The other day I needed some advice and possibly a different pulley for Brilliant’s alternator. Newly replaced belts (2) were shedding black dust and a friend suggested that the pulley may not be the right size for the belts. The Cruiser’s net recommended a man in Gouyave (pronounced Guave), two thirds of the way up Grenada’s western coast. When I asked a local shop, he tried to help but also recommended the man in Gouyave.
It would take two buses to get there, changing over at the busy main terminal in downtown St. George’s, and probably eat up a good part of the day. But Carrie’s off island at the moment and the weather looks nice today, so off I went, deciding it would be an adventure.
I’ve written about public transportation on the smaller islands in the Caribbean before, and nothing seems to have changed here in Grenada since then. If something’s working, why mess with it, right?
With the weighty alternator on my lap I squeezed into a full bus leaving the main terminal, and we headed up the winding coastal road with the Caribbean Sea to our left. Small fishing boats worked offshore while numerous sailboats made their way up and down the coast, and cars and trucks made their way back and forth on the infrequently maintained two-lane road.
The towns all run together so a fellow passenger helped me get off at the right point. The downtown area was alive with shops and street vendors. The old Nutmeg factory is here, just now getting back up to speed after hurricane Ivan destroyed Grenada’s nutmeg orchards 13 years ago.
As promised, the first person I asked knew exactly the gentleman I was seeking, and he directed me up a small alley to a house tucked in and overlooking the ocean where this expert lived.
After a short consultation he confirmed what the local shop had guessed, that a different pulley wasn’t necessary, just some cleaning up of all the pulleys and checking the alignment between the alternator, water pump and crankshaft pulleys. Before saying goodbye (no charge) he graciously recommended a local place to have lunch.
Walking through town I found the restaurant he recommended and enjoyed a liesurely lunch of some freshly caught fish and standard side dishes like plantains, breadfruit, calaloo and salad. I even enjoyed (?) some American TV off the satellite. I can take that in small doses.
On the ride back I enjoyed watching the #2 man on the bus shepherd numerous children with their school uniforms, backpacks and lunch bags on the bus in town and then patiently making sure they got off at the right spot. The kids sat quietly, one almost nodded off on my shoulder, while the conductor found their stops and made sure they got safely across the streets. No one on board seemed to mind that we took an obvious detour off the bus route into the neighborhood to get the children closer to their homes.
In St. George’s the second bus was full of local residents eager to get home from work. Although the ride was long I had an enjoyable trip, especially because the alternator didn’t cost me anything except carrying it back and forth. Another adventure.