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This is an island with over a hundred rum shops and only one gasoline station – Frances Kay, Carriacou.
Carriacou is enchanting. The inhabitants live by farming, fishing, and seafaring, and must number among the friendliest in the Caribbean. Just about everywhere in Carriacou is of interest, but Windward should definitely be part of your tour, as should the road running from Windward to the north end of the island. Windward is the traditional center of boatbuilding, made famous by the documentary Vanishing Sail, and it is here that you can see the fishing fleet arrive under sail. If you cannot afford a taxi, take a bus over to Windward and hike. Closer to town, a destination with a great view is the hospital, which sits high on the hill overlooking Hillsborough Bay.
Carriacou has lovely anchorages, pleasant hiking, marinas, yacht services, dive shops, and entertaining bars, restaurants, and cafes.
The island has no natural source of water, besides rainwater, which is often in short supply, especially in the dry season. Please be respectful and conserve water when you can.
Hillsborough is a pleasant town built on a lovely beach. As you walk down the main street, you catch glimpses of the sea through gaps between the buildings. Hillsborough is a good anchorage, with the marine park right nearby. You can also visit by hopping on one of the frequent buses that run between Tyrrel Bay and Hillsborough (fare $3.50). You will find good restaurants and shops, a local market, and you can pop into the tourist office for maps and information, including cultural events.
For pets that need attention, there is a good animal hospital, run by Katherine and Nadine, and if you need attention, Carriacou Health Services (CHS) brings in specialists (including a dentist) on various days of the week, and can do tests. They take walk-ins for emergencies but otherwise call ahead. The local hospital has a commanding view of the bay, and Carriacou has a doctor.
Tyrrel Bay is large, well-protected, and very popular with cruisers. The taking of mangrove oysters is no longer allowed, so do not buy any.
Businesses line the waterfront. A road separates them from the sea. The shore was once thickly wooded with manchineel and sea grapes. Most were cut down to increase the visibility between the boats and the businesses. When Hurricane Lenny threw record-breaking swells into the bay, it devastated the unprotected shoreline and destroyed much of the road, turning several properties into beachfront real estate. The government then built the big seawall that now lines the waterfront. The trees are coming back.
There are many restaurants and quite a few yachts services here.