Sunday, July 13, 2008

Day 7 (Friday)

It was another wonderful morning to enjoy the sunrise from the veranda. I felt ambitious this morning, so I took to the swimming pool and swam several laps to start my day off right. After the entire family was ready to go, we took off to run a few errands and see some sights.

Our first stop was at Henrietta’s Bakery. Yes, we stopped here often! Today it was to buy a few snacks and cold drinks to satisfy our late morning hunger. I really like to drink Lemon Lime & Bitters made by Angostura (about EC$3 for 333 ml). It is a very refreshing beverage, especially when ice cold. The children enjoy the several types of carbonated fruit juices, something that we have not seen for sale in our area of the States.

Once in Hillsborough, we stopped by Kim’s Plaza for a few provisions. With the end of our stay in sight, we were trying to plan our meals to leave with no left-overs or waste. Today’s purchase was mainly for milk and some pasta.

The news in Hillsborough this morning was that someone had purchased the old Lime Plantation near Bogles. The property had been for sale for some time, with several acres that include about one-quarter mile of ocean frontage and a high-capacity fresh water well. The listed price for the property was at US$6 million; unfortunately, a bit high for our budget. Laura and I would often daydream about owning the land and preserving it as a way to maintain a historical part of this island from being developed. Not knowing who has purchased the land made us wonder what we will see happen to it. I know that I cringe at the thought of a resort hotel being located here.

After retuning plates and bowls from our take away dinner from the Green Roof Inn, we meandered up the hillside to visit the Carriacou Hospital. We believe that this is one stop that every visitor to the island should try to make. From this vantage point, one can see virtually around the island, with a map-like perspective of the streets of Hillsborough and a great view of Grenada in the distance and all of the small islands in between. The hospital grounds include two authentic large cannons positioned in a manner to fein protection of the Hillsborough harbor. In reality, the cannons were never actually used from this location, but were brought to this vantage point for the benefit of the tourists. They do provide a great photo opportunity and the kids loved them.

From the hospital, we ventured south along the ridges to Top Hill, and the location of the Cable & Wireless relay station. The view along the way was spectacular, with a particularly clear vantage of Petite Martinique, Petite Saint Vincent and Carriacou’s eastern coastline. Once again we noticed the large number of new homes that had been built since our last visit, or those currently under construction. Satisfied with our adventure, we traveled back to Hillsborough and then south to L’Esterre.

The afternoon winds were relatively calm, and while enjoying a hillside view of the bay off Paradise Beach, we noticed that we could see some larger fish near the surface, schools of baitfish moving to and fro and appearing as a large ‘cloud’ in the water, and even some rays as they patrolled the coastline. What a view! Intrigued by the sight of the marine life, we all grabbed our snorkel gear and hit the water at the south end of Paradise Beach where there is less grass and a little bit of coral. This area is chock full of different varieties of sea urchins, starfish and an occasional conch. The coral has not yet become well established since being cleared-out by the storm surge from Hurricane Lenny, but there is enough to attract a few interesting fish. Laura worked the grass-line in hopes of spotting a turtle, but no luck this time either. She has decided that she is a turtle jinx, and regardless of her love for the animal, she may just never see one in the ocean. Worn-out from the sun and fun, we slowly made our way back to the villa for a late afternoon rest.

We were startled when greeted by a visitor outside the door. It was our friend, Paul Hatch, one of the owners of the villa. Paul happened to be visiting Carriacou from his home in Trinidad and stopped by to say hello. He had come up to the island a day earlier by boat with a friend to take part in a weekend bill fishing competition. That explained the number of large power boats in Tyrrel Bay! We enjoyed a good visit with Paul and wished him well in the contest when he left for the tournament rules briefing.

As evening came, we were greeted to beautifully clear skies that displayed nearly every star imaginable in the night sky. The children were only slightly interested, but my wife and I were caught breathless. I remember seeing skies like this forty years ago when I was quite young and living on a rural farm in Indiana. However, it had been a very long time since I had been in a location with such little light pollution that you could see so many stars with the naked eye. It was certainly awe inspiring.

Our eyes were not alone in receiving a treat as the Friday night parties entertained us with the happy sounds of the Caribbean. The clear tones of steel drums and the get-up-and-dance rhythms from many of our favorite reggae tunes filled the air. The nearby “Off The Hook” beachside club provided us with a concert that lasted well past midnight.