Heavy rain here recently led to severe flooding, with the NW of the country affected so badly that some people lost their lives and homes. It is rainy season but like the UK’s autumn rail delays being blamed on ‘leaves on the line’, we wonder how floods can catch out the island’s capital at this time of year. Many businesses were closed, as employees could not get to work.
The Bank Holiday on 31st August was at least a planned one! It was to celebrate 50 years of independence from the UK. The national colours of red, white and black were everywhere and Powerboats organised a BBQ to raise funds for the treatment of one of their employees, who has cancer. The last holiday was a short notice affair, with some people turning up for work to be met with a notice on the door, not bad for that Monday morning feeling! It was to celebrate their Olympic achievements, with just a few participants bringing home 3 medals. Very impressive.
We continue to have plenty of spare time, so Rob offered our young neighbours a watercolours class one afternoon. They all enjoyed themselves and produced some lovely work.
Last weekend was the Great Race, a powerboat dash from Trinidad to Tobago for brunch. Some of the boats were pretty mean machines and we saw one that had 3 300 hp engines. It was interesting to see our yard launching all the smaller spectator craft, using 2 forklifts. Some were full of people, some standing up and none with lifejackets but laden with ice-boxes and beer. In fact, we only saw 1 child with a lifejacket and he took it off once he was in the boat!
We joined the weekly hike through the nearby national park and walked for a couple of hours under the dense rain forest canopy. Several monkeys gave us an aerial acrobatics display, the highlight of the trip.
The hike initially took us up a steep slope to a ridge with the sea to the right and the forest to the left and eventually the path descends into the bamboo thickets. The scenery is beautiful.
One area is called the bamboo cathedral where some people actually get married. The hike ended with a dip in the sea to cool off before the taxi picked us up again. All this for 1.20 GBP each!
As we are heading back to the UK soon, we have a farewell curry night tomorrow, to say goodbye to the Salling family on Moana. We have known them almost a year and as they are flying to New Zealand until mid-December, we are unlikely to see them again until after New Year. They sail back to Denmark next summer so the children can return to school but they have had 2 amazing years, experiencing things no school can provide.
We booked our trip back to Gatwick long ago, to arrive on my dad’s 85th birthday as a surprise but sadly he is no longer with us and I will be collecting his ashes instead. On my mother’s 85th birthday I will scatter some of them on my sister’s grave, where my mum’s ashes were placed in October and later on the rest will go to his childhood haunts in Wales. It is a sad time but I have already begun to think of the happy memories and can laugh about things we did and said, so life has moved on, as he would have wished.