Friday, 6 February 2015
06.02.2015 - 06.02.2015
Arrived on the open deck at 0600 to find the ship slowly inching it's way alongside the pier. Ahead of the ship were the steep hills on which the city is built. The hills were crowned in dense clouds that lit up as the sun rose. We were tied up and secured by about 0715 when the Aida "Luna" berthed along the other side of the pier.
We had no tours booked for today and made our way ashore at about 0900. It is a fine balance between avoiding the heat of the day and finding stores and facilities open. The streets are chaotic and local stalls crowd any possible side-walks. Everywhere we looked there was a combination of red, green and gold. Flags, bunting and banners all proclaiming National Day. Most colourful were the people, especially the kids.
The steep nature of the terrain made for some strenuous walking. One steep 'road' was reduced to wide stairs complete with a very handy hand-rail. We were attracted to one hill-top by a church tower to find that the tower was the only piece to survive with the main part of the church being reduced to two walls and no roof. Being drawn to another church-tower we found a similar situation but this one didn't even have surviving walls. Both places had donation boxes in an attempt to raise money for a rebuilding project.
We walked on towards Fort George, reputed to have spectacular views over the harbour. We arrived there to find there was an unexpected entry fee and many more steps to climb. With the temperature rising and the disincentive of the entry fee and many steps we decided to make our way down again. Going down was certainly easier that going up but the path down was still a challenge. I was somewhat embarrassed to see elderly locals climb up faster than I was going down.
We were back aboard in the air-conditioned comfort before 1200 and after lunch we retired to the cabin to recover. After a short snooze I got up to write this tale and now it is almost time to prepare for dinner. You may have noticed that the day is pretty much broken up by breakfast, lunch and dinner. They are the constants in our ever changing day. The sunrise time changes as we change location East, South and West. Ship's arrival and departure times are set by another schedule altogether.
In the past 24 hours we've had to make a call for maintenance on our TV and a blown bulb in one of the light fixtures. Neither life critical and hardly even an annoyance, both have been attended to very promptly and effectively. On various previous cruises we've heard people complain of significant breakdowns in their cabins that were not rectified for days. On the basis of our personal experience there's been no problem at all.
A quiet dinner for two as Donald and Mary didn't turn up. After dinner we made our way to the Theatre where we watched a most entertaining performance by Mark Nizer, in his own words "a juggler". He is all that and a lot more. In addition to traditional balls, boxes and knives he utilises lasers, fog machines and amazingly two rolls of toilet paper.
Tomorrow we dock in Port of Spain, Trinidad. Arriving at 0700 and departing at 1530
If you want to look at what I've been up to you can view my latest photo by following this link to the image for Today
Wishing you good health and safe travel.
Have a great day and stay well.
Cheers .. Tony