Georgetown, Cayman Islands

These islands were discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1503.   Georgetown, the capital city,  is on Grand Cayman.  The islands derive most of their revenue from tourism and secondly from international banking and there are 568 banks on Grand Cayman.  However, the island also has some lovely beaches and great dive sites (photo).  We made a very short stop here today and tendered to shore. I have been here several times before and usually go to the beach.   However, a woman on the pier was selling short tours of the local area for $10.00 so I took the tour.  There is not much to see here.  Our first stop was an old homesteaders home (photo) where original settlers from Jamaica made their home.  Next we went to see Hell and its rocks.  The phytokarst that you see in the third photo which looks like hardened lava, is the result of solution of the rock due to acid rain and consumption of the rock due to carbonate loving organisms.  The resulting eerie and desolate landscape earned the location its name, Hell.  Hell has a few souvenir stores for the purchase of postcards and a post office (photo) at which to mail them home. Our next stop was the rum factory which is actually just a factory outlet store for Tortuga rum cakes and rum.  We decided to skip the next stop, a turtle farm as there was a steep entry fee and we proceeded on to watch some people swimming with the dolphins.  Watching was free but the swimming apparently cost about $150.00. On the way back to town we stopped for a view of the incorrectly named 7 Mile Beach.  It is actually 5.5 miles long though the far end is 7 miles from the town centre.  Grand Cayman is a wealthy looking island. The side we were on had condos, time shares and luxury hotels in addition to  luxury stores and all the banks.  I would like someday to see the other side where people like our tour guide probably live. I am sure that while it is probably quite nice, that it does not look at all like Georgetown. Our next ports are Aruba, Curacao and Bonaire.

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