Monday, January 26, 2009

Grand Cayman Island

We wake to the sun beaming in our sliding glass doors and get up to quickly grab breakfast before heading down to catch the tender. We run into Dawnya, April and Brian and ride to shore with them. We are going horseback riding on the beach but are going a bit early to explore.









We are greeted by pirates and trip vendors looking for customers. The port is well organized but nothing really to write home about. We venture a block or two into the "town" and it is a sea of shopping, mostly jewelry. It's National Hero's Day in Grand Cayman, a big deal based on the number of people gathered and all the pomp and circumstance in the street.

When we hook up with our tour guide Newman and I along with several other folks from the ship are driven to the north side of the island for a secluded ride. The horses are almost ready to go when we arrive so we mount up and head out. We ride onto the beach for a 5 mile trot along the shore.There are only a couple of people on the entire ride just white sandy beaches and the incredibly blue green Caribbean sea. We do encounter some locals para sailing. I say locals because these guys were catching some serious air, 6-8 foot jumps, they do this frequently.


















After the beautiful, leisurely ride we head back to port. Troy, our guide, is an island native and shares some interesting facts on the return trip. The Cayman Islands consist of 3 small islands south of the western tip of Cuba. The islands top 3 sources of revenue are banking #1, real estate development #2 and tourism #3. Only 40,000 indigenous people live on the small island, although it is the largest of the 3, with the bulk of the population being foreigners who come seeking employment.

Construction is everywhere and Troy points out that many VIP's either have homes or frequent the island, like Oprah. He also tells us the islands have no taxes of any kind and goes on to explain why establishing a business in this paradise is an economically good idea. "This is a great place for a tea company" he says. This guy is a great ambassador for the Cayman Islands!
We wander around for a little longer. Newman buys me a beautiful bracelet. We pick up some post cards and camera stuff and catch the tender back to the boat for a well needed lunch.

We meet some of the other tea cruisers at dinner and enjoy another scrumptious meal. The food on this ship is really good. Our wait staff is great, thanks Namesh. At dinner April suggests that we go ice skating and then climb the rock wall. I am game so we change and head to the on board ice rink. Yes ice rink!








TAD, MARCIA & NAMESH
I have to sign a waiver before receiving skates? Being a Florida native I have been on skates only a few times and that was while living in New York a long...time ago. I figure that it wont be any worse on my body than the horse was so I sign the waiver, strap on the skates and hit the ice.
TENTATIVELY GETTING STARTED
DAWNYA & APRIL HAVE SOME MOVES
STRIKE A POSE
After ice skating we head up to the rock climbing wall. I must be crazy! You have to understand April is very motivating! Anyway the doors open onto the top deck and we are almost blown away. It's so windy the rock wall is closed...thank goodness.
Newman and I are off to bed excited about tomorrow and the next port of call Ocho Rios Jamaica!
Until next time, Beth

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