Going to Trinidad

18 June May 2018    Benji Bay, Grenada
There’s some kind of Tropical Wave passing over the area, so it rained last night and into the morning.  Glenys did a few second coats of varnish and then chilled out for the rest of the day.

I went over to see Norm on “Ortizonti”, who is one of the good guitarists who plays in the open mike sessions at Taffy’s.  We spent a couple of hours playing and chatting about guitar - Norm used to play blues lead guitar, but is now immersed playing jazz rhythm.  I picked his brains about the blues and I’ve now got a better idea about ways to practise my blues rhythm and lead guitar.  Back on Alba, I spent the afternoon messing about on the guitar and watching some YouTube blues lessons.

Downtown St Georges

19 June May 2018    Benji Bay, Grenada
We’re planning on sailing to Trinidad on the night of the 21st, so we spent the day on-board finishing off the varnishing and tidying up the chaos after working on the boat for 1½ weeks.  

In the evening, we went to the open mike session at Taffy’s.  The performances weren’t as good as last week - with a couple of excruciating singers.  Each person plays 4 or 5 songs, which is great when they’re good, but a lifetime when they’re bad.  Norm was trying to persuade me to play, but I politely declined.  I might have a go when we come back in November - I’m slightly encouraged that there are other awful singers.

20 June May 2018    Benji Bay, Grenada
We caught a mini-bus into St Georges and as always, it was an interesting trip.  A lady got on-board with a cool box and a couple of big bags.  Not a word was said to the driver, but he pulled off the main road and drove into a secondary school, where the lady was dropped off at her food stall next to the playground.  Teenage school kids in their smart school uniforms were already waiting in a queue and helped her to carry the food. She obviously does this every day and all of the bus drivers know to take her to the school.

In town, we walked up to the fort, which is on a hill with a great view of St Georges.  We’ve already been in the fort, so we didn’t bother to pay the $7EC (£1.70) to go inside, instead we just walked around the outside of the fortifications and then back down to town. On the way, up we passed a church with a sign asking for money for renovations. They’re not just asking to renovate a leaking roof, there’s only the church tower standing.

Crammed into a minibus

We had lunch in the restaurant above the United Grocers supermarket, which is next to the bus station.  It’s a bit scruffy, but lots of locals eat there and it’s cheap - costing us $30EC (£7.50) for two huge meals including drinks.  It’s a buffet style place, so you can select whatever meat and provisions that you want. They have a lovely airy balcony at the rear overlooking the sea.

Calling in at a couple of supermarkets, we stocked up on booze which is much cheaper than in Trinidad. We stepped onto a scruffy minibus at the bus station and had to struggle to the back seat with our shopping.  Unfortunately, the seats were very small and we were crammed into the corner, while the driver shoe-horned a fourth, very drunk guy into the seat next to Glenys.  

We then sat and sweated while the driver touted for more business – he was determined to fill his bus before he left.  After 10 minutes, he only had one more person to find at which point Glenys started to shout that we were going to get off the bus, if he didn’t leave now.  The other passengers started to grumble and reluctantly, he climber in and drove off.

It was hell for the first ten minutes, with the drunk guy falling asleep and leaning on Glenys.  However, people were soon getting off and we were able to shuffle around to have more space.  The drunk guy wouldn’t move (or was too pissed to be able to), so we squeezed past him to move forwards – they’re fun these buses.