Caribbean Trip. Mar 4-12

March 4

Sam, Oli, Miche and Tom, not being able to bear to stay in that room for another minute got up early and went into Charlestown, the local town, to try and find breakfast. Myself being able to withstand the heat had a good lie in. At about 12 me Tom and Miche went to the local beach in the town. It is not your typical beach as it is backed by grass, and the sand is not particularly clear. On the beach we found a number of cows strolling up and down, with some of the calves playing what almost seemed like a conscious game with the waves, whereby they would go towards the sea when a wave retreated, and then rush back away from the sea when the wave came in. It seemed as if they were having as much enjoyment as a young child would with such an activity. After walking all the way along the beach, we went back in a loop on the road past the local cricket stadium. I had been feeling a little queasy all morning and this finally came to a head on the walk back when I felt a lets say a little rushed to get back to the bathroom. With the others aware of this they decided to slow down, which almost resulted in disaster. It was decided that the room in question at Daniels was too hot to sleep in for another night so we packed up and headed to a local hotel with the main requirement being air con. I was not too happy about this as I felt fine in the other rooms that were cheaper but reluctantly agreed. We were less happy when we got there to find the room literally filled with mosquitoes, bloody hundreds of them. After killing about 50 manually we were given some bug spray for the rest. With the room fumigated we headed to a local restaurant recommended by our Taxi driver John Paris. John coincidentally worked in North Devon for a year, gaining experience in farming with Andrew Freind, which just proved what a small world it is. Pretty weird actually!!!

The place we ate was called Rodney’s aka Big Mama’s house. here we had a really good cheap meal of swordfish vegetables and traditionally made dumplings, before returning to the hotel, watching a Gordon Ramsey’s Penis double bill, and then crashing out.

March 5

Today we went to what was meant to be the best beach on the island called Oulie beach- pronounced Wa-li. It was a really nice beach, but a bit touristy as well, with the prices for everything being very much inflated. For example a small cat for the day was 250$ US, which is ridiculous. We think this may have been because in the past with the 4 seasons hotel on the island brining in very wealthy guests to the island they have not needed to drop their prices. However with the hotel being inundated by water from the last major Hurricane in 2008 resulting in closure, they have no penis, dropped their expectations. Instead we contented ourselves with reliving our childhood by building a sandcastle, with the main turret resembling a 2 foot phallus. Real nice, enjoy the photos!!! Onlookers on the beach were a little bemused, with some amused, and some less so!!

In the evening we ate at the hotel, and were fortunate enough to be there for the first round of St Kitts and Nevis‘ version of pop idol, which was essentially a large karaoke competition. There were as expect some really dire performances mixed in with t a couple of good performances. This brought a very amusing end to our time on the island, and was crowned by a high quality chicken dinner.

March 6

Our last day on the island consisted of long lie in followed by an incredibly tasty burger at the local cafe. After a couple of hours in the sea we went back to the hotel to pack up and then got by then our favourite Taxi driver John Paris to take us to the airport. After the usual bureaucracy Sam and Oli went on the first shuttle to Antigua. Although they were meant to leave at 4 some faffing around meant they did not leave until about 4.30.

It is only a 15 minute trip from Nevis to the island so it was expected that Tom would be back at about 5.30. Miche and I waited at the upstairs restaurant for Tom to return. After about an hour and 15 mins when he did not return we were getting bit worried, so we went and checked in and went through customs, so we could go straight through, and save time. The runway lights at Nevis are pretty poor, and as the sun went down and the light faded I was getting increasingly getting worried, not only because I knew Tom did not want to do a night flight over water, but because at Antigua you had to fill in specific forms for a night landing, which we had not anticipated. The sun went down and tom arrived at dusk. We ran out to the plane, packed our bags in the back, and made a rapid turn around, taking off within 15 minutes of him landing. We thought we had made it just in time. However such hopes were quickly dashed as about half way to Antigua the tower came over the radio asking us whether Tom was ILS Equipped to which he replied negative. About 2 minutes later we were told we would have to turn around and reroute to St Kitts, as we were not allowed to land at night in Antigua without this qualification. As note this was not mentioned in the guidebook, and we think may have been a temporary restriction due to Montserrat.

Being a bit annoyed at this we landed unexpectedly back in St Kitts, and returned to Trinity Inn for the night. However Oli was stranded on Antigua by himself, which I am sure he did not appreciate. I had to turn on my phone for the first time during the trip to contact him, which was an error, as I am sure that numerous texts and missed calls will definitely add to my phone bill!!

In the evening we thought we may as well make the most of our night and returned to Frigate bay, which was filled with local nursing and veterinarian students. It was quite nice to see some young people for a change. After a few beers, and a couple of interesting conversations, we returned back to Trinity for a relatively early night.

March 7

With some inclement weather heading in direction we had to take our chances to get off as soon as possible the following day. Staying for another day in St Kitts was not an option with Oli stranded. We took off with a massive storm coming and we were able to make it through the rain in Antigua before a Boeing 747 came in. Checking in was relatively seamless, and once through we got a Taxi from the airport which is on the north of the island to English Harbour which is on the south of the Island. We arrived at about 2 to be greeted by Oli at the place where we were staying ‘The Waterfront Hostel’. Waterfront is a really well run and well presented hostel overlooking the boats in the Harbour. English harbour, the town, combined with Falmouth harbour the bay, plays host during the Caribbean yachting season to the yachts of the superrich. As you will see from the photos these boats are ridiculous. The boat with the biggest mast in the world is parked here. Marbella’s mast is 98m high, a massive 320 feet. It is essentially just a statement of wealth and to put some perspective the Captain has to contact the insurance company before they put the mainsail up!! In the hostel we met a few of the locals, who are working on the super yachts in the harbour. They are a pretty chilled out people, very friendly and we have fitted in with them very well. There is a bar at the hostel, which does good cheap food, which is a relief. In the evening we went up to a point above English Harbour called Sherly heights. Back in the 1700’s this point acted as Nelson’s look out. Now you can find a local samba band and a bbq. From the top you can see an amazing sunset, after dark the yachts lit up in quite an array, and in the distance Montserrat.

After this we headed down to the local bar called mad mongoose, where we had a very enjoyable first night on the island with our new friends.

March 8

It would seem as though we have been doing a lot of drinking in recent times, and this would probably largely be true, but frankly if you are in the Caribbean it would be rude not to indulge in a few rum cocktails. Today we chilled out and after breakfast at the hostel headed down to the beach, which is just over the hill from English Harbour. Antigua is meant to have some of the most stunning beaches in the Caribbean, and although Pigeon Beach is not among the top beaches it is still beautiful. Set in the bay there are hardly any waves whatsoever, and the water is incredibly clear. This was definitely a chill out day, and we really needed one. In the evening we stayed at the hostel and watched a couple of episodes of family guy. Real nice.

March 9

St John is the main city or town on the island, and like on St Kitts and Nevis you can access it easily by bus. Oli, Miche and I headed in early without Tom as he had kindly agreed to take a friend of ours we met at the hospital to buzz over his sister who was finishing her rowing transatlantic crossing. We had been warned to keep our wits about us in St John, and such sentiment was justified about 10 minutes after we got off the bus, when an angry man walked across the street in front of us, and confronted another local with a rather large knife. It is easy to find trouble in a place like this but if you don’t go looking for it you should be alright. We went first to some of the local markets and then on to the Museum of Antigua and Barbuda. Here we learnt all about the geographical and cultural evolution of the island which was very interesting and also saw Sir Viv Richards old bat in which he made what was then the fastest century in test cricket. Feeling a bit too much like tourists we then went to buy some post cards and local t-shirts, before heading to the Roti king which is famed for its Roti’s, a local Caribbean cuisine which is essentially curried vegetables and meat wrapped in a chick pea tortilla.

March 10

Today was another relatively lazy day, with the lot of us feeling a bit tired for some reason, We rose late and then after lunch went down to the beach again for another swim. In the evening we had been planning to have a chilled out evening. However this quickly changed when we invited to a dock party by some of the local crew we had met. Where we are staying English Harbour is essentially the super yacht hub of the Caribbean as I said earlier, with a ridiculous amount of wealth floating about. The Yacht Etheral which is about 150 feet in length was leaving for the season, and it is always tradition that these boats throw a leaving party. This particular party was held between Etheral and a ridiculously big powerboat worth 186 million called the Alfa Nero. http://www.liveyachting.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/Alfa-Nero-Photo-Credit-Monaco-Yacht-Spotter…jpg

It was good to mingle with the crew and discover what their lives are like, as it has given me some insight into the possibilities for the summer months. After a couple of beers and a rum punch we wondered along to dock to our friend Sam’s boat the Juliet. The owner of which was one of the main investors in Google and the owner of Sun Micro systems. Juliet is a simply stunning sailing boat and with the best part of £5 million of art alone such floating wonders do boggle the mind. Sam showed us around the boat which holds a maximum of 12 guests. Simply put a beautiful creation. After the dock party we went to the yacht club, which was throwing on a party, which we enjoyed very much indeed.

March 11

We had hoped today to take a Car around the island, but due to the lack of sleep and slight headache, the day was another lazy one with nothing of real note to report. Miche really was not feeling too well from the night before and she had also caught a bug so was laid low for the day.

March 12

Having booked the car the day before we had no choice but to take the car for the day today. We took a Suzuki Vitara, which is a soft top so we put the roof down and ten went for a cruise around the island. First we went to the Airport so that Tom could pay the mechanic who had fixed the landing light on the plane. This took quite a while as all the ATM’s were temporarily out of action and we had to go to the bank of Antigua to get some cash out. From here we drove to Jolly Harbour, which is on the west of the Island. After a quick Pizza and a look around the harbour we headed along the coast and then up a road called fig tree drive which winds through the mountainous area of the country. This was to take us to our next destination of Half Moon bay, which is meant to be one of the best beaches on the island, as well as have some of the best snorkelling. Miche was still feeling pretty ill, so Tom Oli and I went to for a swim only to see a large shadow in the water, which turned out to be a large Barracuda. We stayed in the water for a while but it was not that appetizing after we saw the Barracuda.

No Responses to “Caribbean Trip. Mar 4-12”

  1. Anne Says:

    Great to finally get your news, looks like it has been held up along the line, sounds like you are all still having fun,where next?
    Anne xxx

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