Tuesday, 19 March 2013

St Kitts part 2

Saint Kitts part 2  March – March 1th 2013

The anchorage we stayed in has a commercial port and a new shopping mall for the thousands of tourists that arrive almost daily on enormous cruise ships, it always makes us wonder if they ever see any of the places they visit when they arrive in the morning and have to be back onboard by five in the afternoon. 

We strolled about the town and through the park and met up with another couple from another yacht in the anchorage, we suggested we share the tour that we had booked the following day, its always more fun in numbers.

Dons new hair and hat

Big Fish

Dinner still walking

Brimstone Hill Fort

This could have been my new pet

Big guns

Islands Statia and Saba 

Romney Manor

National Park

Some of the garden in Romney Manor

Talen in Wingfeild Estate

Although our stay in Saint Kitts was short we did enjoy what we saw, we took advantage of an island tour with a local driver George who is quite a character. One of his many professions, as policeman, local government, customs officer, too many to mention he was a history teacher and knows pretty much all there is to know about the islands history. He took us along the coast explaining along the way about the island hundreds of years ago. Sir Thomas Warner landed here with a group of settlers in 1623 making it the first British Caribbean colony. A French group joined them  and them joined with them to massacre the 2000 Caribs. Afterwards the French and British fell out and ended up fighting for 150 years, sounds familiar ?
St Kitts and Nevis the sister isle became British under the treaty of Versailles in 1783. Today there are roughly 50,000 inhabitants. 
We noticed the remains of the railway tracks in places which took the sugar cane around the island, apparently there is a scenic tourist train which runs but we heard its unreliable, I would hate to think it would break down in an isolated place and have to walk back in that heat.

In the heights were green vervet monkeys hiding in the trees but it was too dark to take photos, the only close shots I could have taken were of the guys carrying monkeys with nappies on taking money from the tourists. The monkeys were taken from Africa as pets by the planters so the ones there now are descendants from all those years ago.

At various times they grew cotton, tobacco, sugar cane, and of course rum, now it looks like the economy mostly depends on tourism.  

One of the places we went to was the old distillery which is no longer in use.

Brimstone Hill Fortress built in 1690 by the British in an effort to recapture Fort Charles on the coast below from the French occupation.
It must have been an enormous task taking all the stone to the top of the hill however they used African slave workers. Although the fortress over the years fell into disrepair in 1965 and 1973 the society for restoration was founded. HRH Price Charles reopened the first restoration. The views from the top are spectacular, I wouldn't have thought much would go unseen below, you can picture hundreds of soldiers firing their cannons onto the French.

Queen Elizabeth unveiled a plaque in 1985 signifying Brimstone Hill Fortress as a national park, there are photographs of both visit from the Queen and the previous visit from Prince Charles on the wall scruffy and so normal looking just postcard size not even in a frame.

There is way too much for me to write so should you be interested there is a website here www.brimstonehillfortress.org

The plan was to stay overnight in an anchorage in the north of the island which is protected by a reef but after George showed us neither of us thought it would have been a good idea. 

Black rock has to be one of the most dramatic places I have seen, the colour of the sea crashing onto the rocks making white foam, what a stunning site. As we looked over the sea I was being followed everywhere by a very friendly donkey, it tried to nibble Dons hand, no we don't have another pet besides it wouldn't have liked the dinghy ride. 

Must apologise for the photos being all over the place the internet is not too good.

Next blog Sint Martin
Agua Therapy
Don and Glenys Graham

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