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Probably the best place to watch a fiery tropical sunset on Canouan is the airport area. The spot has the second of only two “free lance” restaurants on the island and is perfect for a sundown drink; the African connection is more than obvious. It can be a pain to reach the area since there is no public transport as such and the distance is not a “typical” one. Taxis (at the moment there is only one taxi on the island, driven by a female chauffeur, but competition is budding and nasty, she says) are available on call but for that you need a phone which means a friendly person around willing to help you out. This is not impossible at all of course. The other approach is to test your stamina and try to reach the airport on foot. Chances are that at least one way you will be accosted by benevolent expatriates homesick to the brim and willing to share a seat in their car while exchanging pleasantries with somebody from their world. Here is where it becomes perfectly clear that a paradise as dreamed of by humankind does not really exist. These fellows are seemingly living in it but they cannot wait for their time off to come by so they can leave as quickly as possible. Apparently relativity is a great concept especially when tested out in amplifying environment. But hey, here is the sunset to prove me wrong!
Updated Feb 14, 2012
Finding accommodation off the cuff sort of speak has the added advantage of peering into the psyche of the locals with the precondition of course that conclusions should not be overlaid on the general public because they are in a different “relationship” with the foreigners. My first “find” was an establishment already checked out and advertised by the “Rough guide”. It turned out that the owner was not around and the only representative was a lady with cleaning duties and vague sales powers. She promptly showed the available accommodation but could not quote the price or rather the exact price because the boss was not around and he might come back from the “mainland” or he might not; so, no deal. Fortunately, across the alley there was another joint, looking even more inviting with its wooden cabins and spacious lawn. A woman with similar capacity to the one in the previous property had hardly said “Hello” when she went on to ask whether I was looking for the cheapest room in town. This bizarre monster of aspiring manager had it in her mind that she was to ask the questions and set the terms as bluntly as possible. There was not even a mention of price of course, just asking what the other property offered! In the process of this negotiation I entered one of the rooms to discover that there was some sort of debris on one of the pillows which put the “Grande dame” on the defence but not for very long. So I had to leave the property without a quote and lots of bewilderment. Than continuing in opposite direction I came across two fellows who did not seem to be very busy and asked them whether they knew a place for rent. After a short discussion one of them pulled a self phone and called some prospective landlord. He arrived in style on a golf buggy and smiling from ear to ear. The price was 120USD which sounded rather outlandish for an apartment in this forgotten island but hey why not see it as he insisted, confident that the looks are everything. Yes, indeed it had the most spectacular view of the channel with the islands of Mayreau, Union and Tobago in full splendour; except the beach was far away and the golf buggy was not included in the price. In the moment you agree on him being your chauffer you are turning into a prisoner relying on your guard’s mercy. Nasa’s apartments was the end of the game. Very close to the beach and the only restaurant in town with a price of just under 70USD was unbeatable in almost every aspect. Cleanliness had more to be desired for but hey, this is yet another side of local attitudes.
Written Feb 17, 2012
Two scenes at the same spot exposing life of the little ones of different species. The first one involves a little goat-boy who had just lost his mother and neighed mournfully in order to attract her attention and possibly provoke a response. Somehow it had mistaken a goat-aunt with her two kiddies for his own mother and had strayed off course while enjoying the playful company of his peers. Suddenly play turned into desperation and incessant sequence of sad calls began. This story had a happy ending with the mother-son pair reuniting and confirming the bond through vigorous sucking (on his part that is, the mother continued to graze on). Another day on the same spot showed local children coming from school and recharging on sweets in front of the local store. In this case there was no suspense of proportions worthy of a Greek tragedy waiting to be resolved positively. Instead, there was the reference to a healthy life cycle with youngsters populous enough to project confidence in the present and hope in the future of Canouan.
Updated Feb 17, 2012
Manchineel is the English name of this bushy tree.Manzanilla de la muerte, as Spaniards would call it, is certainly a very accurate name for the plant. It likes the beach areas of Canouan and beyond just as much as beach bum does; except it has a whole arsenal of deadly weapons, most cordially exposed by passing locals. Its fruit is lethal if swallowed and any amount of sap coming from its leaves or “applets” would cause your skin to blister. This “folk” impromptu information was further corroborated by a glossy magazine dedicated to glorify the finer aspects of a visit to the Grenadines. Even more details are available on web pages such as Wikipedia and the inquisitive bunch can receive an encyclopaedic knowledge on the matter. Of course, the best approach in similar circumstances is to be aware of any unknown species of exotic flora no matter where in the world they happen to dwell. The inviting shade of the Manchineel tree is a trap of the “slippery slope” variety for the overly-explorative fellows. While one can enjoy its shadow to ward off the piercing sunrays it is of utmost importance to keep your distance when there are flowing liquids such as rain that might end up on your unsuspecting person. The rest is pure paradise.
Updated Feb 17, 2012
The charter boat "Tropical Storm" cancelled on us one hour before our scheduled day trip departure claiming an emergency. We found out the captain accepted a charter from a different resort, ruining our day and prevented us from seeing the Tobago Cays on our trip. We were very disappointed. The captain of the charter boat actually lied to our faces and tried to get our business the next day. Definitely would not recomment the Tropical Storm charter boat and it's owner/captain. We had booked it through the Tamarind Beach Hotel.
Updated Nov 4, 2005