Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands 

5 Activities And Must Do’s While Chillin’ In The Grand Caymans.  

It was one of those typical fall days in Vancouver – rain pelting against the pavement, a dark hum resonating over the mountains and me staring out of my glass tower wishing for something more. I powered down all my devices at work, walked to the elevator and waited to be taken out of this dread. As I was about to open my umbrella for the umpteenth time, my phone vibrated with a message from a friend in Calgary, “Want to join a friend and I in The Cayman’s in a few weeks for a week? We have a free place to crash as I have a buddy who lives there.” Without hesitation, I scurried back up to the 5th floor, waited for a response from Kurt with a few questions I had, then asked my boss for a week off. Like that, I was off to the Caymans.

Arriving in the Caribbean heat and smells of humid tropic air was a welcome relief. After grabbing our small bags that consisted of swimsuits and not much else, we proceeded through customs. This must have been my 117th time going through a country’s border control and the first time they called to confirm with the person we were to stay with if that was indeed true. Literally, she pulled out her cell phone and made the call right there. Good thing we were truthful on the form.

Our week was a whirlwind of activities – parasailing, snorkeling, stingray swimming, dolphin riding, booze cruising, beach bar drinking and plenty of eating. We were lucky as most of our activities were comped (friends in high places!), but would have happily paid as we would not have wanted to miss out on all the excitement.

Highlights of our week:

7 MILE BEACH

This long stretch of sand which is bright white against the melding blue and green colors of the sea is one of the most revered beaches in the Caribbean. While here, we drank cocktails at the beach bars, snorkeled in the sea and played volleyball with the locals. One afternoon we parasailed through the sky and later boarded a sunset catamaran cruise.

GEORGE TOWN

The town to buy souvenirs, set up an offshore bank account and go on a rum distillery tour. This is the hub where the cruise ships passengers disembark. So if mingling with a boatload of tourists (pun intended) is not your thing, avoid during busier times.

STINGRAY CITY

Stingray city is a must activity for anyone who is comfortable swimming with flat, slippery, long-tailed ‘thingies.’ A boat tour takes you to a shallow sandbar, where you hop into thigh high water and ‘play’ with the rays. I took a literal leap of faith into the waters but screamed the moment they swam over my body. A lady instructed her son to not come near. I didn’t blame her. I immediately got back into the boat and admired from afar. When we moved locations to snorkel, I put on my life vest and hopped back in. No stingrays around only small, serene fish.

EAST END & RUM POINT

We rented a car and drove east to quieter beaches, mellower beach bars and to get close to the blow holes. We began the morning at Rum Point where I asked a couple if I could try out their paddle board. Five minutes of paddling along flat blue Listerine colored waters was super relaxing. So to amp it up, we headed to the blow holes to get wet by the spouting water. After, we found a seaside restaurant and devoured conch and alligator fritters, conch ceviche and rum ice-cream for dessert.

SWIMMING WITH DOLPHINS

This one of the most popular activities on the island and one that I thoroughly enjoyed. However, now that I have watched the documentary Black Fish about whales in captivity, I look back on these photos of me kissing and riding with the dolphins as a bit disappointing and sad. I can’t lie, it was a cool experience, but one that I most likely won’t partake in again.

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