Sunday, January 10, 2010

Cayman Islands -- January 9-11, 2010

Map of Grand Cayman:

Here we are on Grand Cayman. It's sprinkling when we arrive, not a good sign. And as it turns out, rather prophetic.

We get out lefthand drive rental car and drive from the airport to The Reef, our condo complex on the East End, more along the northeast corner of the island (see map above, where it has the label from a Panoramio photo "Reef Resort Sunrise").
When we get to the resort, we are delighted with our condo, but the wind is fierce and very chilly. We find out this is the coldest Cayman has been for years. And it stays this way for our entire visit, and Larry and golf are very disappointed that it is never warm enough for them to try snorkeling, even if the water were calm enough, which it isn't.
The rough surf at our beach is shown above:
The view to the right outside our condo above:

The Reef''s pier above:

Morritt's Tortuga Resort is to our right; above is its pier.

The view to the left outside our door above (the grill Larry will use to cook the steaks).
The parking lot side of the complex:
The view out our condo sliding glass doors:
The view from the sidewalk toward our condo:
We ended up opening the window in the bathroom for a cross-breeze and left the condo doors wide open all night and having the strong window and rough surf lull us to sleep every night.

Saturday afternoon golf and Larry just got their bearings, grocery shopped (things are EXPENSIVE on Grand Cayman), and cooked one of the big steaks they'd brought (in their checked bag, frozen to thaw during flight and eat for dinner -- that worked!) and tried to enjoy the view and stay warm.

Come Sunday morning, it's still cold and windy; so Larry and golf just went exploring. They drove up to Rum Point and looked around there. There are some REALLY big houses on Grand Cayman (even more pictures of them around the island later down the blog), but here's one at the Rum Point Harbor.
And those along the way there:

Signs at Rum Point: list of hurricanes:
Destination distances:

Looking west from Rum Point toward Sting Ray City area:

Rum Point Pier (where golf's visor blew off on Tuesday, and we walked about a half mile down the beach till it floated in close enough to shore so golf could wade in hip-deep and retrieve it):
Can you spot Larry in the middle of the picture below, wearing khaki slacks and a long-sleeved black sweatshirt? That's how chilly it was -- golf and Larry never had a chance to wear shorts! (Thank goodness there were laundry facilities on-site at the condo, because they wore the same winter clothes every day till the last day!)
Monday, they headed south and east toward Bodden Town, passing the blow hole:

Brain coral fossil near the blow hole:
In Bodden Town, they visited the historic Pedro Castle, one of the oldest houses on Grand Cayman. It was really impressive, with wonderful porches all around, stairs, shutters -- what you WANT to see as a 19th-century tropical house.

Note Larry is STILL in long pants and a long-sleeved sweatshirt -- odd to see in such a tropical environment. But that's how it was STILL so chilly.

Then Larry and golf continue east, looking for Smith's Cove, supposedly a good place to snorkel (they still have hope the weather will warm up -- it doesn't). On the way there, they see still more huge houses:

In heading back toward the condo, they stop and view a rather silly little tourist trap called the "Pirates' Caves" (but what else did they have to do since they couldn't snorkel?!?!?), where there was sort of small petting zoo and photo ops with some tropical birds (okay, okay, they were desperate for entertainment). golf with Brutus, the cockatoo:

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