Over the last few months we’ve become even more smitten with Grenada and the friendly people that live here.
We were lucky enough to have some great neighbours on our pontoon, in addition to Stephen and Debbie who are legends. One guy, Miles, who’s had a boat here for years and knows the island like the back of his hand took us on a few walks up into the hills. On one we went to look around a couple of old, derelict forts, one of which had been a lunatic asylum (can I call it that?) and some of the rooms there sent chills down my spine. We were dive bombed by bats in a tunnel which was quite spooky and then outside there was a stunning view over St.George and the carenage. The guide who showed us around the main fort reminded me of something one of the taxi drivers told us. He said that the locals can’t pronounce the French names of places on the island and this poor guide kept mispronouncing Versailles as ‘Versaily’. Embarrassingly, one of our friends corrected her!
Staying so long in one place really allows you to see how things are done and we became adept at lurking on corners in St.George for buses. They’re not supposed to stop anywhere but the designated bus stops and the police are usually out in the town trying to catch the drivers out and fine them. If a bus stops for you ‘illegally’ the conductor tells you when it’s safe to board and hurries you on. It’s great fun.
We often heard a horn blowing across the water as we sat on deck and we never knew what it was until I came across the culprit on one of my walks. One of the little fishing boats had come up to a dinghy dock by the roadside and the guy was blowing in a conch shell, Lord of the Flies style. This was a signal to all the villagers to come down to buy his freshly caught fish.
Sunday lunches at the Coconut beach Bar became the highlight of our week as we’d head off in our dinghy with Stephen and Debbie to be welcomed by the owners Pat and Scratch. We were regulars and knew we’d made it when they reserved the best table for us every week and a few locals taught us some of their dances which were always easier after a few rum punches. On our final Sunday there we were treated to free drinks and there were tears when we said our final goodbyes and exchanged email addresses. It’s one place we’d definitely like to go back to some day.
We had a few day sails out of the marina, one with Debbie and Stephen on Amelie and another with Miles on Lone Star. Other than that we’ve been fairly static over the hurricane period.
Clive managed to win some prizes that he bid for at a charity auction. One was a 2 night stay in the True Blue Resort Hotel. We had a stunning ocean view suite which had 2 floors and 2 balconies. The air-con didn’t work upstairs on the first night so they gave us an additional night as compensation! The best bit was that the boys went with us and they loved exploring and running about. Thornton managed to get shut in a kitchen cupboard and it took us some time to work out where the meowing was coming from. Peri went on to next door’s balcony and refused to come back. I had to climb outside the balcony railings to retrieve him as there was a dividing wall between suites and the neighbours were out. Another prize was a snorkel trip to the underwater sculpture park just further up the coast from St.George. There were statues of people holding hands in a circle, a woman sitting at a desk with a typewriter, a bicycle and smaller figures that we were able to swim over or dive and inspect. We were surrounded by beautiful fish and I spotted a shoal of squid. We were taken to another bay for our second dive amongst more amazing fish. The third prize was some jewellery and as we had no idea what to expect we were pleasantly surprised when we collected a hand made silver necklace, bracelet and matching earrings set.
Debbie and Stephen met a couple from the UK who now live in Grenada and have the most stunning house overlooking one of the bays. They took us all on a tour of the north of the island which is more fertile than the south. To do this they borrowed a large Land Rover and just by a complete fluke we ended up in the midst of a Land Rover procession that was going around the island. Quite bizarre.
The cats are still happy and Peri has taken to sleeping on the shelf next to my side of the bed. I don’t mind but he takes great pleasure in knocking my reading glasses off at me and anything else that he can find. Thornton is continuing to fade but is very chilled with life.
In true Pirate Granny style I had an accident in September. We were on Amelie when we decided to get pizza from the restaurant. I jumped off the boat and managed to miss landing on the pontoon, instead smashing into the concrete. A blood bath! Fortunately it’s all a blur to me but I was rushed to hospital where I had 20 stitches to my chin and even stitches inside my lip. I’d smashed by teeth which luckily were a bridge anyway from a previous accident I’d had when I was about 12. My jaw was very floppy and I had it x-rayed to make sure it wasn’t broken. My wrist was badly sprained and swollen and I had an enormous bruise on my left leg as I’d obviously slipped between the boat and the pontoon. Other than that I was fine and very lucky. The worry was that Steph’s wedding was a matter of weeks away. The first trip to the dentist wasn’t good as I couldn’t open my mouth and he said he couldn't do anything until I could open my mouth wide for about an hour. 2 weeks later we went back and explained our hurry with the wedding and to be fair they sped things up for us. I had my new bridge the week before we returned to the UK . That was cutting it close but just to add to the drama I lost my balance in the dinghy and ended up with a proper black eye. Pirate Granny indeed!
Our trip back to the UK for Steph’s wedding was magical. I promised Clive not to cover it in my blog as he wants to, but I need to say something about the trip.
On our first day we crammed in having our eye tests in Prestatyn and a much needed haircut for me before heading off to see Carina, Dave and Luke in their gorgeous new house in Hope, North Wales.
The next day Carina and I set off for the hen-do in Tewkesbury, ably organised by Carina who always has been a good organiser with an eye for detail. It was a fun, action packed weekend and gave me a chance to meet some of Matt’s family for the first time.
On Monday we were due to travel to South Wales but Steph thought it would be a good idea for Clive and I to go to Southampton to see her flat. Slightly out of our way but we obliged and were glad we did as we had a lovely evening with the happy couple to be and it was reassuring to see how nice their flat is.
On Tuesday we went to South Wales and readied ourselves for the wedding. The timing was right for bonfire night and we went to the organised bonfire party/firework display in Porthcawl in the lead up to the wedding (which I’m not allowed to mention). I’ll just say the wedding was perfect!!!!
We had a further 3 days with Carina back in North Wales and were able to spend some precious time with Luke including taking him for lunch at our favourite Indian restaurant in Prestatyn, Rozi’s. We were welcomed back like long lost travellers and they gave us a T-shirt and mug and we promised to keep in touch. Luke had his first papadum taste which went well but he wasn’t too keen on the chutney. He’s adorable and I’m just so glad that we have Skype and I look forward each week to photos and videos that Carina sends to me via Wotsapp.
Our time in the UK just flew by but it was so good to catchup with friends that we hadn’t seen for months in true party style.
We flew via Barbados again on our return and had a couple of nights in a posh hotel right on the beach. They were doing some work on the marble flooring in reception so as an apology they upgraded us to a suite! (We weren't going to argue.) The balcony was ridiculous and unnecessarily long and as the rooms were so nice we just ordered room service and enjoyed the space.
We’re now back onboard and in a week or so we’ll start to head north slowly. The cats are back in their home and I’ll swear Peri’s smiling at me. He didn’t settle as well in kennels as Thornton which surprised us as it’s normally Thornton that gets stressed. Peri's lost some weight so I’m looking forward to spoiling him and getting some meat back on his old bones, which won’t be long as he’s now eating like a horse!