Today is my one full day here on Nevis.
I had wanted to potentially ride with the Triathlon team here in Nevis, but their start time was early, and I wasn’t sure if I could get down to where they start (not even knowing where it was) before then. So I decided instead to do a hike. I read in my book that this Golden Rock Plantation has a nice hike with Vervet Monkeys, I figured I’d do that, and then go down to one of the nice beaches called Oualie Beach on my way back. Looking at the map it seemed doable.
Breakfast was part of my booking at Ocean View Inn. Pearline cooked me a classic English breakfast, 2 eggs, 2 sausages, and beans with toast. She lived in the Midlands of England for a couple decades apparently. Yum yum! After breakfast I give the payment company a call, no luck. Pearl tells me they run on island time, my rush isn’t their rush. I just want it sorted out. She says to not worry about it and go enjoy my day.
Before I leave Pearl remarks about my choice of footwear with sandals for a hike. I told her I don’t want to use my last clean pair of socks just yet, I want them for the flight home. I told her about how I was really close on clothes and was going to have to double wear what I’m wearing today, tomorrow which didn’t excite me much. She then offered to do my laundry while I’m gone! I really only need a day’s change of clothes, but 2 weeks’ worth of laundry with what I packed is like half a load so I give her everything. I really like her.
I packed my day pack and headed out, first stop Charlestown. Water proof camera, bathing suit, snorkel, and sunblock. Check, check, check, and check. At the end of our St. Lucia leg, Gary gave me his sunblock since he didn’t think he’d need it. I didn’t either but I knew I had 2 more weeks. Apparently mine burst on the way to Nevis, so no more of my sun block and I was happy to have what Gary gave me. Thanks man.
The walk down to the airport isn’t too bad, but boy is it hot by 9am. I find a bus and catch a ride, 4EC. Charlestown isn’t all that interesting, it’s much smaller than Roseau, and with less to see. There is a grocery store which I need. I picked up 2 bottles of water because it’s hot so 3L seems about right. I won’t be doing as much as on a hard ride back home, and yet a full 3L is likely needed. Onto the next bus which I find with good directions. Talking to the driver he’ll drop me at the hotel a little ways up an access road for an extra 1.50 EC. Local buses are one of the only things that’s cheap and absolutely worth spending a little extra on.
As it turns out I was doing a local a favor, she was also going right up to the hotel since she works there.
The owner was in town I guess, a really foofy white woman with her groomed little dog Rufus with a big underbite, a very cute dog. Apparently he had been off chasing the monkeys. I asked if he won, and the owner said I don’t know about that, but I’m not sure he lost either. I got a chuckle. The office gave me a hiking stick. I’m not sure I want to carry this, but if the monkeys are super aggressive or my knee acts up again I might really appreciate it. I also am given a map though it’s pretty cryptic. Off I go!
The trail is super wide for the most part, and very clear, thick jungle on each side. It’s fun peering in there, wondering what’s peering back out. A bit up the trail a troop of Vervet Monkeys cross the road but they hurry on, scared of me. I want a picture, but I don’t think I can get close enough. I’m hoping that they’ll be more curious and more prevalent as I get further away from people. The trail eventually narrows and gets a bit slippery. In places there are some pretty steep slides to the right. I think if I fell I’d get stuck in that vegetation and not make it very far, but I don’t want to find out, and I realized I forgot to pack my hiking whistle. I’m headed towards what they call “The Source” a waterfall that feeds the plantation. Along the way there are pipes and cisterns for the water. I’m sweating profusely and my legs are still tired from Sandy Cruz and Mt. Scenery plus all the walking to and from town in Saba. My feet actually hurt a bit from all this hiking I’ve been doing, practically every other day for the last week or so. I finally reach the source and am completely disappointed. Not only is the waterfall tiny, but it’s not flowing more than a faucet. I guess all that rain that Saba got missed Nevis. At least the hike there was pretty nice. I made good time heading back, and my knee was fine, no problems!
Returning to the Plantation, I decide to grab a bite, I’m starving. The restaurant is super nice, the ground in general are immaculate, grown over but in a very controlled clean way. There is way too much wait staff. I count five employees and at first just me, but later 2 or 3 more tables, but really only 1 person is needed for that. I know that the restaurant’s use is seasonal, but shouldn’t the work then be too? No need for people just standing around. I ordered Chicken Roti, I love this dish, and I swear I could do it at home. Make Indian curry with potatoes, but more than a night’s meal. Boil down the leftovers until it’s nice and thick. Take some filo dough from Trader Joe’s and wrap it up like a square burrito and fry in coconut oil on both sides. Done. That would be fun to do along with BBQ’d plantains. The restaurants version though is a tad tough, I’m sure with some practice I could do better!
I walk back down to the main road, much easier going downhill, and I’m already sweaty as hell. I find a bus after a bit headed back to Charlestown where I hop on another bus towards Newcastle, where my guest house is. Oualie Beach is along the way back. Getting off I walk to the beach, expecting to find a pristine beach on the other side of this nice little resort, hopefully with something to see underwater. What I find though is lots of washed up dead plant life and litter. Apparently there is a little stream that empties right near the beach that carries plastic bottles and other refuse out. I’m totally turned off and decide I don’t feel like snorkeling here. I think as a kid I wouldn’t care and would have jumped in. I’m also thinking I’m a bit spoiled when it comes to snorkeling, I had so many great experiences as a kid, and recent good experiences diving in Saba.
While waiting on the road for a bus and an earlier than expected trip back, I notice the sign for Wheel World Cyclery, its right here at the resort and is the place to rent bikes and where the Tri team starts their rides from! I go chat up the owner a bit, he’s clearly lived in England a while from his accent. He says the roads are quite safe, people are used to seeing cyclists out in the morning, and that everyone drives slowly for the most part. They take up the entire road and people just go around. I’m guessing they must break from the Triathlon rules and ride in a pack. I imagine it would have been plenty safe. Apparently the Thursday at 7am posted on their site wasn’t correct, they just wanted something up there so that people would inquire. I would have needed to sort that all out ahead of time I think.
I find a bus and get back to my guest house. Pearl had been down to the office but the owner wasn’t there. I was told I’d get an email and not to fret about it. I can’t help but fret about it though; I hate the idea of leaving without my bill being completely settled. She has no recompense if I just don’t follow up. I’m not a dine and dash kinda guy.
I start up downloading some Game of Thrones and Formula 1 for the airport. I take an early bed time, my stomach isn’t feeling good and I have heart burn on top of that. I think the Roti didn’t agree well with me. Bleh, can’t get sick before I fly. That would be miserable.