Saturday, February 17, 2007

Getting Around Town

Before we came, the hotel encouraged us to rent a golf cart for the week. Indeed they implied that if we didn't rent one at the time we booked our rooms, we might have a problem in getting one when we arrived. I'm sure that they get a bit of a referral fee, because we found that information to be inaccurate on several levels:

First, there is an abundance of golf carts to rent if you want one; there is NO shortage. Second, the streets are narrow and dusty, and the traffic is insane - tourists running golf carts as fast as they can along the streets with bikes, trucks, and pedestrians all sharing the same road; none of them looking at anything other than the vehicle in front of them. This is not our idea of fun. Also, would you rather get to town on a dusty road with other drivers blocking the way, or by way of a slow stroll down a sandy beach next to the ocean?

Our hotel was a ten minute beach walk from town. We walked along the beach, took a cross street one or two blocks, and there we were. Why encumber yourself with a ton of metal? If you are in even sort of walking condition, don't rent a golf cart - just walk. Perhaps take one of the hotel bikes or rent a bike if you want to see farther out from town one day. We pedaled bikes way South on the island, past the water tower, the road to the dump, and many lovely buildings that looked like they had been built as hotels and later abandoned. The roads are well-packed dirt, and the balloon tires of the bikes made riding easy.

There are also a lot of restaurants and bars accessible from the beach, and we felt quite safe walking to dinner at sunset, and then walking back to the hotel on the beach in the dark. There were always others walking on the beach and we were never really totally isolated.

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