Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Simon Shows us Carriacou

Carriacou is a Carib word meaning "island surrounded by reefs" and today has managed to maintain its charm and character primarily due to being off the beaten tourist track.  It has lovely protected anchorages and fine beaches and has become very popular with cruisers.  We also learned it is easier to find a rum dealer than a fuel dock as they have a tradition of smuggling alcohol that goes way back in time.

Since we’ve been in Tyrell Bay we have explored the small town from one end to the other and discovered a number of good restaurants, a dive shop, rum shops everywhere, but had had little opportunity to see much of the small island.   Simon, a local guide, would come by in his boat and ask cruisers if they wanted to have an island tour.  We thought, why not and negotiated a tour for four at an unusually low price and asked EV if they would like to join us.  So we are all set and meet Simon in town at 9:00 am the next morning.  When he pulls up in his little two-door car we look at each other quizzically and see four-seats and wonder where the fifth person will sit?  Being the adventurous (and thrifty) travelers that we are we somehow managed to squeeze ourselves into the car.  Jack being over 6 ft. tall sat up front with Simon (who I might add is no light weight), Marce sat on my right and Walter on my left and my buns shared a tiny little space from each seat as I straddled the center hump and then off we went.

Marce & Meryl a little too cozy

Up and out of the car to see the view

We headed initially along the West side of the island through the busy town of Hillsborough. The car often strained on the way up hills but we managed to continue on toward the northern end of the island and over to the eastern coast to a beautiful lookout point.  We quickly got out of the car for a much needed stretch, and walked about taking in the scenery and asking questions about the island.  We could see Le Petite Martinique off in the distance and wondered if we might be visiting that island someday by boat.

Le Petite Martinique
Our guide Simon.
Photo op with Marce and Jack off Escape Velocity.
On the way back we stopped at a wonderful little shop called Fidels that operates out of a ship's container.  It has some of the most creative and artistic handicrafts we have seen in the Caribbean.  Local artists use natural objects like turtle shells, seashells, coconuts, etc. to make colorful and beautiful pieces of art.  They also hand paint and print great t-shirts.  I could have spent a fortune getting gifts for my grandkids and family.  I did buy a lovely bracelet for my daughter for her birthday -- not so easy to do with all the many choices.  We also learned that Fidels has a web site and another store in Grenada so we’ll have to visit that one too.  

Fidel's small shop in Carriacou.

Something for everyone.
Grenadian's call it a Flamboyant Tree (also known as Royal Poinsettia).
Fisherman cleaning his daily catch

We thanked Simon for the tour and decided to go to lunch at the other restaurant on the water called Slipway down by the marina.  We sat with Jack and Marce and enjoyed a lovely lunch as we shared adventures and got to know each other better.  

Marce and Jack at Slipways

Most of us had healthy fare of Pasta, bok choy, garlic, and beans

We are learning cruisers are a very interesting and diverse group of individuals.  With the wonderful common thread of sailing and living side by side, it doesn’t take long to make lasting friendships.  It was a great ending to a great day.

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