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Published: December 15th 2017
Dear ones, We are learning fast:
Traffic to the west and the capital of Georgetown is heavy, esp the 2 rush hours, whereas the way we are tending to go - to the less crowded, less fancy East, is like real island time. Yes, we get behind work trucks, and yes we have seen an inordinate number of crashes since arriving - 4.
Slept well enough, since both are coughing, ate the muesli we brought from home, said goodbye to Jennifer - she is back to Canada till 12/24 as she starts her job iin Jan. They moved down here for his job. Heard last night about how the cat, Chowder, took many months and about $1000 to process him thru the rabies requirements. Not sure any cat is worth quite that much. Oh, right, we paid $500 for Tipsy's treatment of infection, so many years ago that maybe it would = that now.
Realized some of last night's photos didn't get uploaded, so those first. The "catch up" was the drift snorkel well recommended by an experienced local snorkeler. What a variety of soft corals - which we've included in a few general photos so you can
see how varied, healthy, and shallow. We were inside an extensive reef on the North side of the Eastern half of the island. We were in the water over 2.5 hours on this!! Saw one new animal - which we have to look up - it looks like a little shell attached to a coral branch. We saw fish that were rare in Aruba: the red banded parrotfish, black durgon (usually only at Baby Beach near the fierce current). And it seems like most of the fish here are bigger versions of their Aruban cousins.
After that, we were pretty tired and COLD so got out at Rum Point, which is a gathering of restaurants and stores at the end of the drift snorkel. (David had dropped me off at the beginning, and then drove to Rum Point, left the car, and walked back. Only about 10 mins walk. At the end we saw the Caribbean "coral gardens" where boats come to drop off their snorkeling passengers. The current was swift there so no more photos, but the coral heads were as big as bedrooms.
So, back to Rum Point, where we immediately ordered a hot coffee -
ah! and 4 little conch fritters with a marvelous "jerk mayonnaise" and a bowl of conch chowder. Yes, things are pricey here - those 2 appetizers and coffee set us back about $27.
Before leaving we inquired of the sting ray city boats, and found that only divers can go there, so we may go to the sting ray sandbar on Sunday 12:30. Guess no church for us - will have to make that up too 😉
We stopped by Barefoot Beach again on the way home, but David decided it was even choppier than before, so we drove the loop around (clockwise) to the east and south. But we stopped at Spotts Beach just down the way to hopefully see turtles. Nope. Finally a hot bath, and off we go to Singh's Roti Shop!!
Back from Singh's - a disappointment. Not the roti we know and love. Oh well. David is still downstairs chatting with our host Malcolm, who is explaining how much better it is to live here than in Ottawa - well, duh. But no, it's not the weather, tho that would beat Canada hands down. Evidently they can live here w/o income or
sales taxes, and no property tax. They are eye-ing a 2 BR near Rum point, on the ocean, about 35 years old, $350K US. Not bad for such a view, eh? Off to bed!
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