Tue 18 Apr 2006 23:54
St Kitts is the bigger half of the two island state of St Kitts and Nevis. There's a two mile gap between the islands and an annual swimming race across. St Kitts was the first British colony in the Caribbean and calls itself the 'Mother Colony'. For a while the French and British shared the island and joined forces to massacre the 2000 Carib inhabitants at a place now called Bloody Point. The island is about 15 miles long with a high mountain running up the centre covered in lush green rain forest. On the lower land there are acres and acres of sugar cane. It's now grown for making ethanol for engine fuel. The island is fairly quiet and unspoilt. A lot of the tourism is based on a (we found) slightly dubious nostalgia for the colonial days. But that didn't stop us having a very pleasant lunch in one former plantation house. There's quite a lot of new building going on at the South end of the island. There's a cruise ship dock and duty free jewellers. The day we left the Queen Mary was due to come in. We stayed in the new marina in Basseterre. Free Spirit and Clarabella were there also. Both were heading South so it was time to say 'goodbye'. There were also a couple called Harry and Adele on a Westerly Conway we first spotted in Deshaies. We shared an island tour with them. There is a train that runs round the island on a track built for moving sugar cane that the pilot book recommends. We found, however, that all the tickets are sold on the cruise ships and if there's no cruise ship, the train doesn't run.
Independence Square in Basseterre
With Tom, Jonty and Becky from Clarabella
Looking North along the coast road towards Bloody Point
Eddie with one of the Vervet monkeys that live in the rain forest
Penny and friend
In Brimstone Hill Fort looking towards Statia and Saba
Every surface designed to catch rain water
The long walk down from the fort
Pool at the Rawlins Plantation House restaurant and hotel
Eddie hides behind a popadom
Statia and Saba from Rawlins, sugar cane field beyond the garden
Back in the pool. And from St Kitts we sailed to St Martin - about 50 miles North.