Friday 10 February: Nevis
Today was our last full day in St Kitts so we decided to make a second trip to Nevis. It is renowned for its walking trails and we reckoned that it would be worth trying out some of the paths on offer at the Golden Rock Plantation Inn.
Walking down from Bird Rock to Basseterre felt a bit too hot, the wind dropped, there was full sun and we caught a minibus for the last half mile.
Despite this, we still were going for this hike into the rainforest. We got a bus from Charlestown which took us just outside the Golden Rock Plantation Inn. The Inn produces leaflet guides for a couple of hikes in the forest. We opted for going towards the source of Nevis’ water, following the pipe up Nevis Peak. We were given sticks for the walk, and at first, with a wide track, it seemed they might be superfluous. But half way up there is a sign saying enter at you own risk, and indeed, the path narrows, becoming much more steep. Entering a valley, we descended some green mossy steps into Rivendell type scenery. We were climbing
again, following the pipe still, through some pretty hairy terrain, one slip, which is easy to do on muddy slopes, and it would be curtains: a rocky swirl pool below was not a place to bounce into. We reached a collection point for water, still a bit off the final ladder (done loads in Slovakia anyway. The Slovensky Raj National Park is a fantastic place for ladder ascents up waterfalls and cliffs).
Then the rain started, soon becoming heavy. We then took a decision to head back, as the next stage involved trapsing across a rock wall, not the best idea in pouring rain. The way back was fine, though there was once section which involved clinging to the rusty pipe. The way back was not much quicker than the way up, and we were pretty damp from sweat and rain. Just below Golden Rock, we passed by some friendly schoolchildren! We just don’t get them in Leeds! One of the little lads asked if I could get him a monkey (what, from Leeds? I think he wanted a green one, rather than a white one). By the road, a girl sat by to chat to ask where we
were from. A few kids got the bus with us, again perfectly behaved. They certainly seem to know how to bring up kids to behave well in public on Nevis! We could even get to like kids at this rate!
We wandered round Charlestown and got a meal before heading back to St. Kitts on the vehicle ferry. Despite a heavy shower blowing across, we stayed outside, sheltered by the cabin of the boat. There was a very pleasant late light and dusk, the onset of which is pretty rapid in these parts. Saturday/Sunday 11/12 February - Back Home
Our return voyage started today, but we still had a morning to enjoy the remnants of our booze store and the water before our departure. We were subject to the St. Kitts departure tax, which necessitated an extra visit to the cashpoint! Even on the boat between St. Kitts and Nevis you get a departure tax of $EC1 each way. You get issued a little ticket which you have to surrender 35 seconds later. It could only be worth doing it for the cruise passengers…?
Anyway, we got on the plane for a much longer trip
back to the UK. First off all we were calling at Tobago. Just before landing, someone had an involuntary rejection of previously ingested food, creating a somewhat aromatic accompaniment to the rather percussive contact with Tobago’s runway.
Tobago’s Transfer Lounge is a wonder. A wonder on how they manage to squeeze so many people into an area what normally would be reserved for a school hall in a small rural community. We had over an hour there, whilst the plane was suitably serviced, and presumably, de-niffed.
The flight was fine, but I was very uncomfortable. For the first few hours there was slight turbulence which made viewing the movie tricky and my seat, deliberately at the back, to avoid the family with the baby (yep same family as on the flight out; the family so important that their little girl HAD to go to the toilet as we taxied onto the runway, and the mother HAD to do her stretches at the entrance to the staff area) was just uncomfortable. I slept about 90 seconds I think.
Once back on the rails from Gatwick to London it felt like real luxury on the spanking new train, and
I did manage to nod off. The train out from London was fine too, I caught a few more zeds, and it was so nice to be greeted by our friend Hema at the station. She gave us a lift home, and had really looked after our house well while we’d been away.
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