Tom arrived safely....eventually

Alia Vita
Rob & Frances Lythgoe
Mon 22 Dec 2014 22:32
13:07.60N  61:11.44W

Tom's flight from Barbados to St Vincent was delayed by 4 hours, so we didnt get him onto the boat until nearly 3am. This might not seem like a huge problem to most of you, but we 'Yachties' get up at 6 (some days) and are in bed by 10 latest so it was quite a shock.

After a lie in the following morning we ventured into the capital Gorgetown. We had been told this would be quite an experience and it didn't disappoint.  We went by local bus which was without doubt the most dangerous activity I have undertaken in many years. Those who get scared at the thought of crossing an ocean in a small boat or going scuba diving for example, would be recommended to take a taxi!

The 'buses' are Toyota Hi-ace type minivan that seat 14 plus the driver. Four rows of three plus two more in the front next to the driver. The same buses operated in St Lucia and were licensed, quite sensibly, to carry 14 persons; I actually read it on one of their permits.  Our bus in St Vincent had 21 on board by the time we got to town, and only one was a child.

We had 4 rows of 4, 1 row of three plus the small child and another rather large adult who appeared to be a conductor of some sort who seemed to lie across the knees of the people on the first row without anyone batting an eyelid. It was cheap though! The danger was only partly associated with the overloading of the bus, the rest was the sheer speed of the driving down steep twisty hills with sheer drops or low concrete walls. I don't consider myself risk averse in any way shape or form, but there a couple of times when I just wanted to get off. To get off, half the bus has to get off too and then reload so that wasn't going to happen. These photos give you a taste.

Georgetown was hustlin' and a bustlin'. Three days before Christmas and the streets were rammed with shoppers. We had lunch in a local cafe for about 50p and got a taxi back!