Obviously there aren't any hardware stores at False Bluff. There's almost nothing at False Bluff except us...certainly not a hardware store.
But Bluefieds is an easy 8 miles by water from where we are on the edge of the Caribbean; and I'm glad to say that Bluefields has a lot of necessary stuff, including hardware stores.
Some of the hardware stores are small and sell no paint. Some are small and manage to sell paint anyway. Some are big - for Bluefields - and sell hardware and paint. And some of the big ones have more than one location...not far away from each other because Bluefields is too small for anything to be far away.
For instance, one of my 'go to' spots is in the center of town. This particular store has a mostly hardware location in the middle of one block with a mostly paint location right across the street from the mostly hardware location. Plus there is a third location right around the corner from both of those places. The third location of the disjointed hardware store includes a mix of heavy and big stuff - like piles of bagged concrete and cinder blocks, or 2500 liter water tanks.
Sometimes it's difficult to know that all three of these separate locations add up to one store - particularly when totally different stores are often right beside one of the three locations mentioned above...or right across the street.
And you can't buy your lumber from hardware stores regardless of what other stuff the hardware stores might deal in. You buy your lumber from a mill. But that's OK since there are a fair number of these in Bluefields as well.
The bottom line is that there's a lot of stuff for sale whether you're building from the ground up, repairing something, or renovating. And it doesn't matter if a particular part of one store sells only paint and the place you get your new water tank is right next door but owned by somebody else. It all does the job for you when you get the stuff home or to the job site.
And moving the stuff is a whole different story because if you don't own a truck or can't get a 2500 liter water tank in - or on top of - your taxi, you end up renting a truck to take the stuff where you want it to go. The multitudes of commercial carriers sitting at the sides of the roads all over town are handy. They're all waiting to be hired to haul something for you. Each of them seems to come with a driver and two helpers.
By the way...if you should end up shopping in the 'go to' spot I described above (yes, the place is real), you might be grateful for the fact that there is a cafe on the second floor of one of their locations...upstairs. It either overlooks the street or some containers of termite killer, depending on where you sit. Having a meal or just a cold drink in the cafe is a nice way to end a shopping trip....before your carrier arrives to haul your stuff wherever it needs to go.
The hardware store pictured below is one of the smaller ones and it's not in the center of town. But it's loaded with supplies...many more than are displayed in the picture.