Churches and tire repair shops constitute the major local activity in Antigua.
A shopping trip to Saint John with Peter and Viviane taught us why there are tire repair shops all along the main roads. Not only are all roads full of potholes, there are also speed humps and its inverse, an oversized expansion seem that does exactly the same thing. It breaks your speed instantaneously if you are not paying attention. But more interesting, are the ditches next to the concrete that prove to be fatal to any tire. Viviane temporarily distracted Peter to confirm the route to take on her smartphone. Not having his eyes on the road for a split second, landed the rental car with 2 tires in the ditch next to the road, resulting in 2 flat tires.
50m further was a tire repair shop. Coincidence? Not likely! Only after this incident did we observe that every road, every small hamlet boasts at least 2, if not 3 tire repair shops. We suspect repairing and maintaining the roads are not a priority as it would severely impact on the economy and put several people out of a job.
Another prolific business in Antigua is religion. There are lots and lots of churches in all different styles going from modest to stately and impressive, colourful or plain, and anything in between. The majority of Antiguans are Christians: Protestants, Catholics, Methodists, Moravians, Pentecostals, Seventh-Day Adventists and Jehovah’s Witnesses. Apart from that, you can also find Hindus, MusIims, Jews and Baha’i. On the street you can’t tell who’s who, except of course, the last not least: the Rastafari. The popularity of this religion is easily gaged by the amount of rasta hairdo’s, dreadlocks, rasta caps and religious use of cannabis. Not by tourists, but by normal local people like the first mechanic, shop assistants, fruit & veg vendors, ….
On the cycle trip from Nelson’s Dockyard to Bargain Supermarket, a small green Anglican church on top of a hill caught our attention. It goes by the name of St. Barnabas. It is built in the Antigua green stone, and has tainted glass windows.
One year on the Exodus
Beginning of March we celebrated one year on the Exodus.
We warmed up in the Skullduggery Bar in Falmouth marina, a most suitable venue for the occasion. This small pub makes its own rum and offers free wifi (from where we loaded the previous picture gallery) with wifi password ‘buyadrink’.
They offer ‘Trump punches’, a strong variation of the traditional rum punch especially to commemorate the first 100 days of his tenure, or in our case to celebrate our first year anniversary. Note the warning on the black board: ‘If he has not fucked you up, this will’!
Apart from that they also serve chicken pie, our favorite!!!
Meantime a shoal of Gitane-sized tarpons were circling round and round a small boat and the quay.
Chomping away on our substantial pies and slurping jungle juice, we reviewed the past year.
It feels like a life time ago we bought the Maunakea in Malta, converted it to a cruising boat in record time, received the devastating court verdict prohibiting the boys to join the trip, and the start of our journey…
The great places we’ve seen so far, the good times when we have all kids on board (as it should be), the steep learning curve of getting to know the boat in and out, the contrast between fighting a dark hole and enjoying the everyday wonders of this lifestyle…
Meanwhile moving further and further away from what we know… And so much more to see and experience…