Bequia with Friends

2018-02-07 : Planning Notes

2018-02-10 : Travel Day - Primary
A long, mostly uneventful travel day it was. Brent, Keith and I left Edmonton after midnight and met up with Ann in Toronto early in the morning. The three of us proceeded on to Barbados, and had enough time to zip across the road to Pug's for the obligatory Banks beer before proceeding on to St. Vincent.

Our LIAT plane to St. Vincent was delayed a little more than an hour, but as pre-arranged, Deborah was at the new airport to collect us and take us to our AirBnB. The house is enormous and beautiful with spectacular views. It is also partway up a crazy steep hill which Deborah's van is not able to climb. Sadly, when she tried, the rear end got stuck on the highway. I walked up the crazy steep hill to find the house while the others helped get Deborah un-stuck. We won't be asking her to climb the hill again - we'll meet her down at the highway for future trips.
Sadly, my faithful Windows Surface is refusing to read my photo cards. I was hoping it would survive one more trip, but I think it's about done. It will work for other stuff this time, but I won't be able to post any pics until we're home, which is disappointing. I'll need a new gadget before our next trip!

2018-02-11 : Dollar Van/St. Vincent Orientation
Travel Day - Joanne
We had a great relax day today. Brent and I walked about a km down the Windward Highway and bought some tomatoes and plantains from the rasta guy at his produce stand. We ate some plantains and two mangoes that Brent got from the tree in the yard. We got the plumbing fixed in the master bedroom (thank goodness). Arrion (our AirBnB hostess) took us down the highway to buy groceries (thank goodness... I can only live on plantains for so long). Deborah came out to pick up Joanne from the airport (Deborah doesn't usually work on Sundays). We didn't make her try and drive up the steep steep hill tonight. We did, however, arrange for her to take us up to Georgetown on Tuesday to meet our hike guide.

2018-02-12 : Kingstown - Pay Corea for La Soufriere
We took the dollar van (or three-dollar van, as the case may be) into Kingstown today. We poked around and took care of some chores - paying for our guided hike, getting money, getting hike snacks for tomorrow. Had lunch and beers. Then took the three-dollar van back to where we're staying (which is in the Prospect area). Tomorrow - La Soufriere!

2018-02-13 : La Soufriere (D4)
Category Type Name Description Service Provider Cost Kms To Date Total
Activity Hike La Soufriere - Biner Card
$490.00 12.00 12.00
Brent always says the worst times make the best stories. Today is a day ripe with good stories.

We started off with booking Deborah to take us up to Georgetown to meet our guide rather than taking the bus up. That was actually a good thing. Except we got up there super early. As we pulled into town, Deborah recognized our guide and she says "How are you getting to the trailhead? I know that guy. He doesn't have a vehicle." Uh-oh. The guide was supposed to take us to and from the trailhead from Georgetown. We (well, really, the guide) talked her into taking us all the way up to the trailhead, which she wasn't super happy about (the road is rough and her van is in really good shape).

A week before we left on this trip, the weather forecast was calling for the worst weather... today. 10mm of rain for the day. Yikes! Brent says "oh, we can survive that". I say "I don't want to just survive it, I want to have a nice time and be able to see stuff!". So, I tried to call the guiding company all day on Friday to see about changing dates, but I never managed to reach them. As the weekend wore on, the forecast for today improved, so I stopped worrying about changing the dates. Until we had a horseman-worthy rain-pocalypse over night.

We had a couple of enthusiastic rain showers on the first part of the trail, which is in the rain forest. When we got up above the treeline, however, is when things got REALLY enthusiastic. We had wind strong enough to help push us up the volcano, and hard enough rain to give me two soakers without having had to step into a stream to get them. We got up to the top and couldn't see anything down in the caldera but fog, but we did get our "Ed Shirt" photo.

The trip out saw the weather clearing back up again, of course. It was actually a really great hike.

Before we set out, our guide, Elroy, had arranged for a bus to pick us up at the trailhead at 2PM. He and Keith made it to the trailhead on time, and the rest of us were about 8 minutes behind. No bus. We talked about some options, and Elroy considered asking the American couple who'd hiked up on their own for a lift down to Georgetown to come back with a ride for us. Hmmmmmmm. But then he managed to call for a cab, and after a short wait, the cab came and took us back to Georgetown, and all ended well.

Incidentally, our guide, Elroy Browne, was amazing. He was so nice, and friendly, and was a walking encyclopedia of information about the plants, the area, the politics, the world... a very interesting man to talk to. We very much enjoyed going up and down the volcano with him and I would highly recommend him if you're considering La Soufriere.

2018-02-14 : To Bequia, Bequia Orientation
Category Type Name Description Service Provider Cost Kms To Date Total
Activity Hike Belmont Walkway
$0.00 2.00 14.00
Our transfer to Bequia was amazingly uneventful, given the number of moving parts. Deborah showed up, as planned, to take us to the ferry. The ferry departed, as planned, and got us to Bequia, as planned, for 11:30AM. Our taxi met us, as planned, at the ferry and took us directly to the St. James apartments. The building manager, Veda, met us, as planned, at the apartments for check-in. I do love it when a plan comes together!

After we got settled in, we walked down to the harbour, walked the Belmont Walkway and groceried up.

2018-02-15 : Bequia Beach Day
Today we enjoyed a beach day. We walked the Belmont Walkway, then took the spanky new walkway (complete with guardrail) around the headland to Princess Margaret Beach. Ann and I hung out on the beach while Jo, Keith and Brent snorkeled about. We hid from a squall under Lenox the Lion's tarp (which is conveniently located right under a Manchineel Tree), then took the trail over the headland and down the road to Lower Bay. We had lunch at La Plage, then Jo and Brent snorkeled a little more while Keith did "Snoring Yoga" on the beach.

2018-02-16 : Hamilton Fort, Dive and Moonhole
Category Type Name Description Service Provider Cost Kms To Date Total
Activity Hike Hamilton Fort
$0.00 3.00 17.00
All five of us walked up to Hamilton Fort this morning. The vendor was up at the top, and although he still had my two binerdanas that I'd given him, he'd cut them up and sewed just the "Bequia" text and Bequia map onto a couple of shirts. I think he would have had better success selling them if he'd left them as binerdanas.

After lunch, we split into two groups. Brent, Jo and Keith went for a dive with Dive Bequia, and Ann and I met up with Gabi and Sue for an island tour in Gabi's car.

Gabi first took us out to her home to drop off her groceries (of course that's an essential part of any island tour). We then went out to La Pompe to pick up Sue. From there, we went all the way down to the south tip of the island and got a good look around the Sandrock Property, which Gabi designed. From Sandrock we were able to directly access the beach in front of the condo portion of Moonhole (the original Moonhole was on the other side of a headland, so we didn't get to see that), but WOW - I didn't think I'd ever get that close-up of a look at Moonhole. I'm super sorry that Jo wasn't with us when we went there because that was the one thing she asked me for, was a look at Moonhole.

Meanwhile, Brent and Keith had a nice dive while Jo had to abort after 15 minutes due to compression issues.

2018-02-17 : Walk to Park and Back
Category Type Name Description Service Provider Cost Kms To Date Total
Activity Hike North end of De Road
$0.00 8.00 25.00
The five of us walked this morning down to Park, and the end of the pavement of De Road past Old Hegg Turtle Sanctuary (which was closed), toward Bequia Head. It was a beautiful, and sometimes windy, walk.

When we got back, four of us went for lunch (Keith stayed home to do homework, but had a nap). Then, Ann and Jo went off to the beach while Brent and Keith went off for a rum tour. I hung out at the house.

2018-02-18 : Bus to Padget Farm - Walk Back
Today we took a bus down to Padget Farm and then walked back, via Susan's house. Walking back was easier than in the past because when we got up to the spine of the island, we could drop down to Lower Bay and then walk back via the beaches rather than walking the busiest part of De Road.

We thoroughly enjoyed visiting Susan. She has a great view, and fed us wonderful fajitas.

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