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Enjoy some pictures of the worldrecordtour, taken in St. Kitts


St. Kitts Map


Map of the Caribbean

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First sight of the island of St. Kitts
dotted with patches of sugar cane fields
Huckster boat "MV Pride la Dominique"
on arrival in the port of Basseterre
View of Nevis, the mountainous
sister island of St. Kitts

St. Kitts & Nevis - "The best place in the world" or "Two Islands - One Paradise"

The brilliant stars above us, the rough sea right besides us - thus we are steadily sailing, i.e. rolling and rocking towards our new destination St. Kitts & Nevis; it will become the 146th country. Luckily, we bought enough tablets against seasickness in Dominica because on our rusty and adventurous banana boat "Pride la Dominique" I (Liliana) have to swallow one after the other as our vessel starts moving dramatically from one side to the other. The trip is lasting ten hours, so we prepared the beds in our car, but there is no way that we can find some sleep. The most critical situation comes up around 3am near Montserrat. Suddenly we notice that our car starts moving sideways. Emil jumps immediately out of the LandCruiser through the side door, as the back door is constantly bombarded with heavy sea showers because we are parked at the far end of the boat. As soon as possible, he grabs some straps out of our car, finds a lose rope between all the stocked bananas and boxes and is thus able to lash our car.


The capital of Basseterre spreads
along the coastal plain
Busy town center of Basseterre
with Circus Clocktower
Impressive catholic cathedral
in Basseterre

Frigate birds circle in the blue skies, as on April 26 at 10am we dock at the ferry terminal of the capital Basseterre. The hucksters, who are traveling with their merchandise of fruits and vegetables for selling it to locals on other islands, immediately start with the hard work of unloading their banana bunches by throwing them from hand to hand. More than one falls into the water. After a while, a young immigration officer lady shows up and the Captain is handing her over the passports of all his 20 passengers. As she studies ours and starts to argue with him, we know immediately that there is a upcoming problem, most probably regarding the compulsory return ticket to our home country, which we do not have. Moreover, we applied for a stay of one month instead of the usual two weeks. She simply is overwhelmed with our special case and has to call her supervisor, who is firstly ready to grant us three weeks but finally still gives us the requested four weeks.


White egrets hatch since years
on these trees in middle of houses
Serene salt pond on the Peninsula
Our favorite spot at South Friar Beach

In the meantime, Ms. Ifuela from the Ministry of Tourism arrives. We stayed in contact since almost a year with this institution in order to eliminate all the fees for the temporary import of our car, as we had done it on the previous islands. The voluminous file she is carrying with her shows that many special documents had to be issued. In her company is a TV cameraman who should have interviewed us for the news but after a while he disappears, as it does not seem that we will manage to make our entry soon. One reason is that our vessel is hopelessly overloaded and Captain Conrad gets stuck in the ground with the propeller as he tries to reach the berth. Also the time consuming unloading of half of the huckster's freight does not help. Then, from the rusty ship ramp at least one-third is missing, which the local stevedores want to replace now with plywood. Each of the guys shouts louder than the others and each one wants to give better instructions how we should maneuver over it. But we realize immediately that this thin board will not hold the weight of our LandCruiser. Therefore, Emil refuses strictly to try it with the result that nothing happens any more until 2pm, when the Captain finally decides to change over to the deepwater harbor and let us disembark there. During his unsuccessful maneuvers, he nearly demolishes a big anchor of a neighbor vessel. But finally he makes it and we can drive out.


Marriott Hotel in Frigate Bay
in a wonderful ocean setting
Nicely maintained golf course
of the Marriott Hotel
The sea is the playing
ground for island children

And then - as secretly feared - the fat is in the fire again. Why are we going through this over and over again, we ask ourselves. Being already mid-afternoon, it is of course now too late to finish all the necessary bureaucracy. Therefore - as already experienced in St. Lucia - we are asked to hand over our car keys. And again like there, we refuse and threaten to leave with the same boat to the next destination. Luckily, the supervisor agrees that we can sleep in the port in our car. The following day new fees appear - despite the contrary promises of the Ministry of Tourism - which we are not ready to pay beforehand. This time it is a 6% customs service charge on the local value of the car. Thus we are involved again in hot discussions until finally a very friendly lady from the Finance Ministry decides that we do not have to pay the fee in question. On the second day, mid-afternoon, all the papers are signed and we are finally free. Again and again it is like a "game" we have to play - annoying, but apparently unavoidable.


A canon of Brimstone Hill Fortress
is watching over the coastline
View from Brimstone Hill Fortress
to the island of Statia
(St. Eustatius/Netherlands Antilles)
Beautifully restored Brimstone Hill Fortress, a UNESCO Heritage site

Already while approaching this island, we noticed that it is different than the others: Patches of cultivated fields, especially sugar cane, stretch along the narrow coastal plain and high up to the barren hills. Lush green forest is scarce and appears only on the far top of the highest mountains. The rest of the many hills are covered mainly with high, yellow grass, dotted with luxury villas and condominiums in pastel colors. Many Canadian and American flags wave in their gardens. A special landmark is the new, luxury Marriott Hotel at Frigate Bay. It is built according to American standards, with a Casino and a Golf Course, directly on the seashore, but on the wild Atlantic coast where swimming is not very good. The golf course is very attractive. It stretches from the Caribbean Sea to the Atlantic Ocean, which is only a couple of hundred meters away, and is dotted with little natural ponds and a few palm trees that bend in the sea breeze. It is really interesting, how very different the islands - which are so close from each other - can be. We knew that after Dominica each comparison would be hard - nevertheless "The best place in the world", as St. Kitts calls itself, is a bit disappointing for us, as in our view, it has not anymore much in common with the Caribbean flavor. Even if there are still palm trees, thorny acacias are just as common. Even if there are still black faces, white faces are also just as common. Even if we still can pay everywhere with their own East Caribbean currency, US$ are charged in supermarkets if we pay with our credit card. But this is exactly what Americans like: The same living standard as back home, but in a nicer climate, where the sun is shining 365 days a year.

In good company during lunch time
View from Timothy Hill to the
deserted peninsula in the Southeast
A member of the Green Vervet
Monkey family between the
foliage of a mango tree

Nevertheless: We find also here positive aspects and over all a fascinating landscape too: The small stretch of the Southeast peninsula, from Frigate Bay to the very far edge, is still mostly untouched, deserted, wild, dotted with natural salt ponds and desert-like hills with organ pipe cacti, some untouched golden beaches and everywhere spectacular views. It remembers us very much to Southern California or Baja California in Mexico. How long it will remain like this, is questionable. On many places, the roads to the very top of the hills already exist. The only reason, while the construction work has not started yet is because apparently the land prices are still rising. Afterwards, this remaining little part of untouched nature may disappear also forever.

On a cloudless day, we decide to circumnavigate the island. With the green fields of sugar cane ready to be cut, there is a sense of rural charm everywhere. And when the old narrow gauge railway wagons, filled with the harvest, slowly roll by, the feeling for nostalgic times gets stronger. Throughout the Caribbean, we always encountered scattered ruins of he robust, circular stone structures of the sugar mills. They dot also here the landscape - as a proud reminder of a time gone by. Reaching Brimstone-Hill Fortress National Park in the Northwest - called also "Gibraltar of the West Indies" in earlier times and now designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site - we are able to discover not only a beautifully restored Fortress, abandoned by the English in 1850 and restored again in 1960, but also splendid island views. Mid-afternoon, we are already back where we started, in the picturesque town of Basseterre with their well-preserved colonial houses. Around each corner, the English past is alive. The small green "Circus Clock Tower", the miniature London clock tower in the middle of the busy town center, adds to this special feeling.


Rusty fishing boat in Dieppe Bay
Sugar cane cutters at work in Saddlers
Ruin of an ancient sugar mill
tower in Dieppe Bay

Here in St. Kitts - as a change - we can sleep in a real bed, in the guest room of Dianne, a Canadian, who we met a couple of months ago in Trinidad and who bought a house one and a half year ago at Frigate Bay - the Tourist Mecca of the island. She has three big dogs - a German Shepard called Blondie and two mixtures named Smoky and Spiky. A little family of monkeys do not belong to her household, but they chose their sleeping tree right next to her house. We never get tired to watch them picking the berries form the tree, swinging from branch to branch, screaming and chasing each other or simply look curiously through the foliage. We have been told that these "Vervet (Green) Monkeys" are getting a pest to the farmers because they are becoming too numerous and steal fruits and vegetables. Who knows what the destiny of these entertaining creatures will be!

Old stone church with Mausoleum
on the coast near Saddlers
Good-by from St. Kitts & Nevis -
"Two Islands - One Paradise"
"MV Cap Canaille" docking in
the port of Philipsburg on Sint Maarten/Netherlands Antilles
From the Southeast end of St. Kitts - our favorite spot -we look nearly every day to the majestic volcano of the mountainous island of Nevis. Together with St. Kitts they form a "shaky" federation - on Nevis exists an unyielding independence movement. Despite that Nevis is only a stone's throw away, i.e. approx. three kilometers from St. Kitts, we do not manage to visit it. One day because it is too hazy, another day because we find that the passage of US$ 180.- is too expensive, and when we finally made up our mind to go, we are told that the car ferry has stopped working for the next few days. And until it runs again, we will already be far away. It is a pity as it is said that Nevis is still quite untouched and undeveloped. Also our systematic island hopping does not work out, as we would have liked. Very soon we had to realize that it is not possible to find any appropriate vessel from here neither to Antigua nor to Montserrat. Therefore, we have to postpone those two countries and head first to Sint Maarten as part of the Netherlands Antilles. On May 21, 10.45am we board the "MV Cap Canaille" of the French CMA-CGM line - for a change once a normal, comfortable ferry - which will sail us through St. Barths (also known as St. Barthélemy) to Philipsburg. As if "Two Islands - One Paradise" want to make the farewell easier, heavy clouds cover the summits of the hills of St. Kitts and an impenetrable curtain of rain hides the island of Nevis, as we slowly sail out of the port of Basseterre.
Articles in newspapers about us in St. Kitts:
Interview: "World record holders visit St. Kitts",    The Sun - April 30, 2004