I had a very impromptu getaway that I came back from a week ago, but find myself still reminiscing about. It proved to be a much needed vacation, and I know you are thinking how could I need a vacation after six months in Europe, but let me tell you traveling and vacationing are so completely different! While in Europe I usually fell asleep (mostly at a hostel) studying a map and planning out my route for the following day and deciding whether it was best conquered via, plane, train, bus or ferry. It was like a full time job, albeit the best I ever had!! This trip however, entailed none of the above. First of all I decided only the day before to go and my biggest concerns were what swimsuits to take! So with a large carry-on in tow I made my way to Miami airport, hopped on a flight and in an hour and a half I landed in the Cayman islands, Grand Cayman to be exact.
It was already night when I arrived so I grabbed my bag from the one carousel in the small airport, was picked up a few minutes later by friends and headed for some food. I had a fantastic steamed fish meal that I repeated the next day at a little shack/bar before touring around the island making frequent rum punch and beach stops. Now had I just stuck to the rum punch rather than feeling brave and trying multiple different drinks (hey I was in the island mood) I probably would not have found myself passed out in bed by 6:30 that evening already suffering from a hangover. Oh and uttering the infamous “I will never drink again!” lines. So yeah day one, was a success!! So I spent the rest of the night in fetal position while everyone else went out and that was fine by me.
The next few days we did much of the same, just driving around having great meals, lots of laughter and enjoying the amazing weather the island had to offer, even though one or two days were a bit cloudy I still enjoyed them thoroughly. I also went to turtle farm which I loved soooo much it is a 23 acre property dedicated to the education and breeding of the islands sea turtles. Although judging by the amount of iguanas that are there you would thing its some sort of reptilian sanctuary. Otherwise this is an amazing place they have an area where you can snorkel with sea turtles and other marine life, with one section glassed off from a large pool with nurse shark, not for the heart attack prone if you weren’t expecting that.
I felt I just couldn’t end my trip without visiting little Cayman, the smallest of the three islands with a population of around 200 people. I became so intrigued by the thought that people could reside in such a small place with so few others, that I had to go. So I booked a flight and with about ten others walked onto the runway towards what looked like a model plane, surely that couldn’t be it! Oh but it was. So I was excited and nervous all at once as I climbed up the four steps into a small 12 seater plane for my half and hour flight to Little Cayman. The views were fantastic, flying at a lower altitude you have an amazing scenery of translucent blue and jade waters below, with cotton white waves breaking at sandbars offshore. Also being in such a small space you get to be pretty chummy with the other passengers and your two pilots. Very soon we landed in Little Cayman airport, now this is just a small house like structure and no carousels needed as you just stand by the plane and pick your luggage off the trolley by the runway. The charm of this island was instantly apparent and I was already snuggling up to it like a warm blanket in the winter.
My lovely hostess met me at the airport and took me to a restaurant next door, where she was having lunch with her husband and friends. She told me that when she first moved there 14 years before there were only about 100 people! This was crazy lol, I loved it. When we got back to their home I settled in nicely and was eager to explore the island that most Caymanians had never been to. I borrowed a bicycle late that evening and rode back to airport, went on the beach and then turned around to head back home when I was stopped by someone who wanted to know who I was and then invited me to the beach resort for a beer. I didn’t have the beer but did chat for a while and then cycled back home under the moon and starlit sky, feeling complete joy! The next day I got up early, packed an apple, book and water with the intention of riding around the island and then stopping for a meal afterwards. This didn’t really go as planned. I quickly figured out that attempting to do that without breakfast wasn’t smart, so 40 minutes in, after feeling like I must have ridden around about twice, I pulled over to take a break on a lonely rocky beach, when I met upon someone who informed me that I was about a third of the way.
This was disappointing, but they did offer to give me a ride to where I wanted to go if I met them at an area called point of sand where their car was parked. So I mustered up what energy I had left or could be provided by my little apple and continued to our meeting point. I was so happy I went this area, it was just beautiful, even beneath the cloudy sky I was blown away to be on this beach all alone. About half an hour later he arrived, put my bike in his jeep and a few minutes later dropped me off at the beach resort. I was really grateful. I perched myself in a beach hammock with my book waiting for the bar to open as it was still quite early. As soon as it did I ordered a rum punch and fish and chips and sat in the hammock for hours soaking up the view, the sun and snoozing a bit. I took a walk along the beach and ran into the gentleman who had helped me earlier and he introduced me to his family and we all laughed about my failed Tour de France attempt. Later I also ran into the person who had offered me the beer the night before, while chatting at the bar with one of the employees. This happens often with so few people there and it is an amazing and warm feeling. I spent the rest of my day there and stayed for the resorts rum punch party which is usually reserved for guests but seeing that they knew the couple I was staying with, they invited me to join.
I could go on and on about this little place, sadly I was there for just two nights. It was just so gorgeous and peaceful and welcoming. The majority of road traffic were other cyclist, the bank is only open twice a week and there are only 5 school children there! It was sweet. The next morning however I was back at the airport, and leaving this little slice of heaven that I can’t wait to return to!