If you pay attention to my Facebook yammerings at all, you’ve noticed I was off on some far-flung island, dumping piles of photos almost every evening for a week.
I visited a tiny island that’s part of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, called Bequia (it’s pronounced Beck-Way) which is in the next time zone over (1 hour ahead of Eastern Time). It took essentially an entire day to travel there. It involved three flights – from Richmond to Miami, from Miami to St. Lucia, and from St. Lucia to Bequia.
For most breakfasts and some dinners, we had a personal chef named Patrick prepare our meals. He also manages the SeaGlass house that my husband’s mother and stepfather own. He’s a classically trained chef from Jamaica, who moved to Bequia and does personal chef-ing for a few houses on the island.
Driving in Bequia is certainly interesting. Everyone drives on the right-hand side, and the driver’s seat is on the right. It is extremely hilly, and the roads are very narrow – most of the time cars can barely pass each other. There are only maybe four or five hundred cars on the island, though. Some roads are very steep, and some aren’t even paved – the ones that are are simply concrete. The road to the home we stayed in was mostly dirt and rock, and the rain can really wreak havoc on the roads, shifting things around. Chad’s stepfather plans to have portions of the road to their home paved and better gully systems created. Gullys are deep trenches on either side of the towns’ roads, and most are pretty smelly. The water there can’t be drunk, but it’s collected in tanks for pretty much everything else – showers, toilets, dishwashers, and cooking.
Shopping in Bequia can be tricky, especially for food. There aren’t any Walmarts or Krogers or Whole Foods. You have to stop at three or four different places to get everything you’d need, and you better plan your meals ahead because it takes a long time to get from your house in the hill down to the marketplace, and good luck trying to find ANYTHING open on a Sunday. I did love going to Doris’ shop, she has frozen food in deep-freeze chests, and spices are weighed rather than just in jars on a shelf. Fresh fruit and vegetables are mostly bought from stalls along the main road.
I got to check out a bookstore, which I got a bit of a laugh out of. It’s about the size of a living room, but they had maps of the area, and a section called something like “Modern Novels,” but it mostly had all the Twilight series, Gone Girl, and the 50 Shades series, and other highly sold novels.
We went to all sorts of restaurants, but I tried not to be a total tourist and take photos of all my meals. Here are the few I did take, from Nando’s, Papas, and Firefly Plantation.
Chad’s birthday was on Friday, and as a treat his mother & stepfather brought a steel band to our house for a while. The band had a banjo player, an actual steel drum, and a set of steel can chimes that were originally paint cans the musician hammered out to tune them properly. Afterward, our chef Patrick made dinner – pork loin – and they had a cake.
We visited friends of Lennart, Kurt and Ursula, at their Spring Hill pavilion where we enjoyed a pizza oven dinner with them and about 15 others who also own homes on Bequia. It’s on one of the highest peaks of the island, at the end of a very long and surprisingly straight road. You’ll see it in the album link.
Another day, we visited the Firefly Plantation for lunch and a tour. The plantation was refurbished into a resort with a handful of rooms for vacationers. They grow almonds, sugar cane, coconuts, bananas, pomegranates, lemons, limes, beans, tons of herbs, and they even make their own sea salt!! The photos are in this album, with captions.
Afterward, we went to the Old Hegg Turtle sanctuary. It was started when a young diver discovered that the sea turtle population was dwindling and the babies weren’t able to survive very well. Photos and videos are here. A picture of the explanation of the sanctuary is included, it has a better chance of explaining the sanctuary than I can.
I only regret being unable to go on the sailing trip that was planned. One of us got a nervous, sea-sick tummy and we both went home. It turned out to be probably a good thing after all, because the waters were very rough and if we had stayed, one of us would have been a complete puddle of disaster.
I loved our trip overall, despite the long travel days there and back.