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All posts for the month April, 2013

Caribbean Chronicles – Part Seven

Published 08/04/2013 by julierkendrick

Well, we are coming to the end of our amazing holiday of a lifetime. Only 2 more islands to go. The first of these was Aruba, another of my favourite places due to the vibrant colours and happy people. The weather didn’t hurt either.

We had tried to book an excursion on a boat where there was a rope swing out into the sea and scuba diving but unfortunately we got in too late and the tour was full. However later we went ashore for a little bit of shopping and what turned out to be an ice cream extravaganza.

We met up with the Perrymans after lunch and decided to have a mooch around the shops and stalls ashore. There were so many wares on display outside it was difficult to tell which shop they belonged to and there were times when there was no assistant in the shop we were in because they were taking money in another shop for the owner there. A very strange but trusting way of doing business.

Trevor & Sam in the wide streets of Aruba

Trevor & Sam in the wide streets of Aruba

First of all we went into a shop that sold alcohol and much to our delight they had rum in every flavour imaginable  (including our favourite tipple, cherry) at a ridiculously cheap price.  Needless to say we stocked up and then realised that we would have to carry about 12 bottles with us. The shop assistant kindly let us leave the drink there until we were ready to board the boat. So off we went, in the blistering heat along the main road where covered stalls had set out their stock. Everything from coloured flowers pots and fridge magnets to pieces of furniture made from gnarled varnished wood. Lots and lots of t-shirts, dresses and bra tops were on display but oddly enough none of them had any shorts for boys which is what I was after.

Trevor had wandered off and came back looking very excited. He told us to follow him and led us round the corner to an amazing ice cream emporium called Lecca Lecca. Although I am not a mad lover of ice cream there was no way I could resist the bright colours of all the different flavours. All seven of us rushed in and up to the counter to see what they had to offer. So many flavours, rum and raisin, orange sherbert, chocolate chip (white and milk), pineapple, mint, mango, coffee, tiramisu, bubblegum, cookies and cream and even carrot sorbet. I really could go on. There were sprinkles, nuts, sweets and sauces to add if you wished too. Just remembering this fabulous shop is making my mouth water.

So Many Flavours

So Many Flavours

Oreo Cookie Ice Cream

Oreo Cookie Ice Cream

Once we had had our fill we wandered back out into the heat and carried on shopping. Aruba is so lively and probably the most modern island we visited. The streets appeared to be newly paved and the shops fronts were pretty ornate. The roads were wide and busy with cars and buses and Caribbean music was being pumped out of shops and stalls alike. It really was a place where you could indulge all your senses.

After a few purchases we made our way back to the boat for pre-dinner drinks, not forgetting to collect our rum. I was sorry to leave Aruba and would have liked another day there. But, the next day we were in Curacao and, much to Sams delight had a date with some dolphins.

Conversely, Curacao was the island that I liked the least. It was very run down and unkempt and seemed dowdy in comparison to Aruba and Barbados where bright colours and music were all pervading. The people didn’t look as happy that we were there and our welcome onto the island was all but nonexistent. But, we were going to play with dolphins so we put that to one side and looked forward to the trip.

After a bus ride of about 20 minutes we pulled into a park and were let out, with strict instructions to be back in 3 hours.  We were then separated into group and led into a theatre where we were shown a safety video. After a bit of hanging around we were taken outside to see the dolphins and their trainers.  We were then split into smaller groups and assigned a particular marine mammal. Ours was called Buscoo and had a broken fin from getting caught in a boats propeller when she was out in the open sea. We waited around some more and finally we met Buscoo’s trainer and got into the water. We stood in a line on a ledge about waist-deep in the water and Buscoo swam past us so we could stroke and tickle her. The trainer got her to do some tricks and gave us the commands she recognised so that she would clap her fins on our command.  After about 15 minutes a photographer came along and took photos of us kissing the dolphin and some of her kissing us, a weird experience being kissed by a fish. (Yes, I know a dolphin is not a fish, but it certainly felt fishy when she kissed me).

Once we left the water we still had about 45 minutes to wander around and look at the other water creatures in display pools and then just before we departed we watched a dolphin show where all the inhabitants got to show off their skills. It was a great experience, one that Sam will treasure forever I hope.

DSCN0552

Buscoo

Happy and tired we boarded our bus back to the boat.  That night at dinner we felt a little sad that we were now at the end of our cruise and we were on our way back to Puerto Rico to begin our mammoth journey home.

Next time, our last day at sea and trip back to Blighty.

Arrr ye be walkin the plank

Julie 🙂

Caribbean Chronicles – Part Six

Published 05/04/2013 by julierkendrick

Well hello there my loyal followers. Once again I apologise for the hugely long gap between posts but upon returning the to snowy UK I felt quite despondent and not in the mood to write about my fabulous holiday. Then just this week I had an operation (which I am sure I will be posting about soon) and now I am finally back in the writing saddle and ready to tell you more about the beautiful Caribbean.

So, let me start by saying I hate monkeys. I mean really detest them. I don’t like their deceptively cute faces, their human-like grabbing hands and the one with the big pink bums just freak me out completely.

What has this got to do with my tales? Well read on and you will be enlightened.

After the passenger swap at Puerto Rico we set sail for St Thomas where we visited a little butterfly farm.  I love butterflies but these were a little disappointing as there only seemed to be a few species there. Nevertheless it was a nice little interlude and we ran back to the boat just as we got hit by a brief downpour. The turn in the weather meant I could go back to the cabin and read (and sleep) the afternoon away.

At The Butterfly Farm

At The Butterfly Farm

The next morning we arrived in St Kitts, which as it turned out was one of my favourite islands. I had booked Trevor on a cooking excursion where he went to a manor house and learnt to cook the Caribbean way. He was very excited to get going and so were Sam and I as we were going to a fabulous beach where we would have lunch and play in the sea.

We left the boat and walked to the  meeting point where I realised that I had forgotten my sunglasses and my book. Luckily we had time for me to run (!) back and get them. Running is not my forte and running in 40 degree heat is torturous but I made it just in time to get on the bus and off we went.

St Kitts is an up and coming island where tourist resorts are expanding very quickly. It is a beautiful place with amazing views and cute little mountainside houses.  The tropical weather just tops it off. The roads are typically unkempt though and whiplash is always a risk, but we got to our destination safely and alighted the bus onto a strip of white sandy beach complete with loungers, parasols and restaurant.

The best lounger ever.

The best lounger ever.

Suddenly, beside me, Sam became very excited, jumping up and down and pointing. Following his excited gaze I was dismayed to see a man holding…… yes you guessed it a monkey. But not just a monkey. A monkey wearing a NAPPY.  Urgh!! I shuddered but of course the man had seen Sam’s excitement and was making his way towards us.  “$5  for a photo with the monkey” he informs us. I wanted to tell him I’d give him $50 to bugger off but Sam’s pleading face stopped me. I told the guy that I had no money but I’d let Sam hold the monkey (again I say Urgh!!). The guy agreed and passed the offending creature to my son. Once he looked away I quickly snapped a couple of photos of my own, for free, and instructed Sam to give it back.  Thankfully the man took it away and I relaxed. For all of a minute. To my left I saw someone else approaching us. Another man with a nappy wearing primate. Ah maaan! not again. I made my distaste perfectly clear by vigorously shaking my head and indicating for them to back away. To give them credit, they didn’t push themselves onto us at all and quite happily moved on to the next monkey loving weirdos.

Sam and the offending monkey (Urgh!)

Sam and the offending monkey (Urgh!)

Sam was happy and ran off to play in the sea. I found an amazing lounger and settled down with my book. After a gorgeous lunch and a little bit more monkey-avoidance we boarded the bus for a bumpy ride back to the boat.

Trevor was already back and told us of his cooking prowess and when Sam told him about the monkeys I am sure I saw Trevor laughing behind his hands, but I may have been mistaken.

So St Kitts slowly disappeared behind us as we sailed off towards Aruba.

Until next time my salty sea dogs.

 

Julie 🙂