The Cayman Islands may be small, but what they lack in size they certainly make up for in their ability to throw a damn good party - and I'd say that goes for most of the Caribbean! Aside from Pirates Week, Cayman's National Festival, the island also hosts it's own carnival, known as Batabano, every May and it's coming up this weekend! The colorful highlight on the Cayman event calendar draws it's name from it's turtling heritage - the word "Batabano" refers to the tracks left in the sand by sea turtles as they crawl onto the beach to nest :) Turtles nesting is about all the excuse that people around here need to throw a massive party and that's exactly what Batabano Carnival is. A kaleidoscope of costumes, music, dancing and having fun.
You have two options on Batabano weekend - don a costume and hit the road with the parade as part of one of the bands, or take to the sidelines to cheer and enjoy the spectacle as the chain of floats works it's way from West Bay to George Town.
If you're going for the latter option (like me) you need to chose your spectating venue in advance. Popular haunts last year were Peppers Smokehouse (I really need to get down there to try the ribs that everyone keeps talking about), Craft and Lonestar.
Get there early to claim your vantage spot.
And enjoy a few drinks before you catch your first glimpses of the colourful revellers!
Led by the sponsors, other floats stream in behind, and you can spot some familiar faces!
So my top tips for Batabano?
1. GROUP MENTALITY RULES: Have a clear strategy and a core group of people that you stick with all day. Whether you're taking part or spectating, there's nothing worse than getting lost in a crowd.
2. TAKE THE DAY OFF. You don't want to be trying to perform every day tasks when the rest of the island is having a party.
3. TRUST THE PROFESSIONALS and leave your valuables at home.
4. HAVE FUN!
Are you taking part this year? See you on da road!