Sunday, April 27, 2014

Walking into Portsmouth

I walk to Portsmouth from Glanvillia and back at least once a day, a short 15 minute jaunt  that usually takes 20 to 25 minutes. Usually the sky is high, and bright and intensely blue, by 9AM the sun is already striking and it is 80 degrees  F.  My morning trip goes like this.

After I clang the gate behind me,  the first   thing I pass is Angie's bread hut. 
Usually there are people leaning over the counter chatting with Angie and buying  their morning loaf.  They wave a cheery good morning and wish me a 'blessed day'.  The hut faces an abandoned building which houses several generations of little screech owls who sit on the wire across the road at night, screeching, and  keeping the rat population under control.  The building is on posts I can smell the goats who sheltered there over night.

I continue on, past Obiah's shop, more good morning wishes,  down to the corner.  But first I must pass Sono's beloved boat "Capri", rotting away at the side of the road.  I apologize to it and give it a tap. 
At the intersection, on the left is the 'public convenience', toilets and a shower.  If I am going to Picard, (the other direction), this is also the bus stop!  There are always 3 or 4 rum soaked denizens lounging on the steps drinking their breakfast.   They call to me, "Dahlin' you good?"  "Madam, you lookin' pretty", "Baby, have a bless day".  I return the greeting with a smile and a wave and turn right around Cherry Tree Bar, from whence their rum is dispensed!

So now I have the ocean on my left and I am headed directly into Portsmouth.  I walk along Glanvillia Bay remembering my happy days there with Sono,  and always checking to see who has gone to sea today, what boats are on their mooring, and of course acknowledging whoever happens to be sitting there under the almond trees on the beach.

I pass Woody's Pizza, Ma Parson's shop, 2 little Spanish taverns, the huge gas station and the Bank.
The Tourist building
Next comes the tourist office across the road on the  beach,  the Indian River men hustling tourists,  the bridge and the 'canash', the mouth of the River where the boats are tied. I know these men.  They will always  acknowledge me, but rarely call out or wave, a rather dour lot unless they have tourists under their wing!   I look to see if  Gregory is there.  I will stop and sit with him on my way home at the end of the day.  Now I cross the Indian River Bridge.  I look up the River to see who is rowing with a boat load of tourists.  For some reason they will wave and call to me now, from their boat, with tourists there! Crossing the Bridge is like changing zones.  On the other side is Portsmouth and the vibes are different!

west side facing the ocean

east side looking up the River

So on to bustling Burrows Square. Loud, noisy, crowded, dusty.  It is the bus terminal.  Buses coming in from Vielle Case, Thibaud, Dos D'Ane, Bourne, Paix Bouche stop here and buses to Roseau start here.  The square is crowded and the buses drivers are hustling passengers.  They don't leave Burrows Square until they are full although they could pick up passengers on the way.  " Cucumber" (coo-cum-bah)  comes dashing and calling across the street to me to see if I need a bus.  The drivers are all calling, "Madam, Madam, goin' Roseau? Leaving right away." (not true).  ( see blog below "Riding the Buses"). I trip  over the feet of the men sitting on the steps of Miss Olive's  shop, all greet me lustily!  Just a few steps and I stop to chat with Michael, (known as Soul) the shoemaker at his stall just outside Douglas'.  Sometimes McDowell is there and comes out to say good morning.
Michael "Soul"

The next few blocks can bring anything!  I pass Rudolph Thomas hard ware, Mini Cash where I buy electric power and top up my phone, pass and hail (as they say here) several acquaintances, fist bumps along the way, wave to Jennifer in her Salon, look to see if Sea View restaurant is open yet, maybe stop in at the Internet Cafe to get something for school photocopied,  greet the Rasta selling local homemade juice, and on to the Market area and CALLS. Right on the corner , under a big mango tree are several vegetable stalls.  Phillip has the best grapefruit, pink and sweet and juicy!  Into the CALLS courtyard, hello to Rosemary in the laundry and up stairs to see what adventures wait for me there!

A wonderful way to start the day!  Who wouldn't love this!

1 comment:

Anne and Harold said...

Thank you for the stories .... I love the description . Really sounds like my kind of place ....