Sunday, February 21, 2010

Stuff

Well, now that we are visitor-less things have gotten a bit less exciting. Very busy, but nothing to interest any of you. So here's some general riff raff stuff just to give you a feel about island living.

Diet Coke is almost a black-market item again. We managed to track some down at the Marriott, but the grocery stores have been out for almost a week.

Michael had 4 new tires put on his SUV 3 months ago and they're already threadbare (one's almost flat). The heat in Arizona was hard on our tires too, but 3 months? Ouch. We did notice when we were visiting other islands that tire stores abounded. And we knew a guy with a very nice house who ran a tire business. Now we know why.

It's been quite some time since it rained here and the government might impose some rationing. Of course, we won't know until the pipes are dry that we were chosen, but well that's what makes life fun. It's so dry, as a matter of fact, that there was a brush fire down in Michael's neighborhood one morning. The fire department was called immediately and informed the caller that they weren't coming. Um, okay. So Michael used some fire extinguishers to keep the fire from jumping a road and the winds cooperated letting the fire starve itself to death. Other bystanders had nice thoughts and filled pickup trucks with water (how to get that on the fire though) and a large water container was filled but not pressurized so simply watered the road on the way there. It was quite entertaining I'm told, but at least people tried to help.

After the fire, Michael saw a deer leap across the road. That's right - a deer. Now Jim and Wendy of Merengue were convinced they saw a deer on the cliffs the last time they were anchored here, but we nodded politely and then mimicked drinking movements behind their backs. Jim does make a good rum tonic...Deer? Sure (goat...deer...same thing). I kid, I kid. They actually just might have. As it turns out wild white-tailed deer did roam the island in large numbers back in "the day." They were either brought here in the 1930s from Puerto Rico for game or in 1900 kept on ranches. Whichever it was, they're rare now. Here Bambi, Bambi...

Yesterday we we ran into town to run some errands and saw a small sugar cane-field clearing fire in the mountains. We later had pizza down at Spice Mill (which ran out of beer - really??!) and by the time we headed back northwest, we saw this. Holy... Oddly, there was nothing about it on the online news. Seriously. You could see this plume from everywhere on the island. Wouldn't you think a journalist somewhere would at least mention it? I mean, how many other things do they have to report on? It's a small island! We looked like Montserrat for Pete's sake!

I'm debating getting a scooter. I'm well aware of the safety issues, but I won't be going long distances on it. I'm tired of being trapped though. The distances aren't really the problem. The hills are. Our complex is surrounded by hills, so no matter where I want to walk, I will be facing a major climb. I'm in shape, but it's still hot and with no shade, I am drenched in sweat by the time I reach my destination. Phooey on that! Cars are too expensive to buy, insure, maintain, fuel.... A scooter is cheaper all around. So the plan is to rent one for a day and drive around a bit to see how I feel about it. I found a couple of new ones (150cc to get up these hills) online for $600 and even if I pay 100% customs on it, it's still cheaper than buying a 50cc scooter here. I wish, I wish this island would become duty-free like St. Martin...As it was, I bought 1 printer cartridge (black) in one store for $140EC and another cartridge (color) at another store for $90EC. Sigh. It certainly pays to shop around (before I hand over my credit card).

Next Saturday we'll hike Nevis. We've done that hike before, but it was rainy, cold, and cloudy (so no views at the top) so we're hoping this time the conditions will be a bit more...cheerful.

So that's it!