INDEX Thursday January 6, 2022
These are cabanas, or most of them are. The remainder are bus shelters or something like bus shelters. Cabanas are found on beaches all over Grand Cayman.

Many are on private beaches, annoyingly common here. Some are in public areas provided for public use. People even hold parties in them, or so I have been told. They are vital because in these islands the sun really does beat down like a demented bongo player.

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You need to get out of the direct rays pretty quickly unless you are crazy. So bus drivers will stop to give you a lift to the bus stop you are headed for even if they are not really going your way. Many of these buses look beat up but they all have working air conditioning.

When I first arrived I decided to walk to a hardware store, a journey of about a mile. Every time I asked someone for directions they told me it could not be done. They probably meant it could not be done by someone as pink as me.

The buses are quite a remarkable system. You can see one of them passing one of the bus shelters in one of the photos. It looks like a van or a small coach. That's what they are like. Some are large and even have colour tvs. Others are beat up and make you fear for your life. The system appears to be completely anarchic. There are no timetables or fixed routes.

The drivers mostly travel set ways, but they may not get to the end of the route, or may veer off to pick up a regular passenger. Each driver seems to be an individual businessman, owning or using his (yes they are all men) vehicle completely independent of everyone else.

The bus shelters actually have nothing to do with the buses and are put up by local philanthropic organisations. The shelters have no timetables, not even destinations or times of last buses. Somehow the system works. Goodness knows how.
Jonathan Brind
January 6, 2022