St. Kitts - 69 square miles of Peace and Relaxation
Having grown up on an island (Barbados to be exact) it is sometimes very easy to take for granted the pristine, diamond kissed waters of the Caribbean Sea, the swaying palms, warm sunshine and cool refreshing breezes. And so the thought of visiting another Caribbean island - as opposed to a big city filled with endless shopping, amusement parks, subways, fast food and broadway shows - doesn't often cross one's mind when planning a trip. After all aren't all islands alike - sun, sea, sand? What could one island have to offer over another? Well I'll tell you...
As you may or may not know, all islands are not formed equally. Some islands are the result of volcanic activity while others are formed by coral polyps growing together to form a land mass. St. Kitts is a volcanic island. This fact alone makes it different from my homeland. Lush tropical vegetation and majestic central mountains adorn this little island. Added to that the warmth of the people and care free pace of life - it's the ultimate island getaway if you want to truly getaway from it all. Imagine a place where there are no traffic jams, no overcrowded beaches, and no loud noise preventing you from hearing the waves lap the sand as it slowly lulls you to sleep....Imagine St. Kitts.
Now don't get me wrong, the people are very much alive and there's lots to do like golfing, gambling(yes there's a casino at the Marriott), island hopping, taking a scenic railway tour, carnivals and more - but if you just want to sleep all day go right ahead. Me? I wanted adventure as always! So I got out there and took an island tour. You might think that a place that's only 69 sq miles wouldn't have much to see. But you'd be wrong. I didn't even get to see all the places I wanted to (so I guess that means another visit is pending). The places I did see were well worth the visit though. One place that stood out was Caribelle Batik. In all my life I have never seen so many different styles of batik clothing for men, women and children all in one location. It was a case of "too much choice dilemma" as we say in the islands. I was impressed. Needless to say I bought a nice wrap (which came with an instruction manual for different ways to wear it..amazing!) and a summer dress. The others with me bought shirts, wraps and dresses - and we were all eager to wear them. If you want authentic Caribbean wear...and a nice souvenir for friends this is a winner. Trust me!
Another place that stood out to me was the last possible stop on the southern tip of St.Kitts where you can look across the water and see their sister island, Nevis. There we found a rustic little restaurant/bar right by the water, next to a pier. This was the most hilarious stop of all. A bunch of us including children were all sitting around looking at the water when this huge pig came over to check out the new arrivals. Of course it scared the living daylights out of all of us, which then caused us to all break out laughing hysterically. Wilibur is his name! Yes the big brown pig is a regular in these parts and he wanted to give us a warm hello.
Now my trip would not have been complete without some "real" adventure. St. Kitts is actually the first place that I rode a quad bike and if I'm honest I would have to say that it's the best all terrain tour I've ever been on. It was like a roller coaster ride, up and down steep rugged hills, and in and out of lush forest and fields of cane....mind you I was terrified at first but boy did I have a blast riding at top speed and experiencing a true off road adventure!
So if you're ever tempted to think that all islands are alike...DON'T! Each has something unique to offer whether it be the people, the food, the landscape, the history or the way of life.
Now for a taste of the islands with this exotic yet truly refreshing drink perfect for the hot summer days.
Cherry Coconut Fizz
2 parts Fresh Coconut Water
1 part Cherry Flavored Carbonated Beverage
Mix ingredients together and serve chilled.