I always say that I will stay in cheap hotels but never skip on an experience because of cost, so I put my money where my mouth is and went flyboarding!
And here’s the video:
The sport was only just invented, in 2012. Basically, you plug a hose on the jet output of a jetski and connect it to a skateboard like device with a fire hose. Quite fun to try, but I figure you would need a lot of practice to make the crazy moves you can find on Youtube. At $200-250 an hour, it might be cheaper to buy your own gear, although the patented contraption alone will set you back $6,000.
The highest I went was about 12 feet (3 m). The jetski has a power lock which is only removed for experienced people. At my weight with no lock on, I could probably hit 35 feet, but that would actually be very dangerous. It may not seem that scary on a video, but an uncontrolled fall from that height is worse than falling off the 10 m diving platform! Potential for very serious injury. You actually have to take a course before the company holding the patent will sell you one. If you’re ever in St-Kitts, here’s the place I went to: http://www.stkittskiteboarding.com
This was actually in the afternoon. In the morning, we went on a tour which I had arranged online with a locally owned company. Activities organized by the cruise lines are generally overpriced and may not benefit locals as much. The lines will attempt to scare people about fears of missing the ship, but this is ridiculous. This is what these locals do for a living day in day out. Of course they’ll bring you back on time.
Rosevelt was the company owner but also did the tours himself (2 man company, I think – www.stkittsislandparadisetours.com). He was the first to realize that tourists were interested in more than old buildings and started stoping his tours along the way to talk about various plants, spices and trees. I don’t remember what this plant used in cosmetics is, but I remember seeing it in Zanzibar during a spice plantation tour. He looked like a fairly young man so we were all quite surprised to learn he was actually in his 60s.
He was quite proud of the fact that between the three of them, his two brothers and himself had a combined 66 years of service in the US Army.
The remains of Romney Manor. Built only 34 years after Columbus landed in America, this historical house later belonged to the grandfather of Thomas Jefferson.
Today it is a touristic attraction and a small batik factory, where local women make these colourful things.
And sell them in these tourist shops that I hate so much. Not that I have anything against them, they are simply a waist of my time, as I have no interest in buying any such things.
Brimstone Hill Fortress, not very far from the capital (actually, nothing can be far on the small island), is one of the country’s main attraction. Construction was started by the French in the late 17th Century and the site was abandoned by the British in 1853. After several phases of renovations during the 20th Century, the entire area became a National Park in 1987 and a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999. The fort is reached by way of minibuses that somehow make their way up a ridiculously narrow and twisty road with gates through which you would never think a minibus can go.
The size of the fortress indicates how important some of these islands were to the colonial powers of the time. The native population, the Kaligano, lived peacefully with the Europeans at first, but eventually decided to run them out of the island. The separate French and British colonies heard of this and in a rare move, joined forces and massacred the natives. Today the population is mainly composed of the descendants of African slaves.
Another category of residents is beginning to appear however. Through a foreign investment program, foreigner can obtain St-Kitts and Nevis citizenship by either giving a certain amount of money to local charities or building a real-estate project worth a certain amount. This is not like billionaires buying residency in Monaco; the amounts involved are well within the means of many successful professionals from developed countries. Combined with a tourism boom, this has lead to an explosion of new luxury homes in the south of the island, historically never inhabited due to a lack of fresh water.
The fort is strategically located on top of a hill, from where you see Sandy Point Town along the water and the Dutch island of Sint Eustatius in the distance.
I was disappointed to not have a lot of time to explore the capital of Basseterre. St-Kitts & Nevis gave me the impression of being a very interesting country to visit and is one of only 2 stops during the cruise (out of 6), where I would seriously consider retuning.
Not to take more pictures like this however. One per lifetime is enough.
Roosevelt seemed to think it was quite important to take a picture of all the tourists here. I will admit it is a cool site. Standing on the southern part of St-Kitts, with Nevis in the distance, the Caribbean sea on the right and the Atlantic Ocean on the left.
And unfortunately, after some delicious drink with banana, coconut milk, Baileys Irish Cream and something else, it was time to go.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, travelling by cruise ship is not exactly rocket science.