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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Riding on the Cayman Island

  Q and I just returned from 10 days in the Grand Caymans. Lest you think that we were down there for fun and frolic, there was a real reason for going. We were attending a Stretch and Flexibility course by Kit Laughlin, the international leader in stretching (he is from Australia)

I don't go on very many pleasure only trips-in fact the only one I can think of for many years is the San Francisco trip that Q and I took last year. Most of my trips are for training. I am so work-focused that I was annoyed and perplexed when, in signing up for this course, I discovered there was 4 days with nothing planned right in the middle. What were we suppose to do? We are stuck on a Caribbean island, right on the beach, with no place to go, with nothing to do. It slowly sank in that we were stuck on a Caribbean island, right on the beach with no place to go and nothing to do! Has it been so long that I it takes me a while to recongnize what a vacation looks like?

The workshop was great. We are both totally stretched out and is ready to unleash this stretching technique on the Chattanooga world. And we did get some bike riding in.

First a little background into the transportation program of the Cayman island-there is none. We were staying in a resort at the far end of the populated side of the island which was about an hour's drive away. This end is delightfully undeveloped. Everyone had to have arrived by plane and driven out there. What was in place for us to get around?  Basically nothing. We had to pay for our rides to where ever at greatly exorbitant rates. To go to a festival about 3 miles down the road, the hotel was charging $15 a person. Wow!

What about the walking- no, that was not recommended as there were no sidewalks, no shoulders on the side of the roads,and long distances between places to go. What about biking?- the resort had three huffy bikes for loan but no lights or reflectors for night time riding.

While the weather and the flatness of the island made for potential great riding, it doesn't seem to be a favored way of getting around. While we did see some islanders riding their bikes, the locals that attended the course insisted that riding on the island was taking your life in your hands. Seems as though cars are used even for short trips-on this beautiful, flat, nicely breezy perfect to ride on island! How can they not insist on a more bike friendly environment?

Never the less, Q and I took a couple of bike trips. The first trip was to the aforementioned festival. We could not envision ourselves paying $30 to be transported a distance that we would be not just delighted but hungry to bike ourselves. By doing so. we were able to sightsee at different places that the others that were bussed did not get to see.

Here we are mounting on our single speed, coaster brakes Huffies.

Riding on  the left hand side was much easier, I am sure, then driving on the left hand side.

There were helpful road signs

  Justin was the only other of our group that was inspired to ride-good thing because there was only the three bikes.  He didn't quite know what to make of his too small, very pink bike!

  On the way home, we stopped at Vivine's Kitchen for an islander lunch.

Here I am, waiting on our food.  Hammocks-every resteraunt should have them.

My view of swinging in the hammock-

Ahh, our food!

Conch Stew with plantains and some things we couldn't quite identify (cassava?).  Wonderful!

The Beautiful Cayman Island experience!

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