Three ladies walked in front of us and we caught a few words of their conversation, “I think he’s naked in the pool”. The pool they were referring to was the fountain outside of the IGA (grocery) store here on Grenada. Cindy and I parked ourselves on a shady bench with a cart full of groceries outside the IGA waiting for our taxi to arrive. Yes, we splurged for a taxi. I’ll explain after I tell you about the naked guy.
It’s hot here in Grenada. Although it is now October and the heat has broken just a little bit, the days are still very muggy and warm. Honestly, I wish I had been the guy who stripped off his clothes for a lay down in the fountain outside of the IGA. The fountain is surrounded by a low hedge and plants. I’m surprised the three ladies noticed the man as they walked by. Perhaps they heard him sigh with relief as he bathed in the cool water. The giggling trio saw the security guard sitting on the bench next to ours. Between their laughing they manage to tell him about the naked guy in the fountain. We and a few others laughed as the security guard ousted the fellow from the fountain sending him on his way. I thought about how differently this would have ended if it happened in the USA. The Grenadians all had a good laugh and sent the fountain bather on his way. In the USA, the police would have been called, the man arrested and charged with a sex crime, put on trial, found guilty (because he didn’t have a high powered lawyer) and put on an sex offender’s list requiring reporting for the rest of his life. All this at great expense to the tax payers. I think I like the Grenadian approach a little more, have a good laugh and go on with life.
We were waiting for our taxi to take us to our rental house. Cindy found us a fabulous house on AirBnB to stay while work is being done on Cream Puff in the boatyard. Some people stay on their boats when it is in the yard, but this means climbing up and down a ladder to get aboard, no air conditioning, no toilets aboard (think about where it will flush to) and lots of dust. The boatyard offers a few apartments to rent but they didn’t look very appealing and had no kitchens. The boatyard’s apartments were about US$75 per night. Our house is US$60. Look at the picture below and tell me where you rather stay, the boatyard or the house with a view like this:
Cream Puff requires the bow-thruster and c-drive (propeller) to be serviced when the boat is out of the water every couple of years. We do not trust anyone but ourselves to perform the service of these parts. A mistake could cost us dearly. It is not hard technical work to perform but we are familiar with the design and most boatyards are not. Because we are not staying at the yard, we need transportation to the boat for a couple of days to do some of the work ourselves during the haul out. Grenada is not an easy island to drive on. And besides, we couldn’t find a rental car for less than US$90 per day – three day minimum. Stupid expensive! So instead we have used buses to get about. Taking the bus from the house to the yard means a bus change and the fare is US$4.00 for both of us. For an extra US$10.00 we can get a taxi. The owner of the house where we are staying has a taxi driver willing to offer discounted rates for the guests staying here. We can usually catch a ride with the owner to the boatyard in the morning and then we cab it back. Splurging for a taxi makes us feel very rich. On this particular day when we had completed our work at the yard, we caught the bus to the IGA for some groceries and then called the taxi. Ryan, our taxi driver, was about 15 minutes away. We sat on the bench outside watching the events unfold. During the call to Ryan, I realized just how intriguing it is that all I needed to say was simply, “We are at the IGA and are ready to go back to Ann’s cottage”. Ryan knows exactly where we are and where we want to go. No addresses are needed.
Grenada is not a good place for tourists to drive. We thought about renting a car but decided against it after being around on the island for the past few months. Most of the roads are a car and a half wide. There are massive drainage ditches on each side of the roads capable of swallowing a small car. On the mountain roads there are very few guardrails. When looking for a rental car agency, I found the following on TripAdvisor about driving in Grenada:
These are the rules:
- Officially drive on the left side of the road, but only when going round the west side clockwise in the mornings. It’s easier to remember to drive in the shade.
- During the day the official greeting is to give it the horn, but at least twice, once is rude. Waving is permitted above Victoria on the west side during wet season (those house sized rocks above you on the hillside shouldn’t be disturbed by the horn)
- At night make sure your headlamp (2 is just showing off) is on high, so you can dip it (only for a moment) as a greeting.
- Bus drivers always have right of way since they drive with eyes closed because by now they really know the road. And, you weren’t there last time they went through.
- There’s no safety or emission testing, if someone has a really old car it really might only have brakes on 2 wheels, so don’t assume they can go or stop like you.
- Before driving off, check under your car for sheep/goats/cats. They love to sleep there and running them over is not friendly. Cows won’t fit, but they do like to scratch their itches against your car.
- Don’t park under a fruit tree or goats will use your car to get to them and scratch your roof.
- Don’t park under a coconut tree, don’t even ask…
- Don’t park by a manchineel tree, unless you want an untouchable car after rain.
- Remember, St Georges has a University that trains doctors and it has specialties in maternity and broken bones. In a car, the first could be handy; the second is unlikely to be good enough when your car leaves the mountain road. Bad crashes mean La Qua, so seriously, drive to arrive/survive. (La Qua brothers are the local funeral home owners)
Cindy sent this picture (below) to some of our friends. They said it should be on the cover of Cruising World Magazine rather than the glamour shot they usually have. This is what it’s really like to live on a boat and cruise the world. I was filthy dirty after spending a day in the boatyard. Yep, living the dream! Check out my dirty hat top. I kept bumping my head on the bottom of the boat.
Later in the week we went to the opposite extreme. Our week went from the grunge of the boatyard to afternoon tea at a very posh resort. We celebrated Cindy’s birthday at the Spice Island Resort.
I scored some major points for setting this up. I didn’t wear my hat.