Tuesday, October 22, 2013

To St. James's Club By Bus

A couple weeks ago, my sister, my mom and I played hookie from day to day living and went on a day pass at St. James's Club. It was only this year that I discovered the lovely experience called the day pass. For a fraction of the regular price of a room and for about $100 EC each, we got to take advantage of all the resort had to offer and a very nice room. The only concern we had was how to get there.

As you can see from the google map below, St. James is nowhere near a bus stop. The closest bus stop is in Cobbs Cross.

View St. James By Bus in a larger map

We knew that when we hopped on a #17 bus, Bus #87 and we figured that we would find our way to St. James's somehow. The bus didn't have much people and the atmosphere was light and jovial. We travelled through All Saints, Liberta and Falmouth.

As we approached the Cobbs Cross bus stop, we called out the stop and prepared ourselves to work out how we were going to make it to the resort. As I paid the fare, I asked the bus driver if he knew how to get to St. James's from Cobbs Cross. He told us he could take us, if we paid a little extra. He went on to tell us to name the price and in the end we paid him $27 EC for the entire ride from the center of the island to St. James for 3 people. Sounded good to us.

 ..most bus drivers are willing to take passengers wherever they want for a little more money.

On the drive to the resort, the bus driver informed us that most bus drivers are willing to take passengers wherever they want for a little more money. If you ask nicely they will do you the favour. This is not the first time I've heard this, in fact one bus driver told me that some buses would act as taxis if the price is right.

Because they were not expecting us in a bus, we had to enter St. James at the gate. The only problem with this is we had to walk the full length of the property to reach the reception desk. Trust me this was not the Front Desk. 

After checking in, we had breakfast. In my case, a huge breakfast - pancake, sausages, an omellette with almost everything in it, fruits. Yum. This was followed with going to the room and letting the sleepiness of eating to much run it's course.

It wasn't long before I was itching to leave the indoors and have a bit of fun. With sister in tow, I went to the bar by the pool. We ordered the drink of the day, Blue Horizon, which was mixed to perfection. And although we ate, we still got a bit tipsy so we took a walk around the property to sober up.

On our walk, we were offered a few pieces of coconut from a little blonde boy with blue eyes. We walked along the coast and found what I believe is Antigua's smallest beach. We found ourselves at watersports, so we decided to go out on the paddleboat. Let's just say we are not in shape and we found ourselves taking breaks every few minutes. All in all good fun, we even took pictures of the resort from the water.

Back on land, we sought out the bar and got a couple of beers. We then went and played pool, which was a smart move because it was hot, even the sand under our feet was hot. Not only did we play pool, we played our version of ping pong which meant we spent more time running after the ball than hitting it.

Having had our fun out of the water, we decided it was time to get wet. We went back to the room and threw on our swim suits. We continued to explore the property by going in the other direction. We found a small pool near to a restaurant and we set up camp.

It was an hour or so later that we started to get hungry. We gathered up our things and went to the restaurant. We ordered a late, boozy lunch and ate while being entertained by the staff bantering with each other.

By the time we were finished, we were relaxed by being in the water and having a big lunch. We made our way to the room, taking a different route from the one we took before. When we got to the room, we crashed in the bed. The unfortunate thing was I was too tired to sleep.

In the end, we watched a crazy zombie movie which ended just when we were to check out. We gathered up our things and made our way to reception. The only concern: How are we going to get off the property?

Luck would have it that my sister someone she knew who was leaving at that moment. She asked her if she could give us a ride to the bus stop and she said sure. In fact she gave us a ride to Liberta.

We did have to wait a while before a bus arrived, but we were just happy that we were somewhere where we could get a bus. In less than 10 minutes, we were in walking distance to home.

Although I had heard of day passes, I never thought to go on one. A few of the bigger hotels have them, St. James's, Verandah, Sandals. To find out, ask someone who works at a major hotel or call the hotel and ask. Not only are they great for locals, visitors can take advantage of them. You can stay at one property and go on a day pass at another.

To see more pics of our adventure at St. James's visit the Facebook page and the St. James's album.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

FaceBook Love

When I started Bus Stop Antigua, the purpose was to provide information that I found was lacking. What I was surprised to receive was emails from users of the site asking for specific information. It was to the degree that I was getting emails almost every month.

The thing is I've worked in retail for over 15 years so it is natural for me to ensure I meet my customers' needs. When I get a question, I try to answer it to the best of my ability. I even got in contact with the Antigua & Barbuda Transport Board to answer an email.

As this is the case, I answered an email from Natalie, doing my best to answer fully. As usual, I do it and move on to the next thing. Then a few days later my sister tells me there is a mention of Bus Stop Antigua on the FaceBook page, Customer Service in Antigua & Barbuda. She and another person sent me a FB message mentioning the mention.

To say I was pleasantly surprised is an understatement. I thanked Natalie on the post, not only was I not expecting it but it brought attention to the website. I always believed in word of mouth, it may be slow but it is effective.

I just wanted to share even though I think I'm rambling. Hee hee.

Thanks again Natalie.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Jamaican Bus Driver - Joke

Ever wonder what it would be like if Jamaican buses were set up like airlines, with the flight attendant and captain giving safety instructions? 
Bus driver speaking on the intercom:  Welcome to Bus numba 40 running from Papine to Down Town Kingston.  Please direct yuh attention to di ConDucta who will instruc' yuh on our safety and model features. 
ConDucta:  Hail up massive!  We want yuh fi know dat yuh a ride pon di safes' bus dat run pon di Papine to Downtown route.  The moggle of our bus is a 1980 Encava, own and operate by Rough Rider transports.  Dis moggle can survive any adversities an' cantravasies.  As unnu can si dis bus get nuff lick up an' bad man shot it up nuff time  an' it still a drive like new! 
This bus seat up to 55 passenger, howeva, due to fi we commitment to excellent service, we no leave anybady straddling ina di streets.  So expect to 'ave up to 140 people in yah by di time we reach downtown.
Durin' di journey we may encounta unexpected turbulences.......... dese are known as pot holes. In di case of a sudden bump please refrain fram bawlin' out "Lard Jesus mi dead now!"  Our driva is an experience driva an' will mek sure di axle an' wheel noh bruck aff ina one a dem.  But in case we drap inna one an ca'an come out. 
Please do not climb troo di window dem til unnu pay unnu bus fare....... or I will shat unnu r*ss wid mi 45. 
Dis bus no equip wid seat belt.  Please hole on pon di railin' when dibus a tun di cana dem.  De bus is capable of drivin' pon 2 wheels 'roun' all canas an' bends.  When di bus a tun one wicked cana pon 2 wheelie, wi ask dat we seated passengers bear it if s'maddy slide dung inna dem seat an' squash yuh 'gainst di bus side.  We seated passengers may experience standin' passengers losin' dem balance an' falling ova pon unnu ... please no yell out, "ey batty bway, coom aff a mi r*ss lap!"  Dat might cause a serious shootout! 
On exiting de bus please don' expect di bus to come to a full stop.  Wi askin' dat yuh hop aff a di bus an' step skillfull .... if unnu drap an' lan' pon unnu backside an' bruck sinting, Rough Rider noh response. 
Dis is NOT a non-stop journey.  As a matta a fact wi stop any which part wi waan fi stop, at every yaad gate - all ina miggle road wi stop.  Howeva dis bus noh stop fi police  ... in case of an unexpected police  chase, the driva will be forced to increase de bus' normal speed from 100 mph to 160 mph.  Yuh will be instructed to hole on tight an shet unnu mout. 
In case dis bus is hijacked by a teroris' known as "Pickpocket", hole di bway an' murda 'im, to r*ss.  Dat said, if wi reach downtown inna wan piece please prepare fi new passenger fi shoob unnu dung before unnu can get aff  Noh mine dem ..... seat kina ration. 
Tank yuh for tekin' di iriest Rough Rider Encava pon di route.... and  hope you enjoy di ride. 


source of joke: www.carnex.com  

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Toughest Place to be a Bus Driver

This morning, just before leaving the house, I saw the commercial for a show that caught my interest. It was called "Toughest Place to be a Bus Driver". As I left the house I decided I had to see what this was all about. I hoped on my trusty internet and looked it up.

"Toughest Place to be a Bus Driver" is one of three documentaries that aired on BBC Two in the United Kingdom in February 2011. The other two were centered around a Paramedic and a Midwife. The shows were such a success that they came back in early and mid 2012 and mid and early 2013.

 The first "Toughest Place to be a Bus Driver" had London bus driver, Josh West , traveling to Manilla in the Philippines to take up his new job as a Jeepney driver on some of the most congested streets in the world.

 If you think driving in Antigua is hair raising, check out the documentary below.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Bus Stop Antigua 2.0

After four months since its launch, Bus Stop Antigua will be meeting one of its major milestones of providing detailed bus information. As of June 15th, 2013, visitors to the site will be able to choose both their point of origin and their final destination. Upon submitting their start and end villages, town and/or residential areas, a table will be generated showing
  • The bus(es) to take;
  • The bus fare(s), including regular, child and night fare(s);
  • The transfer location with links that open maps of the location showing the bus stops.

It is the aim of Bus Stop Antigua to become Antigua's #1 website for local public transportation. In the months to come Bus Stop Antigua will be introducing new features which will make bus travel in Antigua easy and simple.

So jump on a bus and enjoy the ride with Bus Stop Antigua.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Bus Route Of The Week

Planning on visiting the town of Parham? The following route is the route for you. 

This route makes stops in the following villages and residential areas:
  • Factory Road 
  • St. Johnson's Village
  • Potters
  • Paynters
  • Old Sugar Factory
  • Cedar Hill
  • Vernons
  •  Parham

 About Parham Town 

Parham is a town on the north-east coast of Antigua, with a population of 1,276 (2001 census).[1] It is the oldest town in the country (established in 1632) and was once the capital. Parham is built upon Parham Harbour, a well-protected anchorage.

Information gotten from Wikipedia.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Movie Night Pick - The Dark Knight


As you can see, I'm more a fan of the Joker than Batman in this movie. Actually he is the main reason I bought the DVD, but the reason The Dark Knight was listed as a Movie Night Pick is the first scene. Don't remember the scene? Well this should give you a reminder:

It's sad that Heath Ledger died, he was a great actor as he was able to pull this character off so well that you saw pass the fact that it was Heath Ledger, you saw the Joker and the Joker drove this movie.

What I'm loving:
  • The action, they went all out with the action;
  • The Joker
  • Morgan Freeman, cool with strong moral ethics; I loved how he handled the worker who was going to snitch
  • The vehicles were sexy;
  • The Joker's humour;
Check out the trailer below 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Five Tips For Bus Travel In Antigua

Although the amount of registered vehicles in Antigua is in the tens of thousands, a lot of people still depend on public transportation to travel around Antigua. Below are five tips to keep in mind on you next journey by bus:
  1. Always allow extra time for travel. Depending on your final destination, give yourself at least 30 minutes of travel time. This will include walking to the bus stop, waiting for the bus, traveling by bus and walking to your final destination. Nothing is worse than arriving late because you underestimated the time it will take to get there.
  2. Upon enter a bus, greet the passengers and the bus driver with a "Good morning" "Good afternoon" or "Good evening" This is out of common decency and respect for your fellow passengers. It also shows that you still possess the manners you mama taught you.
  3. Keep your music to yourself. Although the speaker quality on the latest cellular phones have gotten better, it doesn't mean you have to share your music with your fellow passengers. The only person who has the right to blast their music in a bus is the bus driver and sometimes his selections are questionable. Your personal choice of music is just that - personal - so use ear buds.
  4. Use ear buds instead of headphones. Although big, chunky headphones are fashionable right now, it's better to travel with ear buds. Ear buds are lighter and take up less space and it is easier to have only one in your ear as opposed to the chunky headphones. You should always be aware of your surroundings as you never know when something will happen and you would have to act quickly. This would be near impossible if you can't hear.
  5. When in doubt give the bus driver a little more than the bus fare. For short trips you can give him $3 and for longer ones $4 (during the day) when you are not absolutely sure of the bus fare. It's better to have them give you back change than have the whole bus waiting for you to pull out extra change.
For many people living in Antigua, traveling by bus is a necessity. It is their only way of getting to and from work and/or school. It also gives individuals a sense of freedom and independence as they don't have to depend on family and friends to drive them around.

Friday, March 15, 2013

The Best & The Worst

Everyone in Antigua has had an encounter with the buses that make up our public transportation system. Be it through being a passenger or by sharing the road with them as a driver. Some of these encounters have been great and some have been worst that awful. Because of this, Bus Stop Antigua presents The Best and The Worst.

We invite nominations for the best and worst buses on the roads of Antigua. This will lead to voting online and from the votes, we will identify the best and worst buses in Antigua and the runner ups.

Nominations start on March 15, 2013 and end on March 31, 2013. Voting will start on April 1, 2013 and end on April 15, 2013. For more information, visit The Best & The Worst page.

So if you have a bus that you love or always travel on, nominate it. If there is a bus you will never travel on, nominate it. And if you have a great or awful experience on a bus, post it on our FaceBook page, www.facebook.com/busstopanu.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Antigua on YouTube


There is no denying it, with the help of the internet small island folk have an opportunity of showing their talents on the world stage. One way of doing this is through YouTube. According to YouTube,

Founded in February 2005, YouTube allows billions of people to discover, watch and share originally-created videos. YouTube provides a forum for people to connect, inform, and inspire others across the globe and acts as a distribution platform for original content creators and advertisers large and small.
So who is on YouTube from the small island nation of Antigua & Barbuda? Here is a brief list of Antiguan YouTubers:
This is just a short list and there are even more. Do you know an Antiguan YouTuber? Send me their name and a link to add to the list. 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Movie Night Pick - Fast Five

Out of all the Fast & the Furious films, I have only seen two from start to finish, The Fast and The Furious: Tokyo Drift and Fast Five. I will be honest, I did like both movies but I liked Fast Five more. Actually the only thing I liked about Tokyo Drift was the Asian guy who was in the original movies. I know I should be hating on these movies because the portray women as eye candy with the shortest and tightest of clothing, but then the male eye candy makes of for it.

What I find funny is the way that these characters come back to life, the Asian guy died in Tokyo Drift, but there he was healthy and cool in Fast Five. Then in the new movie the Girl Fight chica comes back to life after dying in the Fast and the Furious 4. I can't wait to see what spin they put on her death because in this movie they acknowledged that she was dead.

Anyhoo, back to this movie night pick:

What I'm loving:
  • The action, they went all out with the action;
  • The actors, partly for their acting, partly for their je ne sait quoi;
  • The cars, I won't even go into them because I would need a whole post;
  • The twist in the story line, it kept the movie going;
  • The scenes of Brazil, which was both gritty and beautiful;
Check out the trailer below:

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Golden Moments

Growing up, my family only had ABS, Antigua & Barbuda Broadcasting Station, and although I was able to still find something to watch, one of my memories of that station is the Benson & Hedges 555 Commercials. It's amazing I never picked up the desire to smoke, LOL. That is one of the funny things about life, 25 years ago there would be commercials for cigarettes and now you can't smoke in buildings and packs of cigarettes display warning labels that cover half of the package. It's also amazing that people still smoke despite those warnings.

Forgive me I meander a lot. I mentioned the Benson & Hedges commercial because it had a woman coming out of the ocean, bathed in golds and browns. Then a couple months ago, my sis and I were at the beach, and the sun was setting. In that moment our little patch of paradise became a Benson & Hedges commercial. Sometimes life imitates art and we just have to stop and enjoy that moment in time because there is no guarantee that you will have it again.

I couldn't find the exact 555 commercial, but here are a couple I found on YouTube

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Traveling by bus in Antigua

Traveling by bus in Antigua. Here is a clip posted on You Tube by Jamil Vanderlinde.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Movie Night Pick - Speed

Hi all, let me start off by saying I am a huge movie buff and I was thinking to myself:
"Self, why don't we have a movie night pick based on transportation? And why don't we start it off with the 1994 blockbuster Speed?"
 I am not going to lie, I am a Sandra Bullock fan and when this movie came out I was loving it. But you know what? You know when you remember something from your child fondly and then you watch it now only to feel old or wonder what you were thinking. I almost feel the same about this movie, check out the trailer:

What I'm loving:
  • The action sequences,
  • The actors: Keanu Reeves, Sandra Bullock, Dennis Hopper and Jeff Daniels (Dumb and Dumber)
  • The cheesy lines, especially the last line 
  • The fact that this was a great example of what a 90's action was
 I can appreciate action movies now because this shows what it was like back then and they have come a long way. Just imagine almost 20 years ago this was a big budget movie, now compare it to Fast Five or the Avengers. I'm just saying. For more info on Speed, click here.

If Keanu Reeves was such a bad actor, why come he gets the big movies, i.e. Speed, The Matrix. I'm just saying. Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Introduction of Bus Stop Antigua

First of all, welcome to Bus Stop Antigua and thank you for visiting the blog. What is Bus Stop Antigua? you ask. It is your one stop for all information related to traveling around Antigua via bus. It was borne from the realization that I knew nothing about the local public transportation with the exception of traveling from where I lived to town, St. John's and back.

Over a one year period, my car had been repossessed twice, was out of commission at least once or was needed by a family member. I had to rely on public transportation and it was in these situations that I realized I didn't know the following
  • The bus numbers to take to get to where I live from St. John's
  • The cost of the fare to travel from where I live to St. John's
  • The cost of the fare to travel at night
  • At what time it was considered night
 It was late 2012, when I was talking with family members that I realized that I was not the only person who knew very little about traveling around Antigua by bus. It was also in that moment that the idea for Bus Stop Antigua came to be.

Who is Bus Stop Antigua for? It's for you,
  • the local who may drives or have been driven who now finds themselves without a vehicle;
  • the new resident who is still trying to make their way around Antigua;
  • the visitor who is either looking for a cheaper way to travel around Antigua or wants to have an adventure and really see life through the eyes of the locals;
  • the local who only knows their bus home but wants to visit a different village.
 The website is simple to use, just select the village or residential area from the drop down menu on the homepage or the top right hand corner of all the pages. You will be directed to the appropriate bus route or a page that will give you options of  bus routes. Bus Stop Antigua is a work in progress so expect to find new features as we grow.

What should you expect from this blog? Expect interesting information such as the following:
  • Pictures taken around Antigua;
  • Monthly looks at books written by Antiguan writers;
  • Information on what's going on in Antigua;
  • Fun stuff produced by Antiguans
  • Updates on the Bus Stop Antigua site
So to keep up to date on all things Bus Stop Antigua, subscribe to the blog, like the Facebook page and follow on Twitter.