Huw is up and doing some more photo sorting quite early. Bernice opts for a long lie – our strategy for dealing with mosi’s eating her is that she stays away from the hotel PC terminal.
After our last brekkie in the hotel, we pack and check out. It’s torrential outside again but luckily we get a window that allows us to get to the shopping mall without getting too wet.
But thats as far as we manage, we’ve been stood in the entrance to the carpark for nearly an hour now, and there’s no sign of it stopping again. The bus stop is a meagre 100m away but we’d be drenched by the time a bus turns up.
Oops, as we wait we realise we still have our room key. A call to the hotel and they suggest somebody to give it to in a shop. That was lucky, seem to remember a hefty fine if you took it with you.
…… Some time much later…..
We decide to put our waterproofs on and head for the bus stop. We get soaked crossing the road and as luck was on our side a bus decides just at that moment to detour through the carpark realising people were hiding here out of the rain. Toptastic. So a bus journey to the capital city Castries where we hope to easily change buses and head south. It’s a very slow journey through the rain and the traffic is pretty hectic. There’s only one road really and from what we can gather it’s always bumper to bumper.
On the outskirts of the city the driver diverts to avoid the traffic, across what was obviously a road but now just looks like dammed up rubble where a road used to be – hurricane damage. In Castries we get even wetter as we walk the short distance to the next bus stop. It’s still really hot and most people are in summer clothes with brollies or just bags on their heads to keep off the rain :0)
We find the bus and get on. The driver waits till it’s full and says he’ll take the fares now (usually you pay as you get off) as he’s not planning on stopping.
All the locals seem fine with this so we go with it.
We leave town and about 15 min into journey the driver gets a call telling him the road is blocked ahead. There is only one other way to get to Soufriere, that’s by going up over the mountains, down onto the east coast and along the bottom and back up. Ouch!!! No one bats an eye lid at this news so off we go. On the upside we get a tour of the island – even though it’s pouring down with rain still and the visibility is pretty poor, it’s an awesome journey – and not only that we have half the bus (all buses here are mini buses) singing creole rap ALL the way, now a two hour journey instead of forty mins.
There’s quite a lot of places where the road is either completely washed away or partly and down to passing only.
The south of the island hasn’t had much rain but we drive back into it as we head back up the west coast. But it does stop thankfully not long after we arrive in Soufriere.
We book into our hotel which is central and go for a walk to see what, if any, restaurants might be open tomorrow so we can have dinner on Xmas day. We’re in luck, the first place we check out is so we can relax and go buy some supplies for brekkie and lunch.
There seems to be a fiesta starting up in the square opposite, when we ask about it we find out it’s a prizegiving ceremony. The twelve days of xmas. The towns people and especially the kids are receiving awards for achievements and good deeds they’ve done throughout the year. There’s music and BBQ and it’s pretty busy.
Back in the hotel we bump into another two couples (one from Canada, the other from Boston). We arrange to meet up for drinks and go to a local bar before going to the fiesta for BBQ just as they’re packing away.
We get talking to a local who’s working on the BBQ stall and four of us go back to the bar and she joins us for a drink. Her mate turns up a while later, she’s from High Wycombe. Small world!!!
We turn in before pumpkin time having arranged with the other guys to meet at 9 in the morning to get a water taxi round to the next cove. Oh yeh and it’s Santa time zzzzzzzz……