We have friends who live on Nevis (there are twin islands - St Kitts and Nevis) and who have asked us a number of time to visit. We though that a trip before braving the cold of the UK this past Christmas would be a good idea! We duly booked the trip early last year, not realising that the Caribbean would be having some of their worst weather for a long time during the (summer) hurricane season. Hurricanes Irma and Maria caused total destruction on many islands, and at one stage we thought we might never get there. Luckily, Nevis missed the worst of it all; the damage to our friends' property was thankfully confined to their front gates being blown down and a few missing roof tiles.
We drove directly from home in France to London (Gatwick) airport on 24 November 2017 and then the following day, we took an early morning flight to St Kitts, stopping for one hour on Antigua (where most of the passengers disembarked!). On arrival at St Kitts airport, we were met by a taxi, which took us to the quay, where a water taxi, skimming wave crests at high speed, carried us over the waters to Nevis in 15 energising minutes! The taxi pilot kindly phoned ahead to our friends, to let them know we were on our way so they would be ready to meet us. Very organised!
Just to give you some idea where St Kitts and Nevis are in the Caribbean, if you did not previously know! Most of the other islands on this map were very badly affected by hurricanes and outside help and reparation is slow in arriving.
The island of Nevis, which is separated from St Kitts by a 3 km (2 miles) channel. It is only 93 sq km in size (36 sq mi) and the capital is Charlestown; you can see the "by-pass" road around the town on the West coast.
We arrived fairly late in the afternoon and the photos taken from the ferry were not the best!
The next morning, though, after a good nights sleep, I was delighted to see many enchanting humming birds zooming around in the garden.This is a Green-throated carib (Eulampis holosericeus), motionless for just a moment!
The bees looked much the same as those we have in France!
We went for a walk through a strip of trees and bushes down to the nearby sandy beach; it was very quiet and peaceful with almost nobody else around!
Looking across the water towards St Kitts.
We spotted a hermit crab on the sand.
Back at the house, we discovered vervet monkeys in the garden - lovely to see, but they do a lot of damage!
The very colourful Frangipani caterpillar (this one's 120 mm or 5 inches long), of which there were several on one plant, eats most of the plant's leaves, but we were told they actually do the plant good, as by eating the leaves, the plant's encouraged to produce more flowers!
Lovely to see hibiscus flowering in November!
The garden was full of birds I have never seen before!; this is a Bananaquit (Coereba flaveola).
Lesser Antillean bullfinch (Loxigilla noctis) This is the male; the female is brown.
Out on our first drive around the island (maximum speed limit 40 mph!), we were told this is one of the original old houses, called a "skirt and blouse" house. The skirt (bottom of the house) being built of stone and the blouse (top of the house) of wood.
One of the most noticeable things we observed on the island were the many scrap cars! There is nowhere to dump them on a small island, so they are just abandoned by their owners for the vegetation to take over!
As above. There are plans for a private company to import and operate a car crushing plant, as the numbers of such cars must run into many thousands and apart from being unsightly, further damage to this beautiful tropical environment should be avoided!
We ended up in late afternoon down at the beach, where we met up with friends of our friends, for a delightful meal of fresh fish of the day. It was interesting to watch the storm in the distance over the sea, while we were standing on the beach, in temperatures around 30 C (86F)
This is just to give you a first idea of our holiday. Many more photos of the island are to come in Part 2, but due to me not feeling well, I am far behind in the editing process!
Also see my daily diary HERE
and My Life Before Charente (updated 25 September 2016) I will get back to this eventually!