October 9, 2010... Cricket!

We'd heard a fairly indistinct radio advertisement for a festival this weekend. Always interested in doing something not specifically geared to cruisers, we started asking local people about this festival. Bingo -- the Spice Sports Rhythm and Food Fest at Progress Park. Food? Music? We're in. Oh - and cricket. Our cricket viewing experience is quite limited but we were willing to give it a chance. We had no clue where Progress Park was but that it was somewhere near Grenville; #2W bus whisked us away. One more bus and there it was -- cricket being played by teenagers already underway.

The highlight of the day was yet to come -- an 'oldtimers' game, retired professionals -- West Indies vs. International (the latter we were told primarily Aussies, Kiwis, and Brits.) Sitting under tents getting out of the brutal sun, we were surrounded by people who wanted to make sure we were having a good time and that we understood what was going on. (We got the basics... the nuances were definitely beyond us... but according to the announcer, those 6-point hits were all 'lovely'!) One man who was a former player (first bowler, to be specific) was thrilled to be seeing some of the greats he used to watch in his youth. The kids we talked with were excited to be watching them too; they told us that this was a very good match. There were some acrobatic catches and the bowlers' choreography of their pitches was pretty impressive. The banter between the crowd and the fielders standing nearby was pretty funny too. The beauty of the setting at the Park was that all the oldtimers were available to talk with people after the match -- no walls -- just walk right over. BTW -- West Indies won.

The food part of the festival was setting up as the match finished (many vendors were those at Gouyave on Friday nights) but we were hungry all day, so we ate FANTASTIC corn soup sold by the only vendor there earlier. This soup was seasoned with terrific curry spices and had chickpeas, onion, and greens in addition to slices of corn on the cob in the soup. It was so good, we went back a second time. Snack vendors walked through the tents selling peanuts and plantain chips -- just like a ball game in America!

Live music started after the match too -- we couldn't stay long as we had to get buses back to the boat -- but we're certain those who stayed had a great time -- the beat followed us out to the road. We loved our day out. Enjoy the live action shots from the festival!

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