Carriacou and (island) friends

Published: July 27th 2019
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Thursday July 25 - I got up at 5:00, after a poor night of sleep. I was pretty exhausted yesterday from the time in the sun, and went to bed early. At 10:30pm, my neighbor came home and I could hear her on the phone, packing, etc. The walls are so thin, and it was just me and her on that floor. Shame we happened to be in rooms next to each other and not more spread out. There was also a crash around 1:00 that woke me up and scared the crap out of me, and I thought it was her, but in the morning I realized that my laptop had fallen off the chair it was on. Probably not good.

I did my packing, watched some clips from last night’s late shows, ate my cheese stick for breakfast and took my motion sickness pill. I left around 6:40 to get a bus, and it didn’t take long to pick it up. I had to go three kilometers, from Clifton to Ashton, to catch the Lady JJ, the boat that would take me to Carriacou, Grenada. It didn’t take long and I was there early. I was given a customs form for Grenada to fill out while they loaded the boat up with supplies that were going to Carriacou. Eventually my neighbor showed up. Her name is Khalidah, and she’s a Canadian who’s been studying medicine in Grenada. She’s decided it’s not for her and will be moving back to Canada next month to pursue her own business bringing arts and handicrafts to North America from Africa. We chatted on the whole ride. She was heading back to Grenada in the afternoon on the Osprey ferry that I will take tomorrow, and asked me if I’d like to come with her on a day trip she booked with a water taxi friend. I didn’t have any plans for Carriacou so I decided to give it a go.

It took about an hour to get to Carriacou, and then everyone piled up in a bus that took us from the port to the immigration office. It took a while for us to get in and out, and Khalida and I were the last ones to get called. We were in a hurry to get on this day trip, and our water taxi guy was with us at this point. I forget his real name, but he goes by Froggy, and also kept calling me Stephanie, so I think it’s ok I’ve forgotten his name. Once we cleared immigration, we walked to my guesthouse, Ade’s Dream, and I asked to check in. The woman said I could pay now, get the key when I return and they would hold my bag, because someone was still in the room. I explained that I had to move quickly, shift my stuff around and change my clothes, etc. Then she magically produced a key - to the same room - and had someone show me upstairs. Crazy. This place is above their grocery store, and is a pretty good deal for only $31. I have hot water and aircon, but as I type this, I’m listening to crazy loud music with bass that practically shakes the windows. It is not yet 8pm, so I still have hope I will sleep tonight. I don’t think anywhere in town would be far enough away to make this quiet.

I quickly got changed and took all the excess out of my daypack and met the others. Froggy drove us to Windward, where he keeps his boat. Khalidah brought her own life jacket for both boat rides today, as she can’t swim. Once in the boat, we headed first to Mopion, a small sand bar “island” with some snorkeling around it. It was tiny - a few yards across - but really beautiful. It has an umbrella, and there was a pelican sitting on it. It also seems to have a population of exactly one crab, who I of course loved. I took some photos and snorkeled a bit. We weren’t able to stay long, as we had several places to visit and a short time to do so, since her boat left at 3:30pm.

Our next stop was back on Carriacou, at a beach called Anse de la Roche. It was a pretty beach with some rocks out front. There was a family from England having lunch there. The grandmother started island hopping 25 years ago to find the right place to live. She told me that when they got to Carriacou they knew it was the place, and they have been there ever since. Her family comes to visit every year. They had kayaked to the beach.

Throughout the day we had some interesting conversations, including one about Grenada. Grenada is the name of the country, but is only one of the three main (populated) islands that make up the country. Carriacou and Petit Martinique are the other two. Froggy was explaining that no one even knows these other two islands are here, and Grenada does nothing to encourage people to come to Carriacou, for example. Other countries, like Trinidad and Tobago and St Kitts and Nevis have both islands in their name. He said Grenada does not let Carriacou govern itself, and takes most of the money for itself. It seems a bit contentious, and was interesting to hear about.

Sandy Island was out next destination, and the best snorkeling I’ve had on this trip. Froggy dropped me off in a good place and told me to swim over to the boat, which would be by the island. I saw a lot of good formations and a slew of fish, but had to go quite quickly again. Khalidah took pictures and made some videos for her upcoming vlog in the meantime. I would have liked to have stayed longer, but we had one more island to visit.

White Island was our final destination, and we got out and took some pictures there, and then it was time to head back. We stopped for gas and then dropped Khalidah at the Osprey for her trip back to Grenada. Then Froggy took me past Paradise Beach and dropped me off back in Hillsborough near my guesthouse. I had a quick chat with Jeroen before he went to bed. He leaves for Belgium tomorrow to pick up his nephew, and will be back with him on Sunday for two weeks. I’ll be home before they leave for two weeks in Belgium, so that will be nice.

I walked around the main street, trying to decide what to have for dinner. I chose a jerk chicken special that I could carry out. It was pretty tasty. I added some jerk sauce, and the woman was like “It’s REALLY spicy”, so I was a little nervous, but it was fine. Spicy, yes, but not too spicy.

It was an interesting day with interesting conversation, but I came back wrecked. I’m so tired from yesterday’s sun and today’s sun just compounded it. I feel wiped out. I’m looking forward to an early sleep tonight. And I still feel like I’m on a boat. Disturbing.

Friday July 26 - I am obviously not a great sleeper. I went to bed relatively early, exhausted, and still managed to wake up every two hours. Every day I seem to wake up at 4:58, which is too early, but today I stayed in bed and rested a bit more until closer to 7:00. Fortunately, the night was quiet. No loud music and no loud neighbors, which was a happy surprise.

My face erupted in a heat rash for the third time of the trip a couple days ago, and it’s still going strong. Apparently most adults who have a heat rash have it under clothing, but not me. Right on my face. Attractive.

Today I chose the lazy approach. It goes something like this. “My ferry is not until 3:30pm, so I’ll need to leave around 2:30pm, and I have to check out at 12pm. There’s not much to do here besides the beach and I’m not interested today so I’ll just stay in my air-conditioned room (the last of the trip!) until noon, drop off my big backpack and try to chill until it’s time to get the bus to the ferry.” I spent the morning making some plans (but not effectively), answering emails, writing airbnb reviews, etc. La-zy. I did go out to search for a yogurt, found one, but came back with a cheese-filled pastry that smelled better instead.

I checked out at noon, and decided to go for a walk. I’m running out of cash faster than I’d hoped, since I have a few days left in Grenada, so I stopped at an ATM, trying to guess the right amount so I won’t have to go again before Trinidad, which uses a different currency. I walked through town on some different streets and ended up inside a church to look around while someone was cleaning, and then found a large cemetery not far away. I always like to walk through graveyards and take pictures, but hope no one sees me and thinks I’m being weird/creepy/disrespectful.

Then I was hungry, unusual for lunchtime, but decided to get fried chicken and fries at a place that only had that. I took my food and walked back to the beach where there were some covered tables. I sat with a group of women and started to read On The Come Up, the new book by Angie Thomas, the author of The Hate You Give. I ended up reading about half of the book today. It’s good. I stayed there reading until 2:15pm, when I went back to the guesthouse to collect my backpack. One guy was sitting near the table there, talking to friends, and of course he had to tell me he liked my clothes and wanted to know if I’m married. Blah blah blah. I told him to up his game.

With all of my things gathered up, I walked to the bus station, which is right behind my guesthouse, and got on a bus that was almost empty but left then. It took about 10 or 15 minutes to get to the Osprey ferry, and I was about an hour early, so I read.

I boarded the boat at 3:30pm and sat on the top deck, in the shade. I read a little more about Grenada, trying to form a loose plan, and then continued with my other book. We arrived at 5:30pm, right on time.

*for the rest, see the Grenada blog

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