dog sees these deposits as a tasty snack. I’ve put small fences round the favourite areas.

Anyway, talking of number twos (haha) I looked at flight numbers with the number 2. For British Airways his used to be the number of Concorde. For Virgin Atlantic the flight would take me to Newark. I didn’t fancy going to Newark – apologies to anyone who lives there. In 2019 my husband Howard and I were deplaned at Burlington, Vermont and ended up in Newark rather than Las Vegas. Newark is about ten miles from New York but not somewhere I want to write about. So I considered 200 – as in 200 cents. Now this was far more interesting – BA200 runs between London and St Lucia. In fact this is so interesting to me that I will write the blog post for the number 200 in at least two installments. I hope you will enjoy them.

St Lucia

Guadaloupe – c/o unsplash.com

St Lucia is interesting to me as we had been planning to go to Barbados for a cycling holiday in January. We postponed it due to the pandemic. We have British Airways vouchers that must be used by September 2023 and I received a refund on the accommodation (about £800 – we had booked two weeks using Vrbo for a very nice but out of the way apartment).

If I’m honest I was concerned about cycling in Barbados. The roads are narrow in places, the traffic heavy and some of the roads are not well maintained. In many ways I’d have preferred to have left the bike at home. So when St Lucia came up here, I thought I’d look more closely at other islands.

For St Lucia I found that, unless you were prepared to use a mountain or fatbike, you’d be best forgetting cycling. This was disappointing. Not wanting to give up I wondered which Caribbean Island was best for cycling. One of the best Caribbean islands for cycling is, apparently, the French island(s) of Guadeloupe. We were warned that we should be able to speak French if we went. Both of us can, to a degree, and we could easily improve it. For me it’s the only foreign language that I do speak.

So why is Guadeloupe good for cycling? The road surfaces are good and the cycling is not predominantly mountain-bike based. The locals love to cycle. There are many recognized routes around the islands – Guadeloupe is made up of two main islands. We would describe ourselves as intermediate cyclists – although on holiday, when we’re getting to know a place, a few easy routes to begin with would be nice. This website and this one encouraged me.

How do you get to Guadeloupe? Firstly, I discovered that you don’t seem to be able to arrange direct flights to Guadeloupe from the UK or even one with a change. But, as Guadeloupe is French, there are direct flights from France – from Lyon to be precise. This would usually be fine but our vouchers are with British Airways so this will need a rethink. Also, Howard would like to go to Barbados as well even if we don’t cycle.

The point I’ve reached with the flights is this. I used skyscanner to find multi-city flights with British Airways – London to Barbados and then finishing with St Lucia to London. There will need to be internal Caribbean flights between Barbados and Guadeloupe and Guadeloupe and St Lucia.

We also need to make a decision about bikes. Do we take our own or hire out there? We ride a tandem and we have one that can be taken to pieces. The tandem was made especially for us and when we hire one, we can never guarantee what we’re getting. But as Guadeloupe is so focused on cycling, we may be able to hire something really good. It would definitely be worth enquiring.

Another interesting thing is that accommodation in Guadeloupe is, on first searching, a great deal cheaper than that in Barbados. We just want somewhere clean and reasonably central and this wasn’t difficult to find for £24 / night on Vrbo.

This morning Howard suggested that we travel to Lyon on the Eurostar, fly to Guadeloupe on Air France, ship the bike back to the UK and then continue to St Lucia and Barbados and use the BA vouchers to get back to the UK. We actually need to get back to Manchester and not London so this would make sense. Also, a good thing about the vouchers is that we can keep any excess and then use it for flights on another holiday. As this is a holiday that we plan to do I will leave it here for now and come back with the next installment in a couple of weeks.

Composite Numbers

We have met composite numbers before but, as the number 200 will appear in the next few posts, I will talk about a number of properties.

What is a composite number?

A number that is the product of two smaller numbers greater than 1

In general, all numbers greater than 1 are either prime or composite. The series of composite numbers looks like this:

4, 6, 8, 9, 10, 12, 14, 15, 16, 18, 20, 21, 22, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 30, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 38, 39, 40, 42, 44, 45, 46, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 60, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 68, 69, 70, 72, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 80, 81, 82, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94 and so on

For 200:

2 x 100 = 200

4 x 50 = 200

8 x 25 = 200

5 x 40 = 200

10 x 20 = 200

An example of a number which isn’t composite is 11 as only 1 x 11 = 11 and so 11 is prime.

 

Last Thoughts

This blog post has coincided with my genuine holiday plans, and I hope you will enjoy reading where this research ends up. I thoroughly enjoy planning holidays and putting all the pieces together – like a jigsaw. There are always restrictions to be worked around but sometimes this means that you strive extra hard to achieve what you want and to be clear what you want. In our case we want a good cycling holiday in a beautiful place with delicious food. Guadeloupe offers this by the bucket load.