Up again at 8:30 on Saturday. I don't know why I slept so late there... I was always up with the sun on STJ! Susan was up early and had taken a kayak out, and was just paddling up to the edge of the lagoon behind the condo as I went outside to greet the day.
THE VIEW FROM OUR BACK DOOR
She had paddled out of the lagoon and around to Rum Point and back and said it was great! So Sandy & I left Sharon sleeping and went back out in the kayaks with Susan. Since Sandy can't swim and had never been in a kayak, Susan and she took the tandem kayak and I took the single one. No worries about the "can't swim" part... the water's only waist deep. We paddled out of the lagoon and around the point toward the Kaibo Yacht Club. We paddled around in the little bay just before Kaibo and saw some big starfish making tracks toward the shore. I never knew starfish could move so fast! It was even hard keeping up with them in the kayak! One starfish lingered over a mound of sand that apparently held a nice snack and I stuck my camera down into the water and tried to snap a picture... it didn't turn out too bad. :D
By the time we returned to the condo, we had been out for about an hour. We dragged Sharon out of the sack, had a little breakfast and headed out again for the Queen Elizabeth Botanical Garden.
First we stopped at the souvenir store at Rum Point to get some t-shirts, etc. As an example of how expensive it is there, I bought 3 t-shirts and 2 oval stickers for my car and the total bill in US$ was $86.70!!! Yikes! Continuing on to the Botanical Gardens I saw something in the road that I thought was a leaf off a palm frond, but as I got closer I realized it was moving! SNAKE! :shock: Unfortunately for him, I ran over him. But as I looked in my rear view mirror, he was slithering toward the side of the road so I either missed him or he wasn't too seriously injured. Yes folks, there are snakes on the island... and no, there are no mongooses to eat them!! I was told by a Cayman resident that they are green snakes and brown snakes and are not venomous, but I still don't think I'd go crashing through the underbrush. A very large percentage (I'd say about 80%) of the island is swampland, and to the best of my knowledge, there are no hiking trails. Then again, I could be wrong... I'm pretty lacking on research in that department.
At the Botanical Gardens we walked around the 1 mile loop and checked out the Iguana Habitat first. There are iguanas on the island, but we ever saw any running around except at the Gardens and they are all tagged with different colored beads on a pin that's pierced through one of the spines on the back of their neck.
The Green Iguanas are free to run around, but the Blue Iguanas (huge!!) are in individual pens. The ones we saw had to be about 4 - 5 ft. long from nose to tip of tail and standing about 1 ft. tall at their head. As much as I love iguanas, I was sort of glad these ones were confined! It's hard to tell in this picture, but this guy is bi-i-i-g! For reference, the pan you see in the lower right is about as big around as a pie pan.
At the Gardens was the first time we encountered any bugs or mosquitoes. (Although I got the very nastiest bite on my ankle the minute our plane touched down and I still don't know what bit me. I still have a red mark and blisters, and my ankle swelled up!)
After the iguana habitat we came to the color garden. Absolutely gorgeous!! I took lots of pictures here! I had a hard time choosing only a few to post here.
We left the Botanical Garden about 1:00 and once again headed into George Town. We found parking and food and alcohol at a water's edge open air restaurant/bar called Hammerhead's. The fish and chips was great! Maybe the best I ever had. And the drinks were really good too. This place was kind of expensive, but I guess for Grand Cayman you might say it was average. We were able to leave our car in their parking lot to wander through some of the nearby stores so that made up for the price of the food & drinks. :D
RIGHT TO LEFT: SHARON, SUSAN, SANDY, ME
Sandy wanted a camera and bought a Canon SD850IS - I can't remember what she paid, but I know it was more than they sell it for at Target (I checked when we got home). From there we wandered into a couple of jewelry stores where I spotted a nice small pair of Tanzanite earrings. Now I have to tell you... I priced a pair of Tanzanite earrings at Columbian Emeralds on STJ and they ran about $600 or maybe less. These were, with 15% off, $1499!!!!!! And I really don't think they were any bit nicer than the ones at Columbian Emeralds. In the next store, Magnum Jewelers, they had hook bracelets. No one in George Town seems to know what a hook bracelet is! I had to show them mine and say, "do you have bracelets like this?" and I always got a blank stare and a "no" answer. But I found one I really liked at Magnum. A very plain silver bracelet with a gold stingray on it, with the tail forming the hook. I knew it had gold on it... but not a huge amount, and since they had a sign in the case that said "50% OFF," I asked the price. Out comes the calculator and the salesgirl tells me that she can give me a real good deal and since they're half off it'll only be $290!! I declined to buy it, and when the idiot took it off me, she didn't turn it and slide it off the thin part of my wrist... she bent it entirely open and took it off!! When she turned her back I tried to bend it back into shape but it was ruined. I wouldn't have bought it after that even if I had a million dollars to spend on it. Out in front of the store was a statue of Big Black Dick, so of course I had to take his picture to prove there really is such a character! LOL!
We crossed the street and found a darling shop upstairs run by the nicest couple. (I can't remember the name of it) They sell their own homemade ice cream, and it was so good (Rum & Bailey's ice cream was one of the flavors)!!! And smoothies made from scratch from real fruit. They had spices, hot sauces and some island crafts. We got a good deal on some little tank top t-shirt type dresses there with embroidered designs on the front for only $20 each US$. If I ever go back to Grand Cayman, this store will get most of my business for being so nice and having fair prices and good merchandise. Most of the ladies we encountered in the jewelry stores were bored and couldn't care if we bought anything or not, but these people really wanted to make us feel welcome.
By now it was 5:00 again and they were rolling up the sidewalks so we headed back to Mango Kai. We had a "light dinner" :lol: of chips, guacamole, cheese, crackers and rum cake, and we played cards until we could barely hold our eyes open. It started to rain while we were playing cards on the lanai and it was so nice. Kenny Chesney was on the iPod singing "Something Sexy 'bout the Rain" and it was just too perfect! To bed at 11:00.