Back from our cruise with Fred Olsen on MS Braemar and the warm sea and sand are just a memory- but the new islands we visited were, for the most part, a delight. St Kitts we liked a lot, having already done the iconic railway we enjoyed the town, visited an estate house and really enjoyed conch soup and grilled prawns sitting on a wraparound balcony watching the world go on by – that is the joy of cruising, dip in and out and decide which you want to return to and which not. In our case we have always loved Antigua so a stay at Nelsons Dockyard is on the list while St Maartens isn’t – too many designer shops and diamond emporiums and no sense of anyone actually living, buying food and inhabiting the place – but, of course, to some cruisers it is their ideal port of call. Cant wait for my next cruise – luckily only have to wait to July, The Faroes, Norway and Iceland – methinks I won’t be snorkelling!
I can think of few things more pleasurable than sailing along on a sunny Caribbean afternoon aboard my favourite ship MS Braemar, heading towards Cuba. This follows a couple of lazy days at sea catching up with the new things onboard, love the coffee bar, already a morning favourite and enjoying that which we always enjoy, a delightful small ship, with all of the amenities one needs and none of the superfluous ones
After the normal long flight, patience and tolerance to the fore, we were amply rewarded by the aeroplane doors opening to reveal a bright and welcoming Bajun sun.
Day one was spent aboard the totally delightful Friendship Rose, a beautiful sailing boat with a long history, restored and ready to sail along the coast of St Vincent, stopping off for a snorkel and a spot of beach, the bluest of skies and some local delicacies, bananas,sweet and delicious,nothing like the blotting paper variety we are treated to at home, fresh coconut water, ginger biscuits and, of course,rum punch,post swimming to ensure that any fish we saw were seen singly and not in pairs!
Will report from Cuba where the weather is looking good and the prospect of a tour in one of the iconic cars beckons!
Continuing our travels, our two days at the Jetwing Sea Negumbo were an ideal and relaxing start, dinner on the beach and some great seafood is, in my world, guaranteed to be a good start and so it proved! Onwards, with our great driver Prema, provided by Kuoni – gosh these drivers are good! Being confronted, at about 45mph, with a very slow van obviously driven by people with a death wish turning straight across your path might make a lesser person squeak, just a bit – not so our driver, braking just the right amount and carrying on with aplomb – great job!
Here we are up in the hills at Cinnamon Lodge Habaranna. green and lush. Love the Christmas decorations, reindeer and snowmen in the tropics, fab! Spent a happy morning having a bullock cart ride, then a canoe to a smallholding to meet some a local family who were incredibly hospitable, interesting to see the fruit and veg. being grown and to drink home made herbal tea whilst nibbling on a lump of jaggery, sweet, sweet and basic form of sugar – perfect with the tea!
Palm squirrels a great amusement in the hotel, they whisk fearlessly about searching for the slightest opportunity to acquire food – loved this mornings effort – onto the table, stick of sugar out of the pot and down onto the poolside to nibble his treasure – and show off in front of his mates!
More travels tomorrow, happy to relax and explore the hotel grounds for now – amazing wildlife, birds and butterflies – yesterdays up close and personal encounter with a boa constrictor called Pinkie was close enough to the local snake population for me tho!