We made it to Nevis this afternoon. I had forgotten that it takes almost as long to get from San Juan to Nevis as it does San Juan to Chicago. I find it ironic given that one flight is four hours and the other just one.
Nayda took us to the airport at 12:15 p.m. We spent a half hour going through security: The longest portion was waiting to go through the luggage and body scanner. TSA must have been training a new guy – he was glacial! We spent forty-five minutes in the Admirals, then to the gate. I kept telling myself to get in the “island” mindset … Type A’s will not survive long without it. A wait to get the boarding pass checked, a wait to get on the plane, flight ok, then to immigration in St. Kitts. Surprise, surprise – we didn’t fill out the form correctly – without instructions it was pretty hard to decipher, verified by the number of other passengers who had problems. Then the Customs official who asked what we had purchased in San Juan and were bringing to St. Kitts…
We were the first people out of customs (no checked luggage) but then had to wait for our fellow passengers in the taxi to clear…little did we know we were waiting for another airplane as well. Patience! Finally in the cab and we are driving to the beach to meet our boat for the crossing to Nevis. Beautiful views of mountains and sea – a lovely drive. We arrive at the beach but there is a traffic jam…finally clears and we can get down to the dock. We load onto our speedboat for the crossing: Our fellow passengers are Bob, our taxi mate, and Greg and Sara, who also got the Groupon for these same 4 days.
Crossing was fun and fast. I sat in the fisherperson’s seat and tried to shoot pictures around the assistant, a big, bulky, silent fellow. Arriving at the dock in Qualie Beach we were met by Curtis, who drove us to the hotel, just a 4 minute ride.
The hotel is very pretty, situated on the northeast side of Round Hill (1014 ft). In front of us is the airport. (Next time I’ll see if we can’t fly there rather than to St. Kitts – just because it is so close. It seems that there used to be direct flights from San Juan, but according to one of the drivers, those are no more. That would be worth checking.) Behind us is Mt. Nevis, a volcano cone. We considered hiking up Mt. Nevis, something you must do with a guide if you have any brains at all and want to return the same day. However, the people who did it posted that it was extremely strenuous, involved rock climbing and rappelling, and involved huge quantities of mud. (We have opted for more sedate hiking!)
Our view from our room is spectacular. We look back towards St. Kitts, where we see the peninsula that stretches down toward Nevis. (That is the part we drove to get the water taxi in Cockleshell Bay on St Kitts.) From here, it looks like a string of mountains –different sizes, heights and shapes and in the distance, very large yet indistinct, we see the three main peaks of St. Kitts. We’ve watched them darken at sunset and now lighten with the sunrise – an ever-fascinating view!
Looking at Nevis from our balcony, we see the manicured lawns of the hotel come to an abrupt stop against the jungle – in this case, very much like a dry tropical forest with lot of spiny plants and shrubs. We heard monkeys before we went to dinner. At least I think they were monkeys. They sound was like the howler monkeys we heard in Costa Rica, but I don’t think there are howler monkeys here. I thought I read that there are green monkeys. I’ll have to ask if they make any calls.
We had dinner in the hotel’s restaurant. It was very good. The service was very friendly and the food delicious (even though we heard earlier that the chef was off on Sundays).
We met the owner at the bar before dinner (the husband of Sally the woman from Madison). _____ Has a masters and doctorate in economics from UW Madison, so he’s familiar with my neck of the woods, too. They have offered us a complimentary massage for our anniversary. I am waffling on whether to accept or not. Heavens knows I need it – can I overcome my prudishness?