Dec. 29, Cumberland Bay
It had been rainy during the night and looking at the sky it seemed it would carry on all day. The hunter lives in a small house on the beach and had our manicou waiting for us when we went to shore. Dan made all the arrangements for dinner, while Jan and I decided to go to Kingstown for the day. We were told the buses wouldn’t be running on a Sunday but we decided to give it a try anyways. As we were walking to the road we flagged down a van, it wasn’t a regular bus but rather a church bus taking the faithful home after service. The driver offered to give us a ride up the line where we might have better luck. Passing through Spring village, the vast amount of damage from the storm was all to evident. At one point the trusses of a bridge were filled with debris, indicating the water must have been several meters high; from the washed away trees and silt deposits I would guess that the river ran 600 to 700 feet wide in some areas, rather than its usual width of only about 50 feet.
We got dropped off at Wallibalou Bay and decided to leave it to fate to see if we would continue to Kingstown. We walked down the hill and I asked a taxi driver if he was operating a shared cab, but he said he was with a tour group so we then opted to spend the morning there rather than try to continue on. Talking to the tourist, the ship had just left Barbados yesterday and this was the first stop. It must be disappointing for some of the people, since much of the movie set is long since gone, there are still a few props around and many pictures of the stars but it is long past its prime. The wifi was good and the food and drinks cheap, so we had a local lunch of Hairoun Beer and rum punch, finishing off with a BBQ pork meal before trying to make our way back. We thought we would take our chances on the main road and if nothing turned up would call Dan to arrange for someone from Cumberland to come get us. We watched as trucks of every description drove by with barrels and tanks of water for those in need. No buses came through so we tried hitchhiking, and some had a ride from a young man and woman. They dropped us off at the visitor center, where the rest of the Skyelarkers were having a drink.
Our dinner was set for 7:30 so we went off in anticipation of our long awaited meal, we had always heard the manicou was a “tree rat” but looking online I found it was just a local possum so was why we decide to try it this trip. The starter course of callalou soup with fresh water lobster (crayfish) was excellent, we will search those out again; the manicou was another matter, it wasn’t bad but had a taste that I can best describe as a cross between pig tails that are close to going off, tripe that could have used another washing or two before being prepared and the smell you get when you gut a freshly killed deer. The looks on some of the faces was worth the price of admission as everyone struggled to get at least a few bites down; luckily Dan had the foresight to order enough chicken to fill the remaining void.
After the meal most of the crew went back to the boat, Jan and I stayed behind to have some drinks and chat with the folks from the restaurant; times like these make me appreciate the off the beaten path places we stop at because the people are genuinely friendly. Dan came by to pick us up as schedule and stayed for a couple while the night rain continued to fall in the bay.