Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Carriacou; an overlooked paradise.

Carriacou, the island of one hundred rum shops and only one gasoline station." Francis Kay.
If you are looking for an island with cocktail bars, nightclubs and fancy places, then this is not the place for you. The island has retained its charm and tranquility because it's not been overtaken by tourist resorts. It hasn't succumbed to the virus of the international jet set. The long, crescent shape beaches and swaying palms are relatively untouched. But it is an island that yachties love and it loves yatchies.
Earthly paradises like Carriacou sit on fault lines, this is what it has to thank for its idyllic appearance. Atolls, lagoons and archipelagos with gently sloping beaches are in the process of sinking creating spectacular transient beauty.
 Carriacou is a Carib word meaning 'island surrounded by reefs.' It's part of Grenada, and at 13 square miles is one of the biggest islands that make up the Grenadine chain. It is definitely enchanting and friendly. The pace of life is much calmer than Grenada as we found out on our several casual bus journeys around the island. Everyone you meet has the time for a chat.
This is where you will see a Pelican sitting on a buoy with a seagull on its head, both appearing content in the afternoon sun.
When we came in May it was quiet and appeared to be closing down for the season. On our return we saw signs of change with new jetties and upgrading of the marina and various building. There is a definite sense of purpose.
Tyrrel Bay is the main centre for yachts due to its shallow, sheltered waters and the island's only small Marina and boat yard which always seemed busy with people working on both yachts and local fishing boats. Since our visit in May a customs office has opened, making it much easier for yachts to clear in and out without having to visit the rather inhospitable commercial quayside in Hillsborough.
The bay is fringed by a deserted sandy beach and a number of small bars where simple food can be bought for very reasonable prices. The road running along the beach has frequent buses into the capital, Hillsborough, and it was on one of these buses that we encountered our first ever female bus driver and conductor (packer) complete with small child that was dropped off at the daycare centre as we passed.
Main bus station in Hillsborough

1 comment:

  1. A quayside called Hillsborough? I wonder how that got there! :)
    Tranquillity and non commercial are simply the best. Great way to soak up the atmosphere and gain understanding of how the locals live. Loving the photos!
    Julie and Simon