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Published: July 25th 2019
Tuesday July 23 – I got out of bed just before 7am, not quite sure what the plan was for today. Brenton said he would drive me to the ferry, but we didn’t make any plans for a specific time, and it’s a workday. I plugged my computer in, as it didn’t shut down correctly last night and was all out of battery. Then I packed everything I could, cleaning up a little. Brenton’s daughter knocked on the door at 7:26, bringing my breakfast, and told me her dad was planning to leave at 7:30. So, the communication and timing is a bit off. I ate a few bites and then continued to pack the last few parts up. Today they brought tuna and toast, which is funny since I’ve been eating comically large amounts of tuna over the last month. I hope it does not come with high doses of mercury.
Brenton came to the door around 7:45 and I put the last thing away and we left. I was worried about arriving too early, since the boat wouldn’t leave until 11:30, but it worked out. We drove towards town, then to a friend’s house. He picked her up
and then we drove her somewhere else. They said hello and goodbye and not another word. It was weird. In the car we were listening to the radio, and most of the drive it was a guy talking philosophically about the government here, what they spend more on, and whether their quality of life has improved. It was interesting. The roads are also interesting. There’s a main road, but then there are all kinds of winding roads that lead off the main one, all up into the hills where people live. They are often only one car wide, and there are a lot of turns, so people drive with their horn so others know they’re coming.
We made it to the police station and went into his office. He is very new to airbnb, and thought I was supposed to pay him in cash. I explained the system and offered to show it to him if he had time. I’ve never seen the host side of it before, but we looked and he finished his listing and changed some things. He has to choose a form of payment from airbnb before they can pay him and we also talked
about fixing the things that didn’t work right – aircon, wifi, electricity – before someone else stays there. I left around 9:15 to go for a walk in town, with the plan to collect my bag before I left for the boat. He had a meeting at 10:00 but left the door unlocked for me. It’s a police station, so I guess it was safe.
I wandered a couple of streets, went inside two churches, took some pictures, and then got back around 10:30. I had to ask someone if I could use the bathroom, then that guy brought me to another room where a woman gave me a key and a roll of toilet paper and showed me where the bathroom was. I gave the key and roll back, and went to fetch my bag. I had to take out my motion sickness tablets and take one, then walked over to the boat.
The boat is the Gem Star and it sails a couple times a week. It’s a slow car ferry, and has a couple stops in the Grenadines before it gets to Union island, my destination. The boat has an indoor air-conditioned seating area. The
ride was about five hours long, and I spent the time reading, writing a little, and watching an episode of Outlander. There is not much left to the season, and every episode is good but often heartbreaking. Everyone on the boat brought KFC for lunch, or bought some lunch on the boat. I ate a banana. And then a few pieces of dried mango. The boat stopped at two of other Grenadines first, Canouan and Mayreau.
We arrived at Union island around 4:15pm. I was looking for the blue building that was my guesthouse but found the pink building mentioned in my guidebook that is a place to look for the guy who runs the guesthouse. He also runs the pink shop. He pointed me in the right direction and gave me the keys. I got in and the aircon works, so I’m good. My plan was to walk around and take some pictures, but it changed slightly. I had to send an email to Troy, the guy who captains the boat I will take to Carriacou on Thursday, to confirm my arrival so that we could coordinate. He sent one saying he has arranged for me to go
to the Tobago Cays tomorrow with a group on a water taxi, and we agreed to meet at 6pm to discuss. I also talked to Jeroen, since he was still awake, and then I made a move.
By the time I got outside, it was a bit cloudy and less pretty for pictures, so I just wandered a bit. I got a spoon and a fork from Junior, the host of the guesthouse, just in case. I stopped in at a place called Jennifer’s that Junior recommended for good local food. It sounded like a lot of food and was about $17 US. Instead, I bought a roti for dinner because it was cheap (less than $5) and would be enough. I also got a bottle of water but could not find any yogurt. No dessert tonight then.
When I was getting clothes ready for tomorrow, I also realized that they are damp. I think not having air conditioning in a humid place made everything kind of damp and gross. That does not bode well for the rest of my trip, because I do not have a/c for the last 10 days or so, and that is coming
much too soon. Saving money is good, but feeling hot and sweaty all the time is going to feel so bad.
I met with Troy and he explained that I need to go to the airport tomorrow to get my exit stamp from the country, since we leave quite early on Thursday and there will be no one to do it at the port. He also told me more about the trip tomorrow and explained where everything is, and how to get there. I can walk to the airport and port in 10 minutes. It’s a small island.
Wednesday July 24 - Today was a good day. Some days are easier than others, and today was one of those days. I got up before my alarm. Obvious, right? I did a little internetting and talked to Jeroen. At 7:30 I left for the airport. Troy said I should be there between 7:45 and 8:00 to get my passport stamped out of the country, since I can’t do it tomorrow when we leave by boat. It took about 8 minutes to walk there, and the immigration guy hadn’t arrived yet. When he got there, he told me I had
to wait. For what, I’m not sure. The airport is mostly open, and I kept getting bitten by mosquitos, including three itchy bites behind my right knee. Terrible. Eventually I went back to the counter and he stamped my passport. I’ve gotten a lot of stamps on this trip, and I’ve looked at none of them. I just keep worrying that they’ll fill up my passport early and I’ll have to get another soon. Hassle.
From the airport, I walked back to my room to drop off my passport and do a couple of stretches. Sometimes my decade-old sciatica acts up, and today is one of those days. It’s mostly fine, but the stretches helped. I left again at 8:45, this time for the port. Troy said to arrive by 9am and that the boat would leave at 9:30. I’m not sure why I had to get there early, but I did. I waited around a little while and then went for a walk a little farther down.I was parallel to the runway and a small plane was about to take off, but it went the other direction and stayed low so I could not see it.
Tobago Cays blog for the rest of the day*
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