Saturday March 2, 2019
Carnival, being a big celebration, brings a lot of people over from mainland Grenada. There are extra ferries to the island, and many people come over in small boats. You often hear people comment “how rough the ferry ride is coming over from Grenada”, and these guys are doing it in 20-foot boats without any safety equipment or communications other than a cell phone. Most of them are being a little cautious as they come in groups of 2-4 boats at a time in case someone has difficulties. A few years ago, a boat and most of the people onboard were lost making the trip.
They drag the boats up on shore at the fishermen’s lot and there they stay for the duration. The local water taxis ferry them back and forth to town and at night they just sleep on the beach by the boats, unless they have friends on the island.
Small boats from Grenada on the beach
I did make it to Tyrell to see Barracuda play at one of the bars. He’s an expat living on Carriacou and he has a small band, they play some blues and classic rock, so I thought I’d check it out. It was alright, the songs they played, they played well but I’ve been to wakes where people were having more fun than they seemed to be at the bar; it reminded me of “music night” at some community center in a retirement community in Florida, maybe like the Villages or something. After one drink and about four songs I was starting to fall asleep, so I headed into town to hear some livelier music and enjoy the party.
Sunday March 3, 2019
Didn’t do much today, chilled out on the beach for the most part. I did go into town to get a bite to eat from the food stands that are set up for Carnival. I think I got tricked into trying mannish waters, the one stand has it every year, I stopped by there and asked what was cooking. The guy said turkey soup, corn soup and goat head soup; I went for the goat head soup and as I was eating it I started to think it was odd that they didn’t have mannish waters, then I remembered one of the main ingredients is the goats head, followed by other parts that are located a little further back on uncastrated (at least until they’re used for soup) male goats. Between that and the stands selling tannia log porridge it appears people are getting set for some late-night fun.
Monday March 4, 2019
Now J’Ouvert starts around 5:00am but being an old guy, I didn’t get there until 7:00 or so, flask in hand naturally. The street was crowded with people drinking, dancing and carrying on. The smell walking through the crowd can get a little overpowering; it’s a mixture of used motor oil, house paint, sweat, beer and rum. I wore the old clothes I brought along for the occasion since the best time is to be had in the street. The problem with a flask is you can’t see how much you’re drinking, a little nip here and another nip there, washed down with Guinness of course, and pretty soon the flask is empty, and you’re plastered. It was great fun as usual, the bands marching by, the ladies in their revealing costumes, the latest music blasting from the various makeshift bars, this is my kind of fun. I didn’t go back to town for the evening festivities, I just couldn’t get up the ambition, but it was nice chilling out on the beach which I had pretty much to myself. The parties nearby went on throughout the night, a lot of the people that came over from Grenada were at the Snake Pit and the music kept going until after dawn.
Some young ladies in their costumes, each band ( a group of marchers) has it's own theme
The face you make when you didn't realize your flask holds a full quarter bottle of 198 proof rum
Jab Jab covered in used motor oil
Some of the marchers with the bands, even the children get involved
A Jumbie dancer on stilts
A replica of a slave ship that sank off the coast of St. Vincent, freeing the slaves
Tuesday March 5, 2019
I usually go to J’Ouvert in L’Estere on Tuesday, but in doing so I have never made it to town to see Shakespeare Mas. Carriacou is the only place they do this; participants start out in the villages surrounding Hillsborough and they face off against each other reciting lines from the famous poets plays. They are dressed as masqueraders in heavy garb, and when one of them makes a mistake his opponent strikes him with a stick. The lines are spoken with great bravado and punctuated with foot stomps, lunges and jabs in the air with the batons. They are drinking Jack Iron along the way so by the time they get to town it can get quite interesting.
After returning to the cottage for a nap and swim, I went back into town for final festivities. Again, lots of drinking and dancing in the streets as the line of trucks with huge sound systems circle the downtown area. I finally got a bus back just before midnight and relaxed on the beach for a while before turning in.
A couple of my neighbors out drumming after J' Ouvert
The participants in Shakespeare Mas, by the time they got to Hillsborough the young kids were doing better than the adults, of course they aren't drinking Jack Iron "if you're 18 and younger, don't drink liquor"
Wednesday March 6, 2019
Today was a day of rest for everybody, just lounging around on the beach and having a little hair of the dog. I had a final cookout to use up the last of the groceries, but other than that it was a quiet day.
Thursday March 7, 2019
I cleaned up the cottage and caught a ride to the airport for my short flight back to Grenada. I stayed at the Seabreeze Hotel, just across the street from the vendors market on the beach. It’s a nice spot for a short stay, cheap and easy to get around from. Being on the main road it can get a little noisy, especially if there is something going on at the tennis court across the street, but I have recommended it to friends, Fred stayed there after his sailing trip, and no one has complained.
Met up with some friends at the beach and drank a bit of rum (no surprise there) before turning in.
Friday March 8, 2019
Went to the beach in the morning for one last swim then caught my Jet Blue flight home without any difficulties. Another season in the books and a whole new adventure awaiting next year. Thanks for following along, safe travels wherever they may take you.