Monday, August 10, 2015

And We're Off - The Official Start to Carnival

Grenada Spicemas has been going on for weeks with events and competitions, but this morning was the official kickoff with J'Ouvert - Opening Day.

We were all up early with the pounding Soca and Calypso beats that never really stopped all night, but 4:30am found us all out on the street in our oldest t-shirts and shorts and all ready for the what the morning would bring.

The beer trucks, the soap truck, thousands of revellers all crammed into the main street along the bay, starting right outside the marina.  The music blared, the beat was infectious and as the sun slowly rose, all was revealed.

Street dancing and lots of opportunity for a dry hump with anyone going by.
Pretty soon the paint and old motor oil made an appearance.

Skin glistens as the oiling begins.

Look carefully and you will see a piece of salt fish clenched in his teeth.  The oil was originally used to disguise the appearance of the reveller and salt fish is used in the national dish of "Oil Down".

The most frenzied groups drag chains through the street - representing the broken bond of slavery.

Costumes of all sorts - taking a page from the French masquerade.
As the sun rose higher and hotter, the party became more and more colourful as paint was shared indiscriminately among all.

Mike & Rebecca

Codey, Marie, Allen, Kim, Kathy - med students in the making but embracing Carnival today!

Sue's colour is definitely lime green.

Gotcha Dave!

Quick, stop the beer truck, we're thirsty.

Oh, you want us to turn around for a photo op - we're busy!

Lookin' good Dave & Andy with a new friend.

Not sure why, but this looked particularly fun.  Grease up the inside of the tire, two sticks and off you go!

Then I noticed the similarity to the activity - notice the 'street dancing' (called Wining) going on to the left?  Basically the same position.
The crowd was starting to get hungry so the food stalls were dishing up a fast trade.

Fried chicken almost ready.  Given this flaming pot of oil was right by the sidewalk with party-goers covered in oil, not sure what the safety folks would say back home.

Finally, we turned back to where The Merry Baker knew just what we wanted - Build A Burger Breakfast!

Gwen & Guillaume, painted like tropical birds but Guillaume's still not taking his eyes off his breakfast.

Andy, Nigel, Dave, Sue, Malcolm, Jeff, Catherine, Judy, Alex & Gwen.

Now we have everyone together but too many to name!

The Port Louis Marina laid on a hose and soap for us to shower down - it became a communal scrub-down which definitely saved the bathrooms and boats from a huge mess.  Now, off to rest up for the parade tonight.