Monday, 7 January 2013
CARNIVAL PARADISE Part 3
Wednesday 28th November 2012
We have travelled 674 nautical miles from Tampa to get here, and it was another interesting weather map on the television.
I had an early breakfast and joined the short queue for the tender to go ashore for my Cayman Island Tour. The chilly air-conditioned bus took about 16, so it was easy to get in and out. Grand Cayman has 50/60,000 inhabitants, and George Town is the capital. There are 500 banks registered here, of which only 5 are available to the public. It is a British Overseas Territory so my UK phone could be used. They drive on the left here so when we left the coach park it made many of the US folk on the bus utter little screams.
We went along 7 mile beach road, saw the Governor's house, stopped at the Turtle Farm and saw the way they were bred, grown and about 20% returned to the wild.
One of them is over 300 lbs. and we saw her along with lots of others in various pools. There was an opportunity to handle the small ones but I didn't choose to do that, as I couldn't see the point and it didn't seem the right thing to do.
Then across the road are dolphins in a pool. Two of them are available for humans to swim with them, which all looked a bit unnatural, and wasn't what I had expected: humans, one at a time, wear a life vest, and swim out mid way in the pool, the dolphin comes up fast behind them and the human is instructed to grip the flippers (one each side). They then are taken fast back to the start platform. The humans have to let go then and the dolphin swims away but comes back for a treat from the keeper. I suppose I had imagined a more leisurely contact but maybe it varies from place to place. The dolphins are so beautiful to watch in their natural watery habitat.
Next we were taken to the Rum and Rum Cake factory, with free samples. Nearby was an Aviary with birds, macaws, iguanas, and 1951 delivery lorry.
Then we went on the road to Hell, which is just like my Dad did all those years ago. He had a postcard, sepia coloured, which was literally a picture of the road to Hell. Following in Father's footsteps again....
We took a roundabout route home along part of the other coastline, still in the west of the island. It had been a very gentle sort of morning and I really enjoyed seeing some of the island and its attractions. We frequently saw chickens running around in unexpected places and were told most of them had escaped during the last hurricane so now ran wild. I was glad to get the chance to photograph the ships from the quayside.
Back on the ship I had lunch and could take more photographs.
On deck again I watched people play Corn Hole which is fun to see,
and then it was time to prepare for departure from George Town.
The evening started with the America Bar pianist Dewey playing in the Grand Atrium to great applause, then dinner, and a Show with break dancers who were good fun to watch and admire.
Ships seen: Carnival Breeze, Carnival Freedom, Mariner of the Seas (Royal Caribbean), Carib Goddess local tender, and another one back to the ship
To be continued...