Anyway....on to Grand Cayman, which was our second of three ports. In Grand Cayman, my Mom and I decided to go on separate excursions so that she could go snorkeling and I could visit the turtle farm. My excursion didn't start until noon, but I headed into the capital of George Town early to explore on my own. George Town is a very different city from Falmouth, as it's a much more prosperous city and it's well-established as a cruise ship port, with over 1.5 million cruise ship visitors per year. After leaving the port and its ubiquitous shops, I was greeted by - more shops. The main street of George Town could easily pass for an American shopping district, minus the beautiful view of the Caribbean.
Look - another Margaritaville!
Not being in need of any Grand Cayman souvenirs, and not being able to afford the beautiful jewellery for sale, I spent my morning at the National Museum of Grand Cayman. It's a small but well-organized museum with exhibits on Caymanian* wildlife, culture, politics, medicine, and women's rights. And it's air conditioned, which is a big bonus for someone like me who was still acclimatized to very cold weather.
A statue of a Caymanian that surprised me when it unexpectedly began moving and speaking! Interesting, albeit slightly creepy.
Voodoo art in the children's area:
Turtle (not in its ideal form):
After the museum, I wandered through the city a bit and discovered a bit of the local wildlife. I loved the little geckos!
I then headed on to my excursion, which included a tour of the island and a visit to the turtle farm. Our first "stop" was a visit to a traditional Caymanian home. Note the reflection off the bus window, as we weren't even given time to get off the bus. (Grrr.) The building was interesting regardless.
Our second "stop" was at Seven Mile Beach, where we once again gazed at the scenery through the bus window. It was pretty though. (Can you see the reflection of my wrist?)
Our first true stop was at Hell, a limestone formation apparently named after a local commented that it "looked like hell".
While the rocks themselves were very interesting to look at, my favourite part was the iguanas that were basking in the sun on the rocks and devouring the nearby trees.
Why hello there!
After leaving Hell, we stopped at a Tortuga rum cake store to sample (and, they hoped, purchase) rum cakes. Mmmm. After enjoying my share of the free samples, I went out back to gaze at the ocean and photograph the remarkably fast shorebirds.
Isn't this a great photo? The other fifty or so are just as good and not at all blurry/off-centred, of course.
Our last stop was at the turtle farm, where five different species of turtles are raised. (I tried to ignore the fact that most of the turtles are raised for commercial production. At least it reduces poaching of the wild turtles, and some of the turtles are released back into the ocean.) We got a tour of the facility from our bus driver, which included the opportunity to
One of the breeding turtles (not for picking up):
Despite the somewhat inaccurate description of the excursion - I don't count the bus pulling over at the side of the road as a "stop" - overall I had a great time on Grand Cayman. Beautiful scenery, amazing wildlife, and all from the comfort of an air conditioned bus. Great!
* Is it just me, or is Caymanian an awesome word? Just me? Must be the sleep cycle disruption.