It turned out that Presley had brought his ‘friend’ along for our journey up to Rodney Bay – her name was Eunice and she sat in the back with me. I have a feeling that they were a little more than friends. It was Presley’s birthday and he seemed to want to celebrate as we went along …he was particularly chirpy. We’d only got down the road when he pulled up at a local seafood bar for some refreshment. Nothing like a bowl of Octopus Stew to set you on your way!!! Steve was very gallant in eating a bowl of it – I chickened out .. and declined the offer of a fish too – they didn’t look too appetising. A little reluctantly, we joined in the celebration with a beer though … but there was something slightly disconcerting about Presley driving along with a beer in one hand and the other hand on the wheel, going round steep and twisty corners!!!
We drove up the East Coast – this was a part of the island we’d not yet explored. The further north we got the lusher it became and we stopped at some spectacular viewing points, driving through banana plantations and rain forest – everything felt so fresh.
En route we stopped for some sustenance at a roadside stall, famous for its wood-fired oven baked bread and pizza. We were invited inside to watch the preparation and cooking – full credit to the young man – he had the hottest job ever! We feasted on hot bread and cheese, politely refusing the addition of herring.
After three hours of travelling we finally arrived at our destination – The Bay Gardens Resort. We said our goodbyes to Presley and Eunice and they set off to return to the south. What a fabulous choice – the resort is on the beach, the bedrooms are beautiful and have air-conditioning (after 5 weeks without I can’t tell you how amazing that feels) and the pool and poolside bars and restaurants all very fancy. It felt quite a culture shock to be staying somewhere so civilised … and completely devoid of chores!
Wasting no time, we quickly unpacked and headed to the pool and to the beach. At sunset we took up the offer of a complimentary rum punch sitting at the beachside bar. In the first few hours of arriving we’d bought a palm basket and some jewellery from hawkers (we’re rubbish at saying no!) and consumed a whole load of rum punch – all before changing for dinner.
And so the day progressed in that ‘first night of the holiday’ mode – stunning meal of shrimps, lobster, chicken and salad with chilled white wine – having lots of fun with the restaurant staff. An after dinner cocktail turned into three as we ended off the day dancing to a country singer, meeting lots of new friends and flopping into bed in the early hours. Who said we’d missed company!?
And the last few days we’ve really just taken the opportunity to relax. We decided not to do any trips or water sports (1) because we’re saving our pennies for the next islands (2) we just fancied being lazy!! Having said that, Steve has run the last two mornings and I did the hotel Pilates class yesterday, even though I was the only guest to turn up! Loads of swimming too, both in the sea and the pool. And earlier and more sober nights.
There’s plenty of restaurant choice for the evening – we walked along the beach to Spinnakers the 2nd night and enjoyed Red Snapper and Sweet Potato and Coconut Curry. Last night we walked into town for a pizza and there was quite a buzz going on.
Unfortunately I’m feeling under the weather today, sore throat etc. – hoping it won’t last. Plus it’s been heavy rain most of the day so thought I’d attempt to blog. Steve’s been filling the time by watching some cricket on TV … and there’s also a great selection of golden oldies to choose from including ‘The Man from U.N.C.L.E.’ , Benny Hill, ‘Last of the Summer Wine’ and ‘On the Buses!’ – what more could you possibly ask for!!!? We have to be up at 4.30am tomorrow to catch the ferry to Martinique … so, it’s packing and an early night for us … here we go again.