The final countdown has begun…

I’m starting to wrap things up for the homeward trek.

Today I did a small laundry that will be either packed when dry, or worn on the flight. My strategy for packing is ‘first-out, last-in’, so shaving gear and meds are last in.

I don’t know how it is, however, but things that fit quite handily into the luggage on the way down, don’t seem to fit on the turn around. It’s a mystery that has plagued me on every trip, so I end up leaving a bunch of stuff behind.

My diet is also important on these last few days. I am always paranoid about having to make an emergency trip to the washroom while on the plane, so I eat a lot of pastas beforehand. I also eat and drink very sparingly on the day of the flight – plus keep my fingers and legs crossed.

The wind has come up again (10-15 mph), so if it doesn’t calm down before I leave the island it will make an interesting flight in a small plane. However, it’s only a 15-minute flight.

Sand is also a problem when it’s windy. The sand is mixed with sea water, so it makes everything sticky.

I will be sorry to leave these 28C temps – especially since it is forecast to be 11C when I arrive! Yikes!

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I’m back to my regular digs…

It was a nice change of scene, but – noise and all – it’s good to be back in familiar territory. Also among friends. My room was waiting for me, as were Vivian, Julie, Rambo, and (co-Owner) Cathy from Texas.

Now it is wrap-up time: Getting everything organized for leaving the island. Everything must fit into 2 pieces of luggage, and I still need a flight schedule from here to the international airport. It is being made for me so that I can get a 20% discount.

I will be sorry to leave the 28C temperatures for 11C, but I need the supports that only available in civilization. For example, I need a haircut. There is a barber shop nearby, but you have to step up onto a cement block to get into it. Also, I am running low on hypodermic needle-cartridges. Things like that.

I also need new lenses for my glasses. The sand has scratch hell out of the coating, so I have to take them off to see. My prescription sunglasses are not effected, though.

Now that the main tourist season is winding down, the noise level is winding down as well. That makes it almost ideal around here. Mind you we still have the pathetic souls (read “jerks”) walking around with ghetto blasters blasting, but fortunately they are passing. Also, I don’t think they are unique to the island. They are just part of a trending inconsiderate and anti-social society.

Fortunately I live in a neighbourhood that is fairly quiet (up ’til now), so I suppose I notice it more.

It is a partly overcast 28C with a gentle on-shore breeze.

Another superb day… With music (*sigh*)

One more day up the beach. In some ways it is a better setting than downtown – more parks on the waterfront, and better scenery – but there is no escaping the omnipresent din of crap music played too loud. They seem to wait for me to arrive before they ‘crank up the tunes’.

And, of course, they always have an “RK” (‘restaurant kid’) waiting in the wings. In fact, it wouldn’t be a meal without the blare of music and some kid screaming. It’s my karma.

Tomorrow I pay my dues to immigration for the last time – although I suspect that I will have to pay again as I leave the country. Tourists are ‘good to the last drop’. Also, I make my reservations to fly from the island. I fly from here to the international airport, and the hotel is picking me up there.

Some pictures I took on a walk-around:

 

An interesting old piece of driftwood. Looks old, and quite a massive tree. I don't think it's a palm root, but it could be.
An interesting old piece of driftwood. Looks old, and quite a massive tree. I don’t think it’s a palm root, but it could be.

 

The sea wall is made from local rock, which in turn are mostly sea shells.
The sea wall is made from local rock, which in turn are mostly sea shells.

 

A coconut seedling. We pay a hefty price for coconuts in the supermarkets; here, you have to be careful they don't fall on your head.
A coconut seedling. We pay a hefty price for coconuts in the supermarkets; here, you have to be careful they don’t fall on your head.

 

There are some rare patches of grass - a coarse, bristly type - but it is mostly arid. Sand everywhere.
There are some rare patches of grass – a coarse, bristly type – but it is mostly arid. Sand everywhere.

 

I rather like this shot - nicely framed. It is of an old, abandoned warf, with mangrove trees in the foreground
I rather like this shot – nicely framed. It is of an old, abandoned warf, with mangrove trees in the foreground.

 

Here is a better shot of a small mangrove stand.
Here is a better shot of a small mangrove stand.

 

Here's an interesting building. I believe it is a hotel, but it looks as though it may have been a rustic mansion at one time.
Here’s an interesting building. I believe it is a hotel, but it looks as though it may have been a rustic mansion at one time.

 

An old, derelict scow.
An old, derelict scow.

 

Finally, I think this fellow may be in need of a tire!
Finally, I think this fellow may be in need of a tire!

Me customer, you server. I pay, you get paid…

After waiting three hours for the restaurant to open (for my first cup of coffee), the time finally came around and I was waiting at the steps. Well…
 
I have often said that pop music these days is about as entertaining as listening to a jack hammer. Well imagine the two of them together … With kids and dogs screaming and barking in the background.
 
My concept of hell!
 
I finally asked the waiter to turn down the music, but he explained that if he did he couldn’t hear it over the jack hammer. “He” couldn’t hear it?!… So I carefully explained the juxtaposition here, “Me customer, you server. Me pay, you get paid. So turn down the (f*ckin’) music.
 
What is it with these people and ‘music’ – to put it loosely? They must be suffering from an identity crisis – “Listen to my woofers and tweeters. I’m a big man/woman … Make big noise. Therefore, I am.”
hearing loss

The more things change… (*sigh*)

Getting settled … Which means finding out where the light switches are, and what does what, etc.

The apartment is nice enough, but there is a challenge at every turn. There is not room on either side of the bed for the walker, but it is comfortable. Plus, I am using the short walk to the walker as an opportunity to walk unaided.

I have set up a work station on the verandah that is similar to the Conch, but after dark the lamp isn’t quite bright enough. Plus, I am not certain about the people walking by on the street. Mind you, they are very little different than at the Conch – i.e. drunk and loud, but relatively harmless.

And speaking about ‘drunk’ and ‘loud’, there isn’t a restaurant within comfortable walking distance, but there’s a sort of bar/kiosk two doors down the street … WITH MUSIC. That loud, frantic, god-awful reggae-rap crap, that for me is like a two-hour root canal without anaesthetic.

It also stays open until 2:00 – 3:00 in the morning. So that hasn’t changed.

What also hasn’t changed are the dogs and kids. It seems that everyone has to have one, and generally several at once. I don’t know what the social assistance is like regarding child welfare, but the senioras and señoritas are all seem to have a kid in their arms during working hours.

The little burger shack down the street doesn’t open until 11:00 AM, and since I get up around 8:00 I have a 3-hour wait for my first coffee (instant.)

This morning a señorita came in with precocious brat, parks herself at the bar, and proceeds to let the kid run the restaurant. And guess who she chose to sit with … Who hates kids like mosquitoes,  and who hasn’t had his first coffee for three hours? ME!!

Why lord … Why?

Once again, however, the weather is superb – Hot, in the 90s – and the scenery is beautiful. I also have a separate bedroom, so that defeats the noise (somewhat.)

This is the Seven Seas.
This is the Seven Seas.

 

The view from my work station on the verandah.
The view from my work station on the verandah.

 

A view of the street. Besides motel-type-structures there are some substantial houses. A little worn for lack of upkeep, but some of them are being revived.
A view of the street. Besides motel-type-structures there are some substantial houses. A little worn for lack of upkeep, but some of them are being revived.

The new digs…

The new hotel is up the beach a fair distance from the Conch.

It’s a typical island hotel, quite a nice location across the road from the beach, and the room is like a small apartment with a separate bedroom. Oh, and there’s a light and mirror over the vanity – bonus!

The first thing I noticed when we pulled up was a two-step stairway to get onto the property. Nonetheless, ever the innovative one, I managed to get up quite easily. It’s the going down that is a bit tricky. The wheels tend to slide on the said (which covers everything) so I can’t get a solid stance. However, with a little care I can manage that as well.

There’s a kiosk bar just steps away, but it doesn’t sell food. The restaurant is a walk down the beach, and apparently it has tables on the ground level. I haven’t been there yet, but I do know it has a 4 -5 – step stairway to get into the main if it happens to rain – also to get into the washrooms.

That raises the risk odds of being caught short either coming or going.

Also, while I have a very nice spot to work outside – under some trees – there is no power or lamp here out here. Therefore I shall have to get them to set me up on the verandah outside my room.

It’s too early to tell, but I think it is going to be a challenge of adaptation.

The good news is that it iis only for 5 days – if I haven’t broken my neck first! Pictures to follow when I get unpacked and settled.

What is it with Liberals?…

I just read that Steve Clarke [mayor of Orillia and former Liberal candidate] is planning to sell off Orillia Hydro to Hydro One!

Is he nuts?! That’s like sacrificing us all to the Kraken. Hydro One is up to its ying-yang in debt, scandal, graft and incompetence, so much so that Wynne has privatized part of it so the stench of it can’t be made public, and this is what Clarke and the Orillia council thinks if good for the people?!
But what can you expect from a mayor and council that revived the MURF (at a cost of $50M-plus) after it had been renounced  by the previous council.
I really do have to get out of Orillia and Ontario before Clarke and ‘Blunder Woman’ bankrupts us all.
One more day here at the hotel before I move up the beach to another. Then I am back for a week before I start the long journey home.
Ahem. I just checked the temps in Orillia, and I must say that I’m unimpressed – especially since they’re only predicting 8C for the first of May. Talk about thermal shock! It’s 28C here today, so that’s like a 20-degree difference.
I wonder what the temps in British Columbia are at this time of the year? Like I said; I really do have to get out of Ontario.
More next time.