The signs are everywhere, reminders to dumb tourists that in this country you drive on the left side of the road. Apparently, even with the signs, traffic to follow and the inability to make turns when on the wrong side of the road people still get it wrong. I can’t say that I’m surprised.

On Wednesday we decided it should be our day to see the island. Attractions such as Hell and the Turtle Farm were on out list of things we wanted to do with Cemetery Reef and Rum Point on the list of possibilities.

Again, our plans would be foiled early. Mel called in the morning to find out how much it would cost to get into the Turtle Farm. The reply was $50 each…

Instead we decided to rent a car and start knocking out some of the thing we wanted to see which didn’t cost a lot of money. So after talking to our (not so) friendly Avis representative to secure a Silver Jeep Wrangler we gathered our things to head north and take a trip to Hell.

Our Jeep

On our way to hell we passed a cemetery and came to a four way stop. Sensing that this was probably Cemetery Reef we decided to take a look. We turned at a gas station and went down a small side road which ran along the beach with homes on each side of it in order to backtrack to the cemetery we passed. As it turns out, the end of that street is blocked by an enormous house which was built to take up both sides of the road… as well as the road.

Cayman Private Road 1

Cayman Private Road 2

At the end of the street a man was watering some plants, so we pulled over and asked him for directions. After giving us directions on how to get to Cemetery Beach he had another idea. Why don’t we just park our car at his house and use his private beach to snorkel instead? These people are so unbelievably nice. So we parked at our new friend’s house and walked down to his private beach, putting our things next to a boat under a tree and heading out into the water about 300 yards north of Cemetery Reef for some snorkeling. We saw a LOT of fish and hovered over an endless amount of coral reef, then we headed closer to the shore and proceeded to collect the nearly unlimited amounts of sea glass mixed with the coral fragments that had gathered there.

North of Cemetery Reef

Once we had worn ourselves out we decided to hop back in our car, wave goodbye to our new friend and head to Hell.

We were only a few minutes drive from Hell and to be honest we almost missed it as we drove by. We expected a city of some sort (which now, looking back doesn’t make sense but we’re used to large land mass thinking) but instead found that Hell was actually a rock formation which looked like a large field of brimstone. We went in the store that was there and bought us a couple of bottled waters, to which the attendant responded, “Thanks a hell of a lot!” Then we headed out to see the attraction and take a couple of pictures.


Mel and I in Hell

Now we were left to decide what to do next, since the Turtle Farm was charging more than we wanted to pay and we were already tired from snorkeling at Cemetery Reef. We decided to drive to Rum Point, which happens to be the furthest point we could have chose to drive to. It was 3:00PM or so and we figured we would spend the rest of the day seeing the parts of the island we had never seen. So we set out with our trusty map and our “Drive on the left!” road signs to see if we could navigate the entire island.

On we drove, through East End and into Boddentown where we were somewhat caught off guard to see a sign advertising “Authentic Pirate Caves (and mini zoo)” for those interested. I mean… with that kind of advertisement how could we not stop? After taking a very fun… but very hot… look at baby hamsters, the largest hermit crab we’d ever seen, a tank full of sting rays who were eager to have their picture taken, the largest aloe plant ever (it’s in the background of the picture of a leaf) and the pirate caves we got back on the road.

Hermit Crab

Sting Rays

Huge Aloe (in the background)

Pirate Caves Yarrrrrr

Then we headed up the north side of the island where the serious divers hang out. We also noticed that there were some very serious vacation homes there as well… larger than anything we had seen elsewhere. We also found that some of the scenery, which included calm waters with lone rowboats littering the coast was some of the most serene island scenery we’d seen anywhere… including post cards.

Cayman House

Serene Scenery

Finally we reached Rum Point at around 5:15PM, 15 minutes after everything closed. We weren’t worried about it though, we were there to see the area and spend a little time in a hammock on the beach, not to participate in the touristy bits. At Rum Point we were really struck by how shallow the water is so far from the beach. 300 yards out and the water is still only a few feet deep. When we come back we’re definitely going to plan to spend a day snorkeling here near the end of the pier.

Mel and I in a hammock

Trees over the water

Rum Point Pier

Rum Point

Rum Point Hammock

After our time at Rum Point is was time to head back to the hotel and get cleaned up for dinner. We decided to hit up Legend’s bar, the third of three restaurants across the street from our hotel which are owned by the same person. Like the other two, this one was great and the environment was mostly made up of locals out for a drink after work.

Legend’s Bar

We finished up the night by spending some time hanging out in the hotel lobby listening to the really, really impressive piano music as played by George Davidson.

George Davidson

The Westin Lobby

Written on August 8th, 2007 , Grand Cayman, Travel

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