Grenada


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Published: July 29th 2019
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Friday July 26 - As we pulled in, it seemed that St. George's may be the nicest looking city I’ve seen in the Caribbean. I do have a bad memory and haven’t yet walked around it, but it looks really pretty and well organized. Khalidah had written earlier to say her and a friend would pick me up, but she wasn’t there. I started to get a little nervous and decided I would get on a bus at 6pm if she wasn’t there by then - half an hour seemed like enough time to wait. I had no way to contact her, and perhaps she had to cancel. But with five minutes to go, they arrived. They were in a bus - I didn’t know her friend was a bus driver - but he wasn’t working, just doing her a favor by picking me up. They stopped at a supermarket so I could get my standard groceries, and then drove me to my airbnb in Calliste, 10-15 minutes from St. George's. When I arrived, it was a bit of a surprise, apparently. The host lives in the states, and her mom runs the airbnb, but she was not here and did not know I was coming. Luckily her stepfather was home and let me in. (Correction: she later told me she knew but forgot to tell him). The first thing I noticed was that there was no fan, so I asked if he had one I could use. He did. I put my groceries away and then went back to the bus. Brendan, the driver, drove down to nearby Grooms Beach, to show me how to get there, which was very nice. He then drove back the other way to the main road to show me the way back, which was helpful. It was nice having friends in a place I’d just arrived.

I started cooking dinner when I got back, and couldn’t get the tap to turn on, so I had to ask Bran, the hosts stepdad. He has trouble walking, so I felt bad, but he was near the kitchen window by the door, so that helped. I think he mentioned a pump or something. Then I had to go back to borrow a can opener. He passed it through the window. There was a metal pot but no pot holders and no kitchen towel, so I had to use a hand towel to drain the water. Tricky, but not impossible.

Still trying to decide what I will do this weekend, but I’ve written to a walking group that gets together on Saturday afternoons to ask about the hike tomorrow. It starts at 4pm, and then I think turns into a party. I’m more interested in a chat and a walk, which could be fun. It looks like I’m also planning to go to Grooms beach, and there are some other waterfalls and things to check out.

Watched an episode of Outlander while I ate yogurt (there is yogurt!) and slept. I’m afraid I’m coming down with a cold. If so, I’m hoping for a minor one.

Saturday July 27 - It’s not a minor cold. Boo. I slept very poorly, had a headache, a leaky nose and a stuffy head when I woke up. That did not change much as the day went on. I felt crap and was disappointed, since I only have the weekend here. The woman I’m renting from is right next door, and came over with some fresh lemongrass to make a tea, and gave me a packet of Alka-seltzer plus for colds, which was very nice. I had already taken an advil, and the cold medicine has aspirin. I googled it and it said not to mix the two within 8-12 hours, so I decided to save it for bedtime, hoping it will help me sleep. But it also meant I could take nothing more for the rest of the day. Cue pressure in the head.

I sat around feeling sorry for myself, playing around on facebook. I washed my pajamas and hung them to dry. Around noon I finally decided to go to the beach, as my host suggested.

It has been cloudy, which meant cooler and less burny, but of course as soon as I started walking, it was sunny. Just as I left the apartment, I saw a guy outside who also seemed to be renting here and for a second I thought if that was his rental car, maybe he could drive me somewhere. Then I remembered I felt like crap and forgot that thought. I said hi and then looked closer. He was bleeding. He actually asked if one of the cars was mine, so I could give him a lift. I think he was Russian-speaking, and his English was ok but not great. He was in an accident with a dog on his motorbike, which he called it a chair with an engine, since it was not good enough to be a motorbike. Maybe I should have helped him get somewhere, but he seemed pretty ok.

I followed a path to the road that the host told me about, which was quite nice, and then had to follow the road back past the house, since the beach was in the other direction. I knew this going in, but wanted to check out the path. Grenada is really hilly, and I walked up and down a lot. From the top of the neighborhood hill, I could see the ocean, the airport, which is very close, and the medical school. The walk to Grooms Beach took about 15 minutes, and I walked the last part with another girl who was staying in a hotel near the beach. She was just walking to see the beach, and then was headed into town to buy some food. I walked a bit until I found shade under a coconut tree that was at a small resort type hotel. I stayed for a few hours, only swimming once. I read, and finished On The Come Up, which means I’ve been reading books in one or two days lately. All of my library e-books have been winners this summer. Now I’ve gone back to my cheesy cozy mysteries, which I’m still enjoying.

Back at the apartment, I played with the dog outside for a few minutes, then headed in. I took a shower, washed my swimsuit, cooked dinner, watched some videos, and finished with an Outlander episode.

Sunday July 28 - Oh man, being sick sucks. Being sick somewhere besides your own home is the worst. I think I was up every hour last night with this cold, and for some reason, needed to pee each time. I stayed in bed from about 9:30pm until 8:00am, but didn’t get nearly the sleep that I should have. I still had a headache/a lot of pressure in my head when I woke up. I took some advil, and it got better. I don’t know if that is why, but I’m so relieved. Plus, I’m almost out of advil. When I woke up it was raining and it proceeded to rain on and off all morning. It made me feel slightly better for staying in, but it’s kind of a bummer that I’m missing a lot of cool things to do in Grenada.

I made some ramen for lunch, and later decided I felt good enough to get on a bus and go into town. The ride was slow, as the driver kept stopping to try to get more passengers where there were none, but finally we were there. It rained a little bit when I first arrived, but it got better.

My first stop was the grocery store where the bus ride ended. Most are closed on Sunday, and since this was open, I had a look around. Nothing I needed, but worth a look. Next I went to Fort George, which was in the same area. I started to walk in, and saw on one side it was a police station, and the other side was closed. I wasn’t sure what to do, but this guy told me you have to go in through the police station side when the cruise ships are not in port, which is April - October. He showed me the way in and started leading me. I asked him what his job is and he told me he’s a tour guide. I told him I didn’t need a tour and he said he’d just show me some things. Kind of annoying, but fine. We walked all around the fort, and then through the town, where I saw some old churches and learned some of the recent history of

Grenada. We walked by the city cemetery and the marina. St. George’s is quite a nice capital, one of the nicest cities I’ve seen in the Caribbean.

Finally it was time to head back and my dude Jimmy walked me to the bus stop. He reminded me that he is a tour guide and if I wanted to tip him I could. I was annoyed, but I did give him something, since I appreciated the things he told me. Then he made sure I got in a bus that would go all the way to the top of Calliste hill for me.

Back at the apartment I said hi to the dog, who always jumps up on you. She is very sweet, but she was also muddy, so that was annoying. I also realized my shoes were extremely muddy, and I had brought all that mud up the stairs with me. I took my shoes off before going in the apartment and washed them in the shower, but had trouble getting the dirt to wash down the drain. Then I showered and ate leftovers. There’s even enough for lunch tomorrow before I leave.

Tomorrow I fly to Trinidad, the last stop on this tour. My airbnb host is a tour guide, so I will do some activities with her. Trying to decide now what they will be.

Monday July 29 - Somehow it’s already time to leave Grenada, despite seeing very little. I spent the morning in the apartment, relaxing and packing. I’m starting to feel better, but I’m tired and still have a nose that is both stuffy and runny. I ate my last yogurt and finished my granola and then had an early lunch by finishing off my tuna and noodles from last night. I did some more thinking about activities in Trinidad, and today I’ll talk to my host Ally, see what the weather will be like, and we can decide when we do each thing. There are some things she said I can also do alone. I’m hoping that means the bus goes there, because from what I’ve read it didn’t seem possible. Trinidad is not set up for tourism and most public transport works mostly for the workers, many of which work in the fossil fuel industry.

Last night I asked if I could stay until noon, and was told I could stay until 11:00, and then I could sit in the main house (the host’s mom’s house) until I had to go to the airport. She also told me there was no bus to the airport (in case it was raining). Both of those things were wrong. When I left at 11:00, I knocked on her mom’s door to give her the key, and no one was home. So I couldn’t sit in her house. Just then, the Russian boy who had the accident on his motorbike came up and asked if I could help him bandage his hand. I did, and then he drove away on the bike. To a doctor, I hope. His knee looked quite swollen and he had cuts everywhere. Then it was just me and the dog.

I sat down on the stairs in the shade and sent an email saying the mom was gone and I was just going to leave. She wrote back that I could stay until noon if I wanted, as her mom was out. I sat with the dog a bit, who is lovely and desperately needed some attention, and then I decided to head out.

I figured it would take me somewhere between 20-30 minutes to walk to the airport, and it was hot, so I was wearing shorts. Not my usual flight clothes, but no way did I want to sweat even more in pants. And the flight is only 40 minutes long. Trinidad is not far away, and it’s practically in Venezuela it’s so close. I walked for less than 15 minutes, and almost as soon as I turned onto the main road (which had buses going to and from the airport), a taxi guy stopped for me. He offered me a lift and said there was no charge when I asked since I was so close and he figured I would just walk if there was a charge. It wasn’t far, but it was very nice to get in the car with him and get a lift for that last bit. He gave me his card for when (if) I return. It’s for One Love Transportation Services, which I can now recommend for niceness.

At the airport I checked in, and then went upstairs to a super-cold room called the Wave Art Gallery. It’s has a few paintings and a large view of the runway. I watched one plane take off - a popular pastime, it would seem - and then went back downstairs to get in line for security. It wasn’t super fast, but not too slow either. I changed money into USD and was pleasantly surprised. The ECD I had was worth $124.88, so she could give me $124 and a few ECD coins back. I agreed, but then she put in a more few cents and gave me $125 instead. This is the second time a money changer in the Caribbean has rounded up for me, rather than down. I’ve never seen this anywhere else in the world. Amazing.

Next stop: Trinidad.


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