St Kitts

Published: July 11th 2019
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Tuesday July 9 - The ferry I took from Nevis to St Kitt's was a much smaller boat than the one I had taken over to Nevis. Because of this, I decided to take the seasickness meds again this morning, but it was still calm and I doubt it was needed. This boat was much faster, and we arrived in 30 minutes. I spent a little time looking for the Leeward Island Charters office, to see if I can find out if they were running their snorkeling trip tomorrow. I didn’t find it, or it wasn’t open yet, I’m not sure which. Either way, I went to the bus station and got on a minibus that looked to be leaving soon. The “bus station” is just a place where the minibusses end their routes and hang out to fill up again. There were a lot of them there and unlike in St Martin, they didn’t seem to fill up in the order they were parked in.

The ride was about a dollar and dropped me off on the main road in front of the Rams supermarket. My walk to the apartment was about 10 minutes, but it was hot, sunny and mostly uphill. When I arrived, I opened the lockbox with the key and let myself in after talking to the security. I was a sweaty mess and immediately took off my clothes and turned the a/c on. I sent a couple of messages, changed into the one clean pair of shorts I have left and my first tank top of the summer (shoulders nearly done peeling), and headed out around 11am.

I walked back to the road and waited for a bus. A bunch of tour buses passed me while I waited. There is a cruise ship in port, and the passengers were everywhere. A fleet of 5 or 6 buses passed me for the scenic railway, and then a bunch of other tour buses passed as well. Hilariously, they all stopped at my bus stop, which also had a tree full of nesting cattle egrets. So they came for the birds and got to see an American waiting for the bus. I actually missed a bus because these tour buses were in the way, but got the next one just after. I waited for about 8 minutes. The drive to Brim Hill Fortress took about 20 minutes, and I was surprised the driver could see anything out of his window. All the buses here are decked out with names and such, and it looked like the name was taking up a lot of the top portion of the window.

Once I got out of the bus, I crossed the street and had to start hiking up. The fortress is on top of a hill, and it was a long way up. I followed the road and could hear voices ahead. It was at the old kiln for the fortress, and there was a family there that I had seen on the ferry. They had also taken a bus and were there just before me. I caught up with them after seeing the old kiln and walked up the hill with the mom and her nephew. The others took longer to get up. They were from the UK but her husband’s family were from here and they were staying in Nevis for two weeks. Once at the top, we separated and I started to visit the site. I’m actually quite happy that I hiked up, because it allowed me to visit the different places in an order that made sense, from one level to the next, rather than driving up and possibly missing some of it. Brim Hill Fortress is now an UNESCO World Heritage site, and it’s quite a nice place to look around. A lot of old buildings, a 10-minute movie in the aircon and a lot to see. I spent about two hours or more looking around. It was worth the $10 US. It was mostly cloudy, which I’m all into these days, since it keeps it a bit cooler, not being in the direct sun.

When I was ready to head back, I decided I would walk the road down the whole way, in case there was something I had missed. About halfway down, a car stopped and offered me a lift. It was a couple I had seen at the top of the fortress earlier. I accepted. When they got to the road, they told me they were driving around the island and I said I wouldn’t mind tagging along, if they didn’t mind. A bit cheeky, but they brought me along with them. Really good luck, since I’d read that it was recommended to drive the northern, more rural part of the island, and buses don’t go all the way around. We stopped at a church, and to look at some rocks, but mostly we just drove. There was one place I would have liked to have stopped, but it was before the fortress, not after. He is a DA and she works for the UN, and they also do a lot of traveling. We had a nice chat and then they drove me back to Basseterre so I could get a bus back.

When I left the car, it didn’t take me long to figure out where I was. It was about 4pm and I thought I might have a quick look around before heading to the bus. I saw a square I’d read about and a church I wanted to visit, the Immaculate Conception Cathedral. It was open and I had a look around before heading back to the bus. The bus ride home was short and I stopped at the supermarket first, since it was right there. I got some granola and yogurt for both dessert and breakfast, as well as some broccoli to put in my pasta tonight.

After I got back, Kjellin, the apartment’s owner, stopped by to make sure I was alright. Her apartment is pricey for me, $55/night, but it has everything, including a washer/dryer, detergent, herbs, etc. Very nice. Shame it will only be two nights. It’s hard to keep packing up, moving again, getting to know a new place.

Jeroen called me in what would be the middle of the night in Switzerland. Not feeling well. Seems we both have stomach problems.

Wednesday July 10 - Today was a good day. I got up early, watched some tv, ate breakfast, talked to my mom, packed up for the day, the usual. I left around 9:15 to get a bus to the ferry terminal for my half day sail and snorkel. I wasn’t sure if I should do it, but it ended up being a really good decision. I arrived early, a little after 9:30, checked in with the company for the 10am departure, and took a seat in the shade. There was a family who sat down next to me. I wasn’t sure if they were up for a chat, so I took out my book. But then they started to talk to me. Their names were Karen and Eddie and they were visiting St Kitts from Scotland with their son Cam. Eddie lived here as a child, and they were back to see the place for a couple of weeks. We had a nice chat and then it was time to get on the boat, slightly later than expected. Island time.

The boat was a catamaran, and it was quite nice. Once we got on our way, the four of us sat on one of the two nets above the water, as did pretty much everyone else. We continued to talk, and had a nice time together. We also chatted with a couple from Dallas, a woman named Sherry and her husband (damn, I’m bad with names). Everyone was really friendly, and it was nice to have people to chat to for the day. In fact, Sherry invited me to go with them after the sail to see the view from Kittitian Hill, and I took her up on the offer.

Once we arrived at Shitten Bay (I shit you not), it was time for a snorkel. We were told we’d have an hour, but I think it was more like 40 minutes. There was no coral, just rocks, but I saw a decent number of fish. My mask kept fogging up and it made me wish I’d taken my own with me. I changed to a different one and it was slightly better, but not much. Not sure what was happening.

Back on the boat there was a light lunch - meats and cheeses to make sandwiches as well as some salad. Drinks were open bar, and I had a few mango juices. After lunch, they hiked up the sails and we sailed back to our starting point. It took about 30 minutes to get back.

Back at the dock, we got our shoes and then I got a ride with Sherry and her husband to the Marriott where they are staying in Frigate Bay. They showered and changed and then we were off in their car to Kittitian Hill. It turns out it is a beautiful resort and farm called Belle Mont with several different cottages you can rent. We walked around their restaurant, infinity pool and the surrounding area. Even the bathroom was nice. We also bumped into Karen, Eddie and Cam, as Sherry had also told them about this place and today was their last day with their rental car. When Sherry left, I stayed with the others, who offered to drive me back. They were eating, so I waited with them and then we checked out two cottages from the outside to get a look before we left. One even had its own infinity pool, and they all seem to have outdoor bathrooms. It was really quite nice.

Our next stop was Timothy Hill for the view and then the nearby Shipwreck bar to try to see the monkeys there. Apparently they feed them at 5:30pm, which is a bit sketchy, but we were about twenty minutes late and the monkeys were already gone. There were several mongooses eating their leftovers though, so that was interesting. There was also a black sand beach near the bar.

They drove me back to my apartment and when I got out of the car, a light rain was just starting. I said goodbye and was really glad to have met them today. It was around 7pm, hours later than I’d intended to get home. My plan was to make a plan for Antigua and try to start organizing my time in St Vincent's, but this left me enough time to shower, wash my clothes in the washing machine, dry them, write this, sort the pictures, chat with my mom and pack up before bed. Will still need to pack a little in the morning, but trying to minimize it since the taxi will arrive at 6:30am. I wish I’d make a later flight, but here we are.

Thanks St Kitts and Nevis - it’s been fun.

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