Oh my God
Bob and Elizabeth Frearson
Sun 10 May 2015 22:31
We had a bit of a palaver getting hold of a taxi. Every number that I dialled on Bob’s local phone it just said it was engaged. (Even the Local Coastguard so I have to assume there was something wrong with the phone or the signal). Bob wasn’t much help, he was far too busy nose in Kindle, so I used my initiative and went and pounced on an incoming taxi in the marina car park. Kenroy agreed to pick us up at 7pm and he did, chaperoned by his girlfriend. He whisked us off up the steepest roads in the world, including one really really scary switchback section, which gave fantastic views over Charlotte Amalie. We arrived at our chosen restaurant, found our way in (not an entirely straightforward experience) and sat at our table where we took in the modern decor and pleasant ambience. The menu (billed as being Caribbean style) was varied but didn’t include anything recognisable as Caribbean however it was Rib Steak Night which pleased Bob. For starters I chose tuna three ways and Bob bruschetta. We both went for the rib steak with a loaded potato to share between us. (I had to ask to find out what a loaded potato is, not armed and dangerous just full of cheese and stuff). The starters came and they were just enormous, each enough for four people. Unfortunately Bob’s bread was like rather stale tasting cardboard but my tuna (a whole fish’s worth) was very tasty, sushi style with wasabi and ginger (probably a whole jar of it). While we chatted pleasantly the incumbents of the next table arrived, a big man and two woman one of whom was stunning figure and a sharp hair cut so sleek that presumably it was a wig). They sat at that table in silence for the whole of their dining experience. They looked at their phones, stared into space and concentrated very hard on their food when it came. Very uncomfortable for us as well as them. Our steaks arrived and were tasty enough but they had a weird bisto flavoured thin gravy poured over them which detracted somewhat from the taste. We were too full for pud, surprise surprise and adjourned to the bar for a night cap while waiting the arrival of Kenroy who was prompt, and chaperoned by a friend.
We booked Kenroy to take us to the sea plane terminal, not being totally sure that the dollar taxi bus would get us there reliably, which he did chaperoned by the girlfriend (are we really that sinister that he can’t be alone with us?) We checked in and I was presented with carnations as a Mother’s Day gift which was charming. We boarded, all eight of us, took our seats and listened as the pilot talked us through safety instructions. I asked if I could change seats to be by the window which caused much hilarity when I was asked “Don’t you want to be next to that nice gentleman?” to which I replied “No”. The flight was very exciting, probably the best Disneyland ride in the world but very short. We could clearly see the line upon line of orange weed slicks that seems to have invaded the Caribbean this year. We landed with a good splash at Saint Croix and decided that we had enough time for a taxi tour. A chirpy Andy took us on, (as well as giving a Danish couple a ride to their hotel and collecting a woman and her two children from the launderette) and off we went for probably the most boring Disneyland ride in the world. To be fair, it was exciting to see where Columbus had landed and shot some natives only to find that the water was salty not fresh but apart from that morsel of history there was nothing else forthcoming. It was a bit of a laugh feeding a can of beer to an enormous pig but not very educational. The sugar mill was interesting but Andy couldn’t tell us how it worked. Bob by this time had gone on strike and was just staring out of the window emanating waves of dislike.We eventually arrived in Frederiksted and escaped his incessant, insistent chatter about nothing for a stroll around the very pretty town, Danish buildings in pretty pastels with a covered walkway to keep out of the sun, where the noticeboards told us about a freed slave uprising where they had burnt a good number of their previous owners properties. (We are still not entirely sure what that was all about but will google it). We then hopped back into Andy’s taxi and returned down the “central road”. With nothing much else to point out, Andy then decided that I need a good lecture about the good Lord and his works, the evils of the Catholic Church, the satanic nature of Santa (according to him an anagram) and the blasphemous naming of the days of the week. By the time we got back to Christiansted I was ready to worship the devil and bring his ravings to a murderous close. We recovered with a beer before doing a bit of quiet sightseeing visiting the Fort, which was open and most interesting, and seeing the beautifully restored Danish buildings that have stood there since the 1780s. It was time to get our return flight and we meandered along the boardwalk to the terminal. The journey back was just as much fun with the added advantage of being in the first row so getting a very up close and personal view of the pilots at work. We landed with a hell of a bump at St Thomas but you should have seen the waves, it was very choppy. A fun experience that we wouldn’t have missed for anything (the flight that is, not the taxi tour).
We hopped on a dollar taxi bus, and returned to Windy to find that half of the yachts seemed to have been loaded on the present ship which is now bristling with masts, and a nice little note from James and Rosemary who are on their way back to blighty. We are not sad to see the back of our next door neighbour. It was a very minimalist racing yacht which for some unaccountable reason seemed to enjoy having its bottom noisily and resoundedly slapped. We will sleep well tonight.