Saturday was an absolutely scrumptious day in southern England, and the Two Crabs took advantage of the weather to take a day hiking trip to Beachy Head, the tallest chalk cliff in England at 500-some feet high. In addition to being one of the most beautiful places in Britain, Beachy Head has the dubious distinction of being the third-most popular place in the WORLD to committ suicide.
More than 20 people a year hurl themselves to their death off the cliff here, located 2 miles west and above the beach resort town of Eastbourne. Peering down from the top, one can also view the charred, crumpled remains of various cars below that were driven off the cliff, most ending up on the rocky outcrops just short of landing in the English Channel. It's such a popular suicide spot that a book was written about the subject this year, "Cliffs of Dispair: A Journey To The Edge" by Tom Hunt.
The locals joke make light of their town's unfortunate notoriety. After our 10-mile roundtrip hike up and down the cliffs, we stopped for a pint at a little neighborhood pub on the outskirts of town. An older gentleman told us a tale of how a taxi driver had picked up a fare at the Eastbourne train station, who asked to be taken to Beachy Head park. No sooner than the taxi arrived that the man ran out of the cab and jumped off the cliff. The local joked: "The worst part was the man did not even have the decency to pay the cabbie before he killed himself!"
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