THE EDITOR: Recent visits to Stollmeyer’s Castle and Maracas Bay provided contrasting experiences that are worthy of mention.
First of all, Stollmeyer’s Castle has been immaculately restored and maintained, including the fabulous garden. To top it off, there are ongoing art exhibitions there which highlight the rich tapestry of local artistic talent.
The event I attended was to highlight two locally made movies, one by Christopher Laird on Peter Minshall’s 1976 Carnival band Paradise Lost, and the other by Dr Kim Johnson on the “Dragon Man” from Cocorite who teaches children stilt walking. Both movies were really well produced.
We can now hope that Minshall still has some artistic firepower in that eclectic brain of his just waiting to remind us that true genius never sleeps for long.
On some levels Johnson’s movie on the dragon school was even more intriguing, as this sector of the arts has the potential to guide so many young people away from the in-your-face habits of destruction to a place of positive endeavour and entertainment.
So, after a wonderful evening of artistic entertainment I ventured to Maracas Bay with a visitor from Canada. It was a hot and sunny Saturday morning when we arrived and paid our $30 to park in the largely empty car park.
It would appear that the lack of patronage for the official car park is because visitors are allowed to park for free along the road, in spite of the No Parking signs, with absolutely no redress.
As we made our way to the beach we were accosted by a number of beach chair and umbrella rental operators who were busy banging metal stakes into the sand everywhere to erect their umbrellas.
The beach itself was littered with every manner of garbage including crown corks, cigarette butts, and plastic of all kinds. There were two large pieces of concrete jutting out from the sand near where we sat, which would cause serious damage to anyone tripping and falling on them.
The vendor huts and washrooms have zero aesthetic value and look more like mini detention centres. There are a number of dead coconut trees, with the stumps and roots left to infect the beach, which obviously is never cleaned or raked.
Maybe we should get the people who take care of Stollmeyer’s Castle to manage Maracas Bay, as in its current state it can only be classified as a slum.