After such a great day in Terre de Haut, I would be lying if I didn’t say that St. Kitts was initially, a pretty big let down. When we pulled into port, it was hard to miss the two other huge cruise ships also docked there, and the downtown area by the cruise ship terminal is overrun with cheap tourist shops and the same duty-free shops you see in the other larger Caribbean ports. We were not initially enthused.
However, once you exit from the outdoor duty-free mall area to the part of Basseterre frequented by locals and not tourists, things start to look up. And then when you spend the afternoon ziplining through a beautiful rainforest that even has monkeys (an invasive, not a local species, but monkeys nonetheless) things get even better.
First, I love how the public transportation minivans were all personally named and decorated. It reminded me of East Africa.
We also visited the national museum which was fun and informative.
After our morning walk through the town, we headed up the road a bit to the town of Old Road, which was the primary British settlement on the island (fun fact: Britain and France shared the island throughout much of the colonial period, until the British finally defeated the French and took control over the whole island). We visited the Romney Manor (once owned by the great great great grandfather of Thomas Jefferson), an old British plantation that is now home to Caribelle Batik, maker of beautiful fabric batiks. We watched a batik demonstration.
I bought a beautiful batik kaftan that I know will get a lot of summertime wear.
We walked around the gardens and it was very beautiful.
The trees were enormous, shady and hundreds of years old.
The colors of the manor were bright and cheerful.
We then headed higher up the mountain to start our zipline tour where the views were quite sweeping.
I have a documented fear of heights that made me initially quite nervous about the zipline. After all, we were 500 feet up in the air over the top of the tree canopy. Midway down the first quarter of a mile run, my tension eased up and I managed to have fun. Of course, I only have pictures of David on the zipline, because I am sure my face would have been one of nervous terror. It really was so much fun, though!
Sadly, St. Kitts was the only island that we visited where we managed not to go to one of its beaches. If I go back to St. Kitts in the future, it will be to remedy that error and see what its beaches are like. I feel like I cannot sit in judgment of an island until I am able to do so.