‘Floating’ on the Rio Grande
If you are vacationing in Portland, it is almost impossible not to go rafting on the Rio Grande. An almost two-hour ride on bamboo rafts, guided by well-trained raft captains, is an experience that would reveal the picturesque hinterlands of the parish.
During the tour, it is likely that you will come across the Floating Bar, which is owned and operated by Glen 'Danny' Jervis.
Last week, when our news team visited the area, the Rastaman, who is also a raft captain, was busy stocking his igloo with ice and beverages to serve to his customers.
"I am selling on the river from my bar from beer a sell for $22 a crate, and now, is more than $3,000. I used to take up the raft at the bottom of the river when the tourists go down, and mi realise say nuff a dem always want a refreshing drink, so the idea came about over 35 five years ago," he said, adding that he also sells souvenirs, like mini rafts.
Although the decision to start the business didn't take much thought, Jervis told THE STAR that visitors often commend him on his creativity.
"People are usually very impressed with the bar and say I am very creative. I think just buying a drink while rafting is what adds to the experience. They could all make their purchase before coming on the raft, but a lot of them prefer to buy it on the water," he said.
And when the sales are slow, Jervis does not throw in his bamboo. Instead, he goes back to being a raft captain.
The Rio Grande, he said, provides income for dozens of persons within the parish.
"I have five kids, and this job is very instrumental in sending them to school. One of the time, is three a dem mi did a send one time to high school. Nah go tell no lie, some days, mi don't sell anything at all. From day, is just a Pepsi mi sell, but mi give thanks same way. However, there are other days when I have to refill my igloo, so days like that can fill in when times get bad. Everyone eat a food from this river, even if is from catching mussels and crayfish," he said.