For an island of only 76 square miles, a journey of 45 minutes will make you feel like you are on the other side of the country- and you kind of are. For Mark’s day off we planned a trip to Grand Cayman’s East End, where we heard the call of uncrowded beaches, tiny settlements and a quieter way of life. There are two resorts there sitting side by side, far from the hustle and bustle of seven mile beach and I had read that you could go and use the pools and beach even as a non guest. We planned a nice leisurely drive up, with as many stops as we desired, lunch at one of the resort’s beach bars and an afternoon at the pool.
Driving on a motorcycle is always an adventure and stopping along the way was not just to explore but to give our bums a rest! We found some great Caymanian roadside attractions, like this Lighthouse “Park” which was basically stairs leading to an overgrown patch of shrubbery filled with some plaques. Later we found more great signs and little paths leading to… another plaque. There were plenty more shops and restaurants and beaches that we passed by to make me want to make another trip sometime this summer, but the greatest sightseeing came from the back of the bike cruising through these tiny towns on the edge of the water. It feels a million miles from the glamorous and modern West side of the island; there are tiny post offices and jerk chicken stands and people sit on their porches and watch the day go by.
So after lunch with free drinks from the bartender (woohoo!) we met up with our friends Wim and Dave and headed to one of the resorts three pools, where we were met by big signs stating “Pools are for hotel guests ONLY” which made me giggle like a nervous schoolgirl while the other three laughed at my square-ness. We spent a lazy afternoon in the infinity pool, grateful for a little variety from swimming in the ocean.
The ocean eventually did call to us and we spent a productive evening throwing coconuts into the ocean and swinging on hammocks. Eventually we were forced by the setting sun and lack of streetlights to head back to the hustle and bustle of Georgetown, but I was glad we got to see another side of the island, and I hope it stays that way for a long time.
The funny thing is when Mark was offered his current job he also had a competing offer from a large company on the island at its outpost at one of the east end resorts. Having never had been to Cayman and not really understanding the geography we thought maybe he could still live in town where there was plenty of accommodation and liveliness and commute to work. Boy were we glad he decided against that. As fun as it is to go over for a day, we would have gone stir crazy living way out there, and there’s no way my internship would have worked. How different our lives would have been! Its nice to know we made the right choice, but still can visit what would have been our other life.