Sunday 24 January – St Kitts
An early start for a tour, best of St Kitts, which heads off north along the coast road past a few derelict houses and a few not quite so derelict. The island is poor, relies heavily on tourism with a purpose built cruise terminal and modern shops in the terminal to tempt the tourists to spend and where a few other locals shops.
Pass a grand nursing teaching establishment (cost to study is $80,000 for a 4 year term). Security is tight we are told to discourage intruders and keep the facility free from danger.
The island relies on this income as well so must keep the students safe and secure. The same for the adjacent vetenary teaching establishment which has some animals visible as we pass on our way to Romney Manor.
It is Sunday, so church doors are open and from what we can see, congregations are filling the churches. Many abandoned cars at the side of the road and some derelict houses with a few, but not many, more plush houses.
They obviously get substantial rainfall as we head up into a rainforest after passing next to two footbridges adjacent to the main road that would allow walkers to cross but not cars in the event of flash flooding.
Before we turn off the main road we pass “The Bloody River” the site of a massacre in 1626 when over 2000 Caribs, the indigenous peoples of the island at the time, were massacred with their blood flowing down the river for days.
On upwards around a few tight corners to Romney Manor founded in the same year as the massacre and which is the home of Caribelle Batik, a shop that dyes in wax cloths into garments and furnishings in bright colours.
A couple of souvenirs bought but not enough time really to take in the sights, such as the bell tower to summon the slaves to work, before we are off on our minibus northwards.
Our next stop is again just off the main coast road at the Brimstone Fortress.
The approach, this time is up steep hills and the coach driver must also navigate many hairpin bends and a couple of archways that are really only just wide enough for our mini bus.
Hand on horn for most of the journey around all the tight bends and the end result is a fantastic vista overlooking the north of the island towards the Dutch islands of St Eustatius and an only just visible Saba.
Manage the walk up the 27 very long steps to Fort George the highest point of the whole complex for the best views but no health and safety, just signs to warn you of the edge of the stone walkway.
Blood sweat and tears must have been spilt in abundance to build this in such heat but what a place to build. You can see all approaches from North East to South West.
Back to the ship and for me a stroll out into town to get internet access.
More heating problems at Clearwell, but thankfully, Sarah, Rob and plumber, Andy seemed to be able to resolve the issue speedily as there was an air leak in the front bedroom radiator and not a boiler problem.
Tonight’s entertainment is the Polonesian singer, Ben Makisi who we heard on Arcadia earlier in the year.
Whilst the act is the same as we saw on our half world cruise last year he is an excellent entertainer & singer.
Try to get to see the comedian but no seats so just a drink & bed and onward to Dominica tomorrow.