Basseterre, St. Kitts, was quiet first thing in the morning. It was humid, 85 deg. and we stopped at an open air bar for a cold soda. The shops displayed all of the same tourist products that you see all through the Caribbean, and at 10am we were still walking with empty hands.
A few minutes later, the gates were opened for the cruise ships and the cattle hit the grazing grounds. We waddled through the lines of the shops and heard similar sales pitches in each one. I am a sailor, with my own boat. I usually avoid tourist areas and drop my anchor away from the cruise ships. Here, the economy survives on tourism. Four Seasons Resort employs 10,000 of the Kitticians. I like to find the islands that have not been corrupted by the desire for wealth. I have lived on other islands only to watch cable TV, and tourism, turn a peaceful society into roving gangs and drug dealers. It is still years out for St. Kitts, but they are on that path. The outside force… and big dollar investors, are already here.
All of the original people of the island were very nice, sociable, and honest. Many times in the exchange of East Caribbean Dollars to US Dollars, they were quick to inform me that I had overpaid. The taxi fee from the hotel into town was only $12.00 US. Most of the shops in the tourist areas seem to be owned by Asian investors. I am a watch collector, and used to cut gemstones, so I can appreciate the quality and knowledge that they bring to the business. Tourists from the cruise ships are still overpaying even after they haggle for several minutes. In Nevis, and I suspect, St. Kitts, you must invest $400,000 to live here. That may be the smart move that saves them.
This woman, at Newcastle pottery in the mountains of Nevis, had formed all of her creations from Nevis clay. When she is satisfied with her work, it is fired behind the building in coconut husks. I bought the piece below for $18.00
When I lived in St. Croix, I usually had my breakfast on the boardwalk in Christiansted. It was an open air restaurant and I poured some water into a bowl, dissolved a few packets of sugar in it, and the banana birds came from all directions. One time, I had eight birds fluttering around the sugar water. This piece reminded me of that. In the picture, it is on my coffee table in Florida with the left-over EC coins in it.
I buy coffee cups everywhere I go. What can I say?
Below, I am at the stern of the ferry, with St. Kitts in the background.
At last, I am walking up the dock toward town. Good vibes here.
The main purpose of this vacation was to get a break from the fifty-six hour weeks I’m working now. I build cabinetry for 70′ yacht interiors. Each night when I return to my home, I add about 4 hrs a night for my writing, and advertising. (Such as this).
The strangest thing about this vacation was that Nevis / St. Kitts, were the safe havens for the main character in my next three books. As Louis refined a chemical that embellished and extended his life, he became prosecuted by the elite wealthy, politicians, and pharmaceutical companies. He became wealthy and the demand exceeded the supply. Through his prolonged life, and several wives, he escaped to a home in Nevis, in all three books. Nevis is a sovereign country and a safe haven for wealth. I had never been there and had done all my research on the internet.
In my books, Louis played chess with an old island man in the square by the police station. The old man named Charles had never been beat. I went up to a security guard at a bank and described my park. He pointed up the road and told me where to find it. I told him about the book. He said there was a man that played chess and checkers there, and is never beat… but his name is not Charles.
It was so strange to be walking through the pages of my books. They are all three finished, and presently being edited. Watch for Longue Duree’ I, II, III.
I used to live in St. Croix in the US Virgin Islands. I will be there in May and June this year. The alley in book 1, where the original chemical was acquired, is in Christiansted, St. Croix. I will hire a photographer and shoot the alley at night. I remember the alley from many years ago. I hope no one has remodeled it. Book 1 is being edited now.
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