Wednesday in Grenada. I've got an idea: let's not do tons of walking only to be foiled by itinerarnt ruminants, eh? Plan. But first, breakfast with the departing Canadians. I eat starfruit, something I previously only thought existed in Fruit Ninja on my iPad, and it's very nice - though not as nice as once again the greatest goddamn scrambled eggs in history. We're told that, if we like, Helen can join in with the preparation tomorrow to learn the not-so-secret recipe.
Once we're suitably covered in suncream it's another walk into Sauteurs, both of us feeling a bit stiff after yesterday, and the weather feels noticeably hotter. We take the nice corridor along the beach, emerging next to FULL THROTTLE BAR opposite the car park full of Toyota Hi-Aces, i.e. the bus station.
The first guy fails to hail us because we don't want to go to St George's. "Wander into the waiting hut, looking lost and white" serves us well. "Grenville?" "Yeah, well, no, Pearls Airport" "OK get in" and we're away. Well, we're sort of away. There's one guy sitting in front of us with a sack full of ... something ... and that's it. We hang around for a few more minutes waiting to see if anyone else wants to get in, then slowly work our way through Sauteurs.
Buses on Grenada are great. Each one is privately run by a driver/conductor pair, plying one of a handful of routes across the island. Everyone drives a Toyota Hiace minivan with some convertible seating that fits up to about 16 people, and the conductor is responsible for hailing passengers rather than the other way around. There are proper bus stops - in fact, there are tons of them - but there's really no need to wait at them unless you're desperate for shade or happen to be right next to one, because they'll just stop dead and let you on wherever you stand.
So, our number 9 grabs a few more people off the street, then parks at a bus stop next to a school for about 10 minutes, waiting for people to show up who want to go our way. A few get on, but not enough, so once we leave it's still a very slow drive through what might qualify as outskirts, still pimping for riders. Everyone who gets on says "afternoon" to everyone, because that's a really big deal around here: you greet people.
It's more than just a bus, really. They're postmen and couriers and OAP transport and tour guides and etc. At one point we pop up a side road and someone recognises the conductor, who jumps out and hands him a bag full of stuff. Elsewhere, the man in front of us sells a bloke running a chicken stall some food bags. At Sallee we reverse about half a kilometre down a street to pick up a very frail old lady from an old people's home (I guess?). At each stop there's a kind of passenger tetris being played, with several people moving seats to accomodate the size, shape and frailty of each passenger in tandem with their destination.
After picking up the (very) old lady, who boards with a mighty "afternoon everybody", we're now full – so it's full on pedal to the metal screaming round the hairpin bends up and over the hills, with the island's number one radio station blasting out very loud bass thumping soca. It's sweltering hot and fantastic fun for us tourists. At Tivoli about half the bus gets off and we can spread out a tiny bit, until peeling ourselves off the leather seats and handing over our 8 EC a few minutes later. The conductor points us down exactly where to go to reach the airport, just follow the road round.