Woke up with a start, sensing an island approaching. Sure enough, St. Kitts off our bow.
We figured we’d have plenty of time before docking, but we figured wrong. Not only did we dock with some speed, but the Norwegian Pearl was at the same dock.
This was the view on the other side . . .
. . . And this is a panorama of the people already out and about the ship.
In short order we were on another excursion bus, this time lacking both room and visibility.
The only good thing was the air conditioning worked, keeping the humidity at bay. That did not keep us from getting thoroughly soaked in sweat during both our stops, but it made the vehicle a bearable place to sit, no matter how cramped.
St. Kitts is yet another British colony that opted for independence (in 1983), and also an ex-sugar industry economy (they gave up the sugar industry just nine years ago). However, St. Kitts seems a lot poorer than Barbados, with more obvious signs of people struggling. This might be because they are still transitioning to a new economic model, or because there are fewer people here, or because they don’t have their act together yet.
I tried to get a few photos from inside the bus, but all I got was a produce stand and the Church of England (according to our guide).
I also managed to get a couple of contrasting houses (I snapped a lot more photos, but I either missed the subjects because I did not have sufficient warning they were coming up, or I got stuff that was out of focus and blurry).
Our first stop was Romney Manor, the oldest sugar plantation on St. Kitts. It was once owned by Sam Jefferson II, an ancestor of Thomas Jefferson. The plantation turned tourist attraction offers nicely manicured grounds, petroglyphs, a rain forest, botanical gardensviews of vegetation, and a store selling Caribelle Batik fabric.
The store had a demonstration of the labor-intensive Indonesian process of wax-resist deying used to produce the colorful fabric. The process involves repeating cycles of tinted wax application and washing until the final product is ready for display.
The shop was crazy-full of people, and I was not in there long. Here’s an overview of the area right in front of the shop . . . Those are the people milling about in shock at the cost of the fabric.
Of course, I also got me a flower photo . . .
. . . And a photo of a big-ass tree. These shots don’t do it justice, and I’m hoping the shots from the Nikon will be better.
The interesting thing was that vegetation, plants, not just moss, grew on nooks and crannies of the tree bark. Something else you can’t see from these photos.
As with most of these tours, the amount of time allotted for the actual visit was not long . . . In this case, 30 minutes. Not nearly enough time to look at the stuff there, including extensive ruins we had no chance to see other than when we drove by them on the way into the grounds.
Really, all we saw was the shop and the tree.
Were we to do something like this again (not sure if we will) we would arrange for our own transportation and tours of places of interest, thus allowing more time to actually see stuff.
We crammed back into the bus, and headed to our next destination, the Brimstone Hill Fortress, and on the way saw more homes . . .
. . . Another historical church (St. Thomas Anglican Church) . . .
. . . And a boat yard.
I opted to not photograph all of the places where people appeared to barely scrape by; it would have been disrespectful to do otherwise.
That would be a consistent theme with the islands we visited. One is made to feel like . . . the word escapes me at the moment, but seeing poverty does not make one’s spirit soar. Even more so knowing opportunities for the people on these islands are fairly limited when compared to options they might have in the US, or even in countries that had once occupied them.
I’ll end this post here, while the app is still behaving itself. Next up will be the Brimstone Hill Fortress, something we did enjoy, and probaby the best stop of any of the excursions we went on.
That, in part, because we had a full 45 minutes at the place. Luxury, I tell you.
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