Sunday, February 14, 2010

Carriacou and back to Grenada

Caribbean Misadventures #12: Carriacou
I really like Carriacou. I spent the past two days just wandering around town, and checking things out. There’s not a whole lot here, which is probably why I like it.
I like the guest house where I am staying. My room has a double bed, bathroom, safe, tv and air conditioning all for about $30 a night. There is a shared kitchen with a huge fridge and gas stove, but a bit light on cutlery and stuff. When i return (and I will) I will pack some stuff to use. However, it's adequate to my needs right now, as I don’t really cook. I really appreciate having the fridge. There is also a wonderful cooler that provides ice cold drinking water. There’s huge porches in the front and back. Yesterday I met the Prime Minister’s press secretary, who was picking up his underwear that was hanging on the clothesline out my room on the porch. We had a great conversation until he had to leave to take part in the celebrations.

Yesterday they celebrated Independence day, and there was a ‘grand’ parade, with the police marching band that came over on the boat with me from Grenada, the school drum corps, and every school child in Carriacou, marched in their school uniform, into the stadium.

Just about everyone, adults and children, were all dressed in bright red yellow and green outfits, the colours of their flag or were wearing eye blinding plaids in the same colours. There were buntings and flags all over the place, and when I finally got into the stadium, the marchers were all lined up with a show of the military in front of a canopied viewing stand. The prime minister and his minions were seated under a large tent. He had come over on same the boat that I was on, and was supposed to stay at my guest house, but there weren’t enough rooms, because the police band was staying there. So they put him up somewhere else.

The show of military force was, I think, representative of the size of the island. With six army, six navy, and six marines standing at attention throughout the three hour ordeal. Their numbers seemed in proportion to the size of the island. I stayed until the speeches started and then I fled. Political speeches are the same the world over.

The locals speak a patois that is completely unintelligible to me,but they do speak English as well. People at the hotel are friendly, and I have met all sorts of interesting travellers. Jackie is from England, and is married to Yves, who is French. They are down here for several months, spending a few weeks at a time at various islands - Union Island, Petite Martinique, and several other of the Grenadines. They have been a font of information re island hopping. There seems to be a good number of people who come here for several months in the winter. I think I wouldn’t mind being one of them…

Today, I finished a sketch of some of the buildings, and took a bus to Paradise Beach, a lovely beach about five minutes from town. There are beaches all along the front street of the town, but they tend to be a bit dirty, so with dozens of beaches to choose from, why not choose a clean one?? . There was no one there when I arrived. Lovely sand, and beautiful green Caribbean clear water. I had the beach to myself, but was joined by another older German women who has been coming here for 35 years. When she left, I was joined by an American/Granadian, who was visiting his mother. He introduced to me to what initially looked to be just another beach bum, but turned out to be a member of the opposition in Parliament, who been the Minister of Foreign Affairs in the just defeated government.

I had lunch in the little snackette, and grabbed another bus to the next town in Tyrell bay. It'a a yachttie place that is being developed into a port. It was not so nice, with too many boats, and a slightly trashy beach. So I flagged another bus, that took me on a roundabout trip through the countryside, and back to town in time for a snack and a nap. A well spent day.

I have been without internet for a few days . There was some sort of screw up on Carriacou with the provider. I was logged in, but I couldnt connect. My new friends Yves and Jackie tried their best to fix it, but Yves only managed to slightly screw up my mouse pad. No problem, because i prefer to use the real mouse. My last morning in Carriacou, I did a little of everything. After breakfast on the balcony, I went to the top floor front balcony and did a sketch of the main street. Then I headed to the beach, for a swim and another sketch. I headed back to my room to shower, change, and check out. By then it was lunch time, so off to my favorite restaurant for Lambi roti (conch), a couple of beers and another drawing. Too soon it was time to catch the ferry back to St George's

I left Carriacou on the three thirty ferry, grabbed a bus, and was delivered to the gates of the Granada Beach Club Resort... the one I bid on and won on SkyAuction.

I think I am the only customer ever to arrive by bus, on foot, at the gate of this resort. The ancient gate keeper was a bit confused, but walked me up to the posh reception area where I checked in. I was taken to my room by an even more ancient 'bell boy'. I felt guilty that he was dragging my small wheelie, but then I have to remember that I am probably older than he is anyway! The room was amazingly standard North American hotel mode. It was bigger than the whole 'cottage' that I stayed in at the Caribbean Cottages last week. It has two double beds, a huge tv, a bathroom with a tub, and lots of towels and soaps and stuff. I have a balcony, and a noisy, old fashioned air conditioner. There is a DESK and bedside lamps. I have concluded that bedside lamps are the ultimate in total luxury! And the internet works!!!

I heard some thumpa thump music outside, so i checked with the desk and found out that since it is Independence weekend, there is a beach party going on in front of the resort. So off I went to check it out. The resort is 'fenced in from the beach with an unimposing picket fence and 'guarded' by a couple of laid back uniformed men, so first I had to find the gate leading out to the beach. There were tons of people and tents and food stalls and a reggae band belting it out - people eating, dancing etc. As I looked over the fence at the festivities, I was picked up by a former Grenadian women and family who were visiting from their home in the Channel Islands and was invited to join them. They treated me to beer and fish and chips! She is travelling with her son, and two funny old English geezer types who are friends of hers. She was visiting her older son who lived in Grenada.

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Mohamad said...
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