“Don’t Worry, Be Happy” in St. Kitts

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That’s what our tour guide, Junie, would keep saying throughout our 4-hour tour of St. Kitts today. Before boarding the open-air bus with 10 other passengers this morning we did wonder what we were in store for! But the price was $25 ea. and to get to see the entire 68 mile island I thought it was a decent deal. We left the port area and immediately ran into a traffic jam. “Don’t worry, be happy” as Junie would say!

He drove us on a bus tour of downtown and the government buildings. We learned that Africans were brought to the island in the 1600’s to work the sugar cane fields.  The British controlled the island until recently when St. Kitts was given its independence.

Our tour also included a drive-by visit to an old sugar plantation where the sugar cane was boiled and sugar extracted. The sugar cane industry here is now a thing of the past. We then headed to the island’s rain forest.  Junie served rum punches but we stuck with our bottled water.  The noise and singing of the rest of the group got considerably louder on the bus after the rum punches!

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A 102 year old Dallas Cowboy fan?

One stop we made was in front of an old house where we wished the oldest man on St. Kitts a happy birthday. He will be 102 tomorrow.  Our last stop was on the east end of the island at an overlook where you could see the Atlantic Ocean on the left and the Caribbean Sea on the right. 750_2215ac_resize

The bus ride to say the least was an experience, somewhat jolting, sometimes careening around mountain roads, and did I mention they drive on the left side of the road.  The island had two sides, the poorer neighbors were prevalent, the richer side much smaller but quite beautiful including the 600 room Marriott Hotel.  They have several medical schools here and one veterinarian university. I couldn’t help wishing they would work on their trash services  and help the people with decent housing, although we did see one neighborhood of small government homes, beautifully painted in island colors.

We were happy to get back to the ship, and had quick sandwiches for lunch.  Staying away from the buffet once in a while is sometimes a good idea.  So many choices:  Oriental, Mexican, roast beef, seafood, chicken, ribs, salads, and way too many desserts.  The problem with all that is that dinner is just another few hours away!!

All in all, a pretty interesting day.  I hope you had one too.  Wayne and Mary Alice

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