St. Kitts: Monkey's eye view

We had read that St. Kitts is the most dangerous Caribbean island. After our stressful morning in St. Lucia the day before, we decided it was best to book a tour through Carnival for St. Lucia. We booked the Top Ten of St. Kitts Tour. I wasn’t sure what to expect. I didn’t do much research on St. Kitts, aside from basic ‘things to do’ and safety reports. I was so disorganized that we didn’t even know where to meet our group for our tour. We just stood at the dock waiting to see someone walking by with a sign reading “Top 10 of St. Lucia”. There was no way we could miss the group, the could only go one way off the dock. Turns out we were supposed to meet in the theater, which was clearly stated on our tickets. Due to our mistake, we had our group come to us.

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The second we started the tour, I fell in love with St. Kitts. The town of Basseterre was adorable. There were outdoor markets and food vendors. The buildings were all so bright and beautiful. From what I saw, St Kitts seemed inviting. The building were a little weathered but not forgotten. Barbered wire on some building suggested that there was some danger but I still felt comfortable.

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Our first stop was Palm Court Gardens, a botanical garden overlooking the Caribbean Sea. I strolled through the garden stopping to admire the vibrant flowers and smell the various Caribbean Spices while listening to the trickle of water from the surrounding fountains.

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There was an infinity pool overlooking the Sea. The pool wasn’t large, just big enough to submerge yourself in the salty water and take in the view. At this point in the early day, the pool was empty and oh, so inviting. I could have relaxed here forever, taking breaks from swimming by laying in the hammock. Next time I am in St. Kitts, I plan to spend an entire afternoon in this garden.

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When we got back to the bus it seemed that we lost a couple people from the tour. The driver didn’t seem to notice or care for that matter. Maybe they decided that they wanted to spend the rest of their day at the garden or maybe they took too long getting back to the bus. Either way, I would be sure not to take too long getting back on the bus.

We drove past a few cool spots. I wish we could have got out much more frequently, however we were on a schedule. We drove by a man with a monkey on the side of the road. The driver stopped so the monkey could come on the bus for us to take some pictures. The man was very aggressive with the monkey and I felt so guilty for partaking in this. I really wanted to see a monkey up close, I just didn’t think that the monkey would be thrown around by its owner like that.

Our next stop was Romney Mannor another botanical garden. It was beautiful. I felt that I was hiking through the rain forest while walking the grounds of the garden. The views from here were pretty amazing too because we were on the top of the mountain.

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There was this giant tree that seemed like it was out of a story book. The limbs reached out and touched the ground in different spots. You could see this tree from all over the garden. Walking the gardens felt like a rainforest hike. A very short hike none-the-less. I wish we could have had more time to follow the dirt path, to explore and discover more tropical plants. This stop was a short twenty minutes. We made sure to hurry back to the bus in time because we didn’t want to get left like the last people did.

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Next, we were off to Brimstone National Fortress. When we got to the base of the mountain it was located on, you could see the exposed stone of the mountain that gave Brimstone its name. The drive up to the fortress was terrifying. The road was not designed for cars. It was made for donkeys and carriages to ride up. The road was narrow and the bus we were in was wide. We barely fit on the path. I was nervous that around any turn we would crash into another car. However, we made it safely up the mountain.

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The view from the top was incredible. You could see the surrounding mountains, the sea and even St. Nevis. We were surrounded by the mountains and sea. Mount Liamuiga was so close, the fortress offered the most ideal viewing point. We climbed the stairs to the top of the fortress. It didn’t look like there were many stairs, but the climb felt surprisingly steep on the hot day. The short climb to the top was well worth it, offering an even better view.

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I climbed all around the fortress, stopping at every cannon that I saw. To think that these once fired toward the peaceful Sea around us. Nothings beats walking on history like this. The walls crumble a little but are so well preserved. One of my favorite things to do is explore UNESECO world heritage sites. These sites say a lot about the culture of where you are traveling.

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The last spot on our tour was Frigate Bay. It was here that the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean met. They met along the mountains and it was the most picturesque spot I have ever stood. I wish that the camera I was using could better capture the royal and turquoise meeting as an ombre of blue. There are certain moments that I never wanted to let go of. Looking out at the Caribbean and Atlantic meeting was one of these moments. I didn’t want to move. I looked back over my shoulder walking to the bus and starred, hands pressed against the windows as we drove away from this beautiful view.

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At Frigate Bay, I held another monkey. I felt much better about holding the monkey this time. His owner treated him so well, as if he was a family member. The monkeys name was Jack and he was the sweetest monkey there ever was. I didn’t want to let go of him. I didn’t want to let go of this place. I said my goodbyes to Jack and to one of my new favorite places in the world.

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To end our day, we got the best chicken sandwich from a local vendor. The sauce they had on it was so good, I’ve never had anything like it. It was juicy and delicious. We sipped on a few Carib beers with dinner and as we strolled through the market place. It’s so nice to be in a place where you can walk around with an open container without getting into trouble. At this point, school had let out and school children were running around the market. I felt that it was a good mixture between tourists and locals. I bought a Caribbean doll as a memento of this island.

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When we were done shopping, we went to an outdoor bar that was in site of the cruise ship. We had a couple ‘dirty monkeys’, which was a delicious but sneakingly strong drink. Here we made some new friends and ran into Jack’s (the monkey’s) owner. Why not get some drinks while they are cheap, seeing as the drinks on the cruise ship are very expensive.

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We pulled away from the dock with a buzz. Maybe it was just the drinks, but I think it was also a little to do with the feeling of pure bliss St. Kitts had given me. We watched the most beautiful sunset we had seen during our entire time cruising. As the sun set we prepared ourselves for an evening of tequila and the on board nightlife.

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Details:  7 Day Southern Caribbean Cruise with Carnival Cruise!

7 thoughts on “St. Kitts: Monkey's eye view

  1. Always a Foreigner

    I haven’t been to St. Kitts in years, but your pictures brought me right back. I remember exploring the old fort, and drinking a couple Caribs as well.

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