GRAND TURK-RENTING A GOLF CART AND EXPLORING THE ISLAND ON OUR OWN
We pulled in to port at 8am sharp and off we went to enjoy our day.
We had decided to rent golf carts and drive around the island on our own. I know others had mentioned that it would be better to rent a car because it would be a better ride and have a/c, but I thought riding in a golf cart would be a lot of fun.
I had contacted Wet Money Rentals and reserved our cart months ahead of time. I was quoted a price of $60. I have been reading bad reviews lately about the other two vendors at the port (Nathans and Karib) and people having issues with their reservations, old broken equipment, or carts breaking down when they were out. So Wet Money it was...especially at the price of $60. Also another person had posted at the time I was looking to rent about contacting Karib (I think it was) and they were told that the golf carts would be down that month for repairs. I thought that was super weird that they would take an entire month to repair every golf cart at the same time. Wouldn't you maybe just do one at a time so that you still had some in service and making money?
We walked outside the port compound and I honestly had no idea where I was going. We came to the parking lot and just started walking. I didn't see anything. We stopped and ask someone where to go and they told us to "head out" and pointed in a direction. I thought we were out, but we would continue to walk on.
We made it to the street and I still didn't see anything but cars coming and going. Ok, what now? We decided to head in the direction we seen cars coming from and hoped for the best.
Now there's no place to walk along the road, unless you are in the road. But they are making a sandy sidewalk, but it does say "No entry" and I guess it's because they are working on it. However, "no entry" meant "entry" to me when I have a young child in tow and there's a lot of traffic.
We finally seen the gates and the security building and knew we had to be heading in right direction. Hey at least we weren't lost yet...we could still see the beautiful Breeze. Directly outside of these gates were all the rentals.
The first person we came to ask who we rented with and we told them Wet Money. They said to "Hold on and I'll be with you after taking care of this couple". We waited while they helped the other couple pick out a cart and explain to them how to operate the golf cart. Then when it was our turn he ask me once again who we rented with and then ask the "price". Once I told him the price, he said "Oh no, you'll have to go with them and let me get someone from Wet Money to help you" Um ok. That's who I ask for anyhow. I guess maybe they all just rent to whoever and then give the money to the correct vendor, but was unwilling to accept such a low amount? Or either they are busy stealing customers, but was unwilling to steal us when they could have the opportunity to make more money?
We spoke to a representative for Wet Money, gave him our price and he wanted to know who told me that price. Oh boy...here we go. I gave him the name and pulled out my email with the confirmation and he said "No, if he told you that price, then that's what you are getting it for and I believe you. No need to show me your paper." Ok, that worked for me. It was nice that he was trusting.
He set us up with a golf cart, showed us where the gas was located and then noticed that we had a low tire. He ask us to ride him up to the "gas station"...and I use that term lightly, and he'd put air in it. So off we went and it was just about a block away, then we turned on a dirt road and there was a building that was like some rounded pole barn shelter place, but I guess that was their gas station. We pulled in one side and pulled out the other. We dropped him back off at the entrance, they gave us a map, and off we went.
I decided to let the hubby drive because I wanted to take my life into my own hands and hang off the back taking pictures for all you wonderful people. Of course Mitsugirly falling off the back of a golf cart would also make a heck of a story for everyone as well right?
I think the hubby was getting a little too comfortable...keep your eyes on the road! We are driving on the street, on the opposite side of the road, and man this thing is fast! You need to devote all of your attention to the street.
Less than 10 minutes into the ride and we would spot our first donkeys. Sakari squealed with excitement. She couldn't believe what her eyes were seeing. They were just roaming free, on the side of the road, without a care in the world.
Now I knew that people were saying there were donkeys roaming free around the island and especially at the Lighthouse, but I had no idea we would see so many this day. We were specifically heading to the Lighthouse in order to assure we would see donkeys that day. (Since I was told they are always there and looking for a handout of food).
I would snap plenty of pictures along the way, just to give you a general idea of what's outside the port gates. I love taking pictures of the homes at places we go.
There were a lot of places that you could just head off in different directions. I had a hard time keeping the hubby going in the right direction. I think he wanted to explore. Stay focused please! We are heading to the Lighthouse, then we'll explore.
Now let's talk about the roads. They left a lot to be desired. Pot holes every where on the road leading up to the Lighthouse. Remember me saying how it would make an interesting story if Mitsugirly fell off? Well you definitely have a better chance of hearing that store come true with these roads.
Not only am I sitting on the back of the golf cart, facing the other direction and not really sure when we are about to hit a pot hole most of the time, but I am also hanging on to 2 beach bags AND I had a can of pop I was trying to hold and not spill AND of course my camera. I'm a multitask type of person. That's what happens when you have 4 children and several grandchildren. You learn to multitask well.
Do horses run free on the island too?
More paths the hubby tried to convince me to go down and more houses in the area.
I can see the Lighthouse already! I guess we went the right way.
We had the SLOWEST golf cart ever! Like seriously. There were people passing us in their golf carts and they zoomed by us like they were in a car. I guess that's what you get with a $60 rental? They give you the slowest golf cart they have in the fleet. It didn't bother me because we planned on taking our time, but I just had to throw that out there to give you an idea of the time it took us to get from place to place.
We left the port in our golf cart at 8:46am to head to the Lighthouse. We only actually pulled over once to ask if we should "take that road" to the Lighthouse and they said yes. We didn't stop for any pictures along the way, but slowed down a lot due to the pot holes. We arrived at the Lighthouse at 9:12am. So, honestly, I didn't think it was bad at all...considering the slow golf cart. Less than 1/2 hour and we were there. The vendor at Wet Money told us it takes 1 hour to get there. Maybe he takes an even slower golf cart there? Who knows.
I had read on the boards that they put in a zip line in this area. Well, this is it...
I'm sorry, but if I'm going to zip line, it's not going to be at some type of contraption that looks like this. I can't even imagine this being any fun. All out in the open... just not my thing. Maybe I have been spoiled by ziplining in Roatan in the rain forest and different platforms. This place just didn't look interesting and I thought it probably takes away from the beauty of the surrounding area of the Lighthouse.
I had every intention on stopping at the Lighthouse and paying the $3 admission to get in and hang out for a little while. I had estimated this into my budget, but quite honestly, once we arrived, I really didn't see a need to go in. I was able to get my pictures of the lighthouse, we didn't need anything to drink, since we brought our own cooler loaded with pop to carry us throughout most of the day, and Sakari couldn't wait to get to the beach of course. Also, like I said, we went here in hopes of seeing the wild donkeys, and we had seen plenty of them on the way there.
The donkeys were outside of the lighthouse gates and hanging out in the parking lot.
They are use to you feeding them and come right up to you when you arrive.
Sakari always brings a few boxes of dry cereal with her to munch on in port. She decided that she wanted to feed the donkey some cereal. Of course by the time she decided this, the donkey had lost interest in her after deciding she did not come bearing food and was walking away.
Once the donkeys ran off into the bushes, we decided to head on out and see if we could find the beach. We left at 9:21am
Along the way a guy with his horses traveling the roads.
Since the donkeys didn't get to eat the cereal, Sakari decided she needed a snack.
Speed bumps..like the road didn't already have enough of those to begin with. Whoever felt the need to put these things in to slow people down didn't really think this thing through. The entire road is nothing but a pot hole speed bump and you couldn't possibly gather up enough speed to get anywhere quickly.
Shortly after this speed bump, Sakari would lose her Fruit Loops on a bump and I would wear my pop on that same bump. She lets out a squeal like she just lost her best friend and I let out a squeal like I had just been dunked at a dunking machine at a carnival. The golf cart comes to a halt and we both jump out. I run back to pick up the box of cereal, huffing and puffing out of breath...in my defense, it was a ways down the street, I reach down to pick the remains of it up, turn around, and the hubby and the golf cart are right there. WAIT A MINUTE...you have reverse? And I just ran all the way back here when you could have just put it in reverse and backed up? Remember how you're a Carnival newbie? Well, I'm putting that to full use when we get back on the ship! He laughs of course.
Remember how the hubby had a hankering for going off road? Well, I guess he decided since we already made it to the Lighthouse, it was time.
Well that looks like an interesting road to go down. Oh help me please!
Looking back...is it too late to turn back?
Well I see some beautiful water. I guess that's a good sign.
I wouldn't go much further though. I remember reading on here that someone had went "off road" and ended up stuck in the sand. "Awww, it'll be alright" the hubby replies. Wham! We came to a stop. We hit sand and that was all she wrote. The hubby gave it gas and the wheels were spinning. Oh just great. Didn't I tell you to listen to me? We are now stuck! Well, we might as well make the best of it and go check out the place.
It's not really the type of place I had in mind. It's not a place that you could swim at, pretty, but not really usable.
Ok, I have had enough. I'm worried about getting this golf cart unstuck that it's really hard to concentrate on the beauty around me. Hey, at least we had hours before we had to be back to the ship.
There was cactus (or is that cacti?) everywhere. I hope you don't have to use the potty. LOL
The entire time we were there, there was a helicopter flying above us. At first I'm thinking we are on private property and someone was pissed. They kept circling around and around. I, of course, played it off like we are just fine and checking out the place. Then I notice it's a tour helicopter. I can only imagine what the pilot is saying "And here you have idiots that decided to go off roading in a golf cart...resulting in them being stuck. Should we hang out for awhile for entertainment and watch them sweat-it on how they are going to get unstuck?" How embarrassing. The one place we get stuck and an entire tour is watching from above with the best seats in the house.
We struggled, we pushed, we were like the little engine that could(n't). Meanwhile the helicopter was still circling and I just wanted to crawl up in a ball and hide. The more we pushed the more it slid sideways. We continued to struggle, but it was finally able to grasp onto a small piece of concrete buried under the sand where the road had ended. We had to make a quick decision to try to turn it around or just go up backwards. Backwards it was until we got to better solid ground.
Whew, we made it and the hubby was going to live after all. We piled back into the golf cart and up the hill we went. It was a pretty steep hill and with the go cart being so slow, I wondered if it would even have the power to make it. But, it did.
I was never so happy to see the pot holed road again! It's a never ending journey with us...
And back on our journey to try to reach the beach...
We knew we were getting close when we started seeing more houses together and the salt ponds.
It was just a matter of heading over toward the water, but there are so many roads that wind around these salt ponds.
At one point we stopped to ask a lady walking in the street if we were heading in the right direction to go to BOHIO or the beach. She acted confused and ask if we needed to wash, while rubbing her arms up and down. We kept saying "beach" and "BOHIO". She said "to wash?" Um ok...yea to wash I guess. She said "yes, go that way to end of road". I chalked it up to miscommunication and we just kept going. This leads me to wonder if some of the residents go to the beach to wash? Like bathe? Anyone know? I thought it was interesting.
We circled another salt pond and obviously another resident was watching and he laughed and pointed in the other direction. I gave him the thumbs up and we turned around. They must get a lot of confused cruisers on the island.
We managed to finally find BOHIO and the street we were on pretty much dead ended into it, so not too hard to find, once you are on the right side of the salt pond.
TO CONTINUE WITH MY REPORT ON BOHIO, CLICK HERE
PART 2 GOLF CART RENTAL AFTER LEAVING BOHIO BEACH
Now all we had to do is keep heading in the direction that we knew the ship was and hope that we would be able to find the turn off to go to Governors Beach. When looking at google earth prior to the cruise, I could tell that you had to turn off some place along the way and I just hoped that I wouldn't miss it or that there would be a sign telling you where to turn.
To be honest, I didn't really notice an area that was too "poverty-struck" in GT. Maybe I missed it or just wasn't looking, but compared to a lot of the places in the Caribbean, I'm assuming that GT is not one of those that have a lot of poverty....which still leads me to wonder why the lady ask me if I wanted to go to the ocean to wash???
Ah ha, I could see the ship and knew we were getting close. We made it to the airport and knew we were getting close. John Glenn Drive. It's kinda neat to see all this dedication to him here on the island. Even neater knowing he's actually from my state here in Ohio.
TO CONTINUE WITH MY REPORT ON GOVERNORS BEACH, CLICK HERE
LEAVING GOVERNORS BEACH AND HEADED BACK TO THE PORT.
We headed back out to the entrance and ready to head back to the cruise port just down the street.
I could see we were close to the ship.
We pulled up to return our golf cart and they said "You stopped and refilled the gas right?" but wasn't checking. Of course I'm honest and said "No, we didn't but these things don't use much gas." He lifted the seat and found that in fact, the gas hadn't even moved at all. I went ahead and gave him $15 for...whatever...to cover gas, tip or .... I'm not even sure. We had a good day and really enjoyed ourselves so it was whatever. I'm not even sure if you are supposed to tip these people??? I mean we rented off them, they didn't do anything for us or take us anywhere, so I was just unsure if this is a "tipping" type of thing?
We headed back toward the cruise port gate. We walked right in. There wasn't anyone stopping us or asking for ID or our ship cards or anything. I thought that was weird. I'm including a picture o the street you walk down...unless you decide to walk up into the flowers/bushes/cactus and go on the sand sidewalk that they say is closed...which we did.
Just walking from the entrance back to the port pool area was a hot one!
I found some aloe plants. It's a good thing I managed to not get hurt today or I would have had to use some of this. Yep, you guessed it, the hubby did NOT throw me off the golf cart. I survived a day in port without breaking something or getting hurt. Go me. It was a good day and we had mdeit to the parking lot.
There was an area that we stayed in last time we were there in GT, around the pool, and I had walked up these little steps in between the cabanas and found that it led out to the parking lot. We took a short cut coming back in and wondered if anyone was going to stop us...and once again they didn't. There was no one around. It was just weird I tell ya.
We walked up and over this little hill from the parking lot and it happened to be the exact same area that I had previously walked up last time to take a look around. Except this time we were coming from the opposite direction. LOL
If you get a chance to rent a golf cart...do it! It's a lot of fun exploring the entire island so easy to navigate.