So getting to Antigua, not much fun. A very long trip, a very tired person. Want to go sleep, want no fuss, want no muss. Instead, fuss and muss galore. Of course Budget doesn't have the car that we booked. Of course you have to pay $20US to have my Canadian driver’s licence translated into Antigua English. Of course we are going to give you an old clunker from another company and call it a day. Fuckers.
The Airbnb was great. A little hard to find, but great, and I slept. In the end, Greg worked everything out with the car he had booked, and we were good.
Sometimes it is just getting used to a new culture, and what is normal in a place, and after a long day and an exhausting journey, that can be difficult. Situations like this make me remember just how difficult it can be for someone who is doing something they have very little experience with. Is it navigating travel changes or a hospital experience, or a legal situation or a residence change? So many things can be so difficult. I often see young international students in Canada, frustratingly searching through grocery stores, and I often ask if I can help them. I see lost tourists looking blankly at maps or bus stops and I talk to them. I see people with small children acting up and I ask them if there is anything I can do to help. Often, there is really nothing you can do, but the show of support is enough to give the person strength to work it out for themselves. Try it sometime - it is awesome to feel the power the person gets from your simple gesture of help.
After a morning of buying a SIM card and some groceries … ack ack ak, Caribbean sticker shock (everything has to be imported) … I drove down and helped out on Hermes, polishing and scrubbing. It is a lot of hard work and money and time to get a boat ready for a race.
The next day I was picking Greg and three other crew members up at the airport. We stopped at the condo and dropped luggage and then headed down to English Harbour.
The next few days was work work work to get the boat ready. Everyone was amazing. Greg and I even managed to sneak in a morning to drive around to a couple of touristy sites, and the whole crew usually took a break in the afternoon to go to the beach.
|Corn Alley, St. John's|
|View from Buckle's Country Club|
|The Green Church on All Saint's Road|
|The Devil's Bridge|
|View from the other side of Devil's Bridge|
|Barbuda from the air|
|Antigua from the air|
|Just one of the many hazards on the Antigua roads!|
|Looking out toward's Montserrat. You can see the smoke drifting away from the volcano.|