Monday 18/12/17

Well, after driving all day, I discover it seems I need a license.  Oops!  It’s $10 (us) for a 2 month visitor license.  I’ll be getting one first thing in the morning.

Today, I hopped in the car and took off.  I was only almost creamed in my second round-a-bout (very popular here!  Many more round-a-bouts than actual traffic lights).  The passenger hung out the window and told me to go do something that is physically impossible.  I just smiled and waved.  All the other drivers were nice.  What’s really funny here is that most drivers will let others out into traffic – VERY unlike Atlanta.  In fact, some people will just stop as they’re driving along to let someone out.  Lots of horn usage, too.  Usually in a polite way.  “Please feel free to go” “Thank you” “Any time” “See ya'”  If you can mirror write, it’ll be easy peasy driving on the left – just takes a little practice.  It did help when I followed another vehicle.  I got TOTALLY lost, but did manage to stay on the south end of the island. I stopped once in a shopping center to try to figure out where I was – but I was clueless.  Then I stopped at a church to try again.  That worked well, as the church was listed on the map I had.  I got an idea of the general area I needed to head to make it back home. I found the airport!!!!  Not that anything other than the airport looked similar, as it was dark when I arrived – I recognized nothing. So, by finding spots on the map and figuring out where I was, I was able to gradually shrink my area of travel until I found the house!!!!  Yay!

While I was driving around, I found Soul Touch Tattoo.  So…maybe I’ll add something to memorialize my travels.  Not sure I could ever find it again.

I also found The George Washington House.  This was on my agenda! That was very interesting.  I was able to traverse a section of the tunnels that run under the Garrison.  The troops dug trenches in the limestone (which makes up the island), then added ballast bricks from the ships to make them deeper. Finally, they quarried rocks to build an arched cap, closing the tunnels in. The tunnels are 2′ wide by 7’6″ on average.  The house was built in the early 1700s.  George Washington and his older brother Lawrence visited Barbados and stayed there in 1751.  While he was visiting, George contracted Smallpox.  The Bajans take pride in that.  Stating had he NOT contracted Smallpox, he would not have been able to lead the troops to victory during the revolutionary war.  The reason he couldn’t have led them was because many of the soldiers got smallpox and were very sick.  By having had it previously, George was immune to it.

Now, I’m off to finish my journal and relax.  That driving was a bit stressful for the first day.


Live from Barbados

Did I ever post my most recent lobster picture?  Uh, don’t ask. I was literally fried red like a coke can.  That year, through an old classmate from Stone Mountain High, I reconnected with a few other classmates from there.  One of them happened to marry another classmate (although a year ahead of us) from St. Pius X.  Small world.  Anywhooo – the year of the lobster, she had just found out they were moving to Barbados for a few years with her husband’s job.

While living in Barbados, they typically return to the states a couple times a year to visit for a few weeks.  I asked her one time if she needed a dog sitter while she was home. She actually was quite keen on that idea. We tried to organize it for about 2 or so years, with something coming up and cancelling the need.  Well, this time, it worked out.  Fortunately for me, too, as they move back to the states in just a few months!!!! 3 weeks in the Caribbean.  I was scared shitless when I booked my flight.  Now I’m sitting on the back porch, listening to the waterfall of the infinity pool, overlooking the island to the sea beyond.

I will include more pics as I get them onto my computer.

Brief recap thus far:

  • Arrived Thursday evening 12/14/17. Met some very interesting folks on the planes along the way.  L picked me up at the airport, even though I arrived over an hour late – some maintenance needed doing on the plane.  OK! I’ll gladly wait!
  • Friday 12/15/17.  L and family high tailed it back to the states early in the morning.  I was tired and sore (oh, yeah, while debarking in Ft. Lauderdale, as I was looking up reading the signs to watch my step, I fell and busted my ass.  I can’t make this up!)  So, I read all the literature she gave me – which included a welcome package with cool gifts – and I just chilled out at the house.
  • Saturday 12/16/17. My goal was to get out and drive some, but I didn’t.  Again, I was lazy around the house.  I did take Georgia (the elder pup) for a walk around the neighborhood.  Tried to familiarize myself a bit with the lay of the land.  I also sat down with maps, books, electronics and reviews and planned a few adventures.  Breaking the island up into areas (N,S,E,W – super original there!) I figured out what I definitely wanted to see/do and what things I could do together.  It was another lazy easy going day, but I felt accomplished.


So, today I decided to bite the bullet and drive.  Over here they drive on the left side of the road and the cars have the driver on the right side – so you’re still driving from the middle/inside part of the road.  I did pretty OK. I mean – I didn’t hit anything, so that’s good.  It was in a neighborhood so traffic was minimal. The blinker switch is on the opposite side of the steering wheel and you put it the opposite of what you do in America.  But it works because a.) it’s on the door side, b.) you push up to turn left, which is the “same side” turn (like our right turns are), and in America you push up to turn right, the “same side” turn.  It’s hard to explain, but it makes sense when you’re doing it.  I definitely need more practice, so I’m sure I’ll go out again today before I try any main roads.

Next, I decided I was going to hop on a bus and go somewhere with grand hopes of finding my way back home.  Now, the main public busses only go one of two ways: To City or Away from City.  Yeah – that’s what every stop reads, one or the other.  After I packed up my almost-dead cell phone (& charger) and my camera, map, bug spray, sun screen and a few other little things, I set out.  I walked down to where I figured the front of the subdivision was.  In less than 1/2 mile (0.80 km, thank you internet) I found two bus stops on the main street.  I waited an HOUR!  Two “Away” busses when by, we had a squall come up & leave, I knew the busses were running if those other ones went by.  I do realize I’m on island time, but really – an hour?!  So, I walked back to the house, plugged in my phone and hopped in the pool.  I have a few more days to get around. 

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