Monday, 9 May 2011

A Sunday drive



I decided to go exploring a bit this morning. I had had a lovely restful day yesterday and had heaps of work to do so decided to procrastinate for a while. I drove out to North Side via East End, a scenic trip along the lovely coastline of Grand Cayman. I stopped at Pedro St James, an historic site and close to one of the houses I was interested in before I arrived here. The top photo is from the coastline at Pedro St James, iron shore with unforgiving and jagged rocks. The house I looked at is one of the ones in the distance, isolated and too close to the waves as they crash onto the rocks but a very beautiful spot.

The Island is quite diverse with mangroves and some relatively open space in the middle and different shorelines from the rugged iron shore to brackish water inside the reef to white, coral sand beaches. I spent some time at Rum Point on the one pictured, lazed a bit in a chair with my book then had a swim or two. I drove home the shorter way via Frank sound, cutting through the middle and going in to check out Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park. I had hoped it would be like Vic Park in Christchurch, a place I'd be free to wander on my bike but no such luck. It is very beautiful and the home of the rare Blue Iguana. I will revisit for a longer stay later.

I saw a huge iguana on my first day, about one metre long including a very long tail. He looked at me, I looked at him wishing I'd had my camera, then he quietly departed. Today I was on the look out for iguana, imagine my surprise to come home and find this smaller one on my door frame. He was very green, very beautiful with his long tail. I'm hoping he's dining on the ants I keep wiping off the bench. A gecko ran in yesterday, shimmied up the wall and then disappeared. I'm not sure where he went but I'm happy to have him so long as he keep the bugs under control.

The drive was uneventful and I've learnt that the open road speed limit is 50 mph or 80 km and most of the island has a limit of 30 mph or less in places. A nice pace of life, one where I could sightsee as I drove on the quiet roads. The other thing I noticed was how many churches there are here, all full with Mothers Day services today. There are also cemeteries along the coastline. Someone who has been here awhile said this was because the land directly on the beach was not valuable given the storms that come.

The local people were sensible, they had free access to as much beach as they wanted so the plots fitted with the lifestyle. Today I was bemused to see many 'private property', 'no beach access' signs and wondered how the locals feel about the locking up of their coastline. Many of these properties were locked up with storm shutters closed, who would know if I slipped across to the beach from there sometimes. 

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