Monday, August 15, 2011

Carnival Chaos

Every year in the second week of August, Grenada celebrates as carnival arrives. Steel band, Soca and carnival queen competitions are held and the streets of St Georges are flooded with people joining in the festivities. Most years Sim and I have taken advantage of the discounted marina rates near the centre of town and joined in all the parties including the Sunday night Dimarche Gras show and then in the small hours of Monday morning J’Ourvert or devils mas continues where Jab Jab or Devil mas bands join the streets covered in black paint or old engine oil! In recent years the Devil bands have moved into other colours as well, with greens, yellows and blues all worn with little else except maybe devils horns. Chains are clanked on the street, this paired with their devilish looks and lewd dancing combine to be a scary appearance to onlookers. But it’s all in good fun and you won’t get away without being dabbed with just a small amount of paint…or engine oil! Carnival Monday ends with the Monday Night Mas' street jump-up, where party goers in brightly coloured T-shirt bands, wave fluorescent wands and dance through the streets.

But as we had done this the last two years in a row we decided to settle for Pretty Mas on the Tuesday during the day where the most skimpy but extravagant costumes parade the streets to mobile Steel bands or calypso music. Its was blisteringly hot, to cool down we bought slushed ice from the roadside vendors that squirted different colour flavours into a cup and top with condensed milk – sounds disgusting but add a shot of rum and you have a rather nice cocktail. Large groups of girls danced past us in ornate costumes gyrating to the latest soca tunes. We enjoyed watching the parades and Sim especially liked watching the scantily clad girls but having stood in the sun for 3 hours we were ready to leave.

The rest of the week saw Sim and I trying the Buffalo wings night at True Blue Hotel where you can get 5 delicious wings for about a pound. According to Sim the only disappointing thing was that you can only order 5 at a time. As the queue grew, Sims desire to have another 5 wings ebbed and he sufficed with just a beer or two! Our friends on SY Irie arrived on Friday and we had a rather boozy reunion with then at the Tikki bar in Prickly Bay. Live music was blaring in the form of the band Barracuda where Sim and I had drunk enough to take to the dance floor by ourselves to a few Bob Marley numbers! Despite being slightly jaded from the night before we made our way out Saturday night to De Big Fish for a more relaxed evening with Irie and Sea Life to listening to more live music. Yesterday after a sweaty but enjoyable walk with Liesbet in the morning we all met up again on Irie for a BBQ, the crews Desire, Sealife and Peter Pan all joined us for a magnificent meat feast that had Sim in his element!

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