11 January 2020

St. Kitts Trip

  1. A rather accurate weather station in our hotel Jan 11, 2020

  2. The best way to inspire somebody to run on the beach on a day like today… Jan 11, 2020

    … is to let him put his hat on when he goes to the beach 🙂

  3. Sign outside the shop in the hotel Jan 11, 2020

    The writing in chalk is not very legible in this picture. But it says “Your husband called… He said buy anything you want”

  4. Calm before the fury… Jan 11, 2020

  5. The morning clouds are moving out now Jan 11, 2020

  6. 5K run in the 24th country Jan 11, 2020

  7. Morning view of the Atlantic Jan 12, 2020

  8. Capping out a successful year Jan 12, 2020

    Team dinner to celebrate a great year and looking forward to the next one… Missed one of our key members though…

    Thank you Malini for your great suggestion for dinner spot. That was total serendipity that last week you were exactly where we are this week. Your reconnaissance served us well last night!

    We saw the owner/head chef but I did not get to ask him the burning question I had in my mind. Why put the phone number on the front awning? Once somebody has figured out how to reach there (we made a couple of wrong turns going up the hill), what use would the phone number be of any more? 🙂

  9. This gotta be interesting… Jan 12, 2020

    Got a rental car for myself to drive around the island. I had mentally prepared myself to drive on the left side of the road. I kept reminding myself that the drivers instinct is always to keep himself to the middle of the road. So, it all works out.

    Except that when I got into the car, I realized it is a US car (driver on left) but I have to drive UK style (left side of the road).

    This is going to be interesting…

  10. Relaxing in Reggae Beach Jan 12, 2020

  11. Best beach bar logo I have ever seen Jan 12, 2020

    Reminds me of a Jagjit Singh sing!

  12. Looking into our hotel from Timothy Hill Jan 13, 2020

  13. Frigate Bay… from Timothy Hill Jan 13, 2020

  14. “Last of the railways in the West Indies” Jan 13, 2020

    One of the lasting legacies of British Empire has been the railways they always built in their colonies. Even for a tiny island like St. Kitts, there is a railway that used to take sugarcane to the processing factories in Basseterre.

    Now, I believe this is the only surviving railway that operates a train. Only for tourism purposes though. It is still narrow gauge!!

  15. Brimstone Hill Fortress Jan 13, 2020

    This is an impressive large structure (the part you see here is only one portion) made on top of the hill. Dates back to the 17th century. Apparently, this fort has never been conquered except once when the French lay siege on the British soldiers here.

  16. A Cannon. By Nikon. Jan 13, 2020

    Okay, I will see myself out now 🙂

  17. Black beaches Jan 13, 2020

    The Caribbean usually conjures up images of pristine beaches, crystal blue water and the even bluer skies. One does not think of volcanoes. But St. Kitts has a (dormant) volcano in Mt. Liamuiga (Mt. Misery). The effect of prior activity can be seen on the north east side of the island. The beaches are filled with volcanic rock and the sand itself is black in color from those rocks getting pounded by big waves for centuries.

  18. Atlantic. Unbridled Jan 13, 2020

    Those waves were at least twenty to thirty feet high. Even seeing from a fairly elevated point, they looked impressive in size.

  19. Layers upon layers Jan 13, 2020

  20. Beautiful Reggae Beach Jan 13, 2020

  21. End of a day. Sun’s down. Sail’s down. Jan 13, 2020

  22. St. Kitts, as seen from Nevis Jan 14, 2020

  23. In Pinney’s Beach Jan 14, 2020

    You can see Mt. Nevis – a dormant volcano behind us.

    One interesting thing I learnt yesterday – Alexander Hamilton, one of the authors of American Constitution was born in Nevis and spent his early childhood here!

  24. That local brew is not for the weak of constitution Jan 14, 2020

    Went to Sunshine Restaurant. We had heard a lot about it. The bar there makes a local punch – that you can buy by the glass or bottle. I asked them for the ingredients but they insisted it is their secret.

    It obviously has rum and some different kind of fruit juices, I am assuming. You drink it after mixing some bitters and nutmeg.

    I did not get a chance to taste it but from the effect it had on my friends, even to the untrained eye, it was evident that the Killer Bees pack quite a punch.

  25. Great fun was had by one and all Jan 14, 2020

    Some of the famous quips from my teammates sitting on Pinney’s beach with the Killer Bees… “Dumb people do not know they are dumb”! I have no idea what the context was but that statement stuck in my mind.

    There was a time I had stepped out to get something – probably another round of drinks. When I came back, the topic of discussion somehow had veered towards tattoos. And the statement that made me double up in laughter … “What happens in Nevis… stays in your lower back”.

    Speaking of stepping out to get something… apparently, I am so worried about arranging stuff and organizing details, that my team has a new name for me… “Raj Uncle!”

  26. One more view of the Atlantic Ocean Jan 14, 2020

  27. An Intersection point in Nevis!! Jan 14, 2020

    The bus had just dropped us off at the Indian Summer restaurant in Nevis. One by one we rolled into the restaurant, fairly impressed by its size and decor – given that we were on a very small, hard to get to island. Just I stepped in, a gentleman – an owner of the restaurant – came up to me and asked “You are Rajib Roy, right?”.

    “I indeed am! You are Hiren, right?

    As the team settled down at our table, I took a few minutes to get to know Hiren and about his family and background. Finally, when I came back to my seat at the table, a rather surprised Dan asked “How do you know anybody here? Do all Indians know ever other Indian?”.

    Of course, that was a rhetorical question. We are tipping the scales at 1.3 Billion now.

    “Ah, I have a very interesting story that goes back nearly a decade”.

    “Pray, tell!”

    Well, about ten years back, I had started barefoot running. I used to get into a lot of muscle stiffness issues – especially in the calves. Eventually, I gave up after a couple of years and went back to running shoes. But during that period, I had tried a lot of things to see if I could ease the pain. One particular morning, after a rather painful run, upon Sharmila’s recommendation, I had booked myself an appointment at a local massage place in Alpharetta.

    When I showed up, I told the young lady of my muscle stiffnesses and that I needed her to focus on the running sore points. As she was trying to get the muscles loosened up, I took the time to talk to her and get to know about her and her family and all that. (This part should not surprise anybody).

    Found about that Amy was a Hmong. Hmongs are a small ethnic group who live up in the mountains in a particular region covering parts of Laos, Vietnam and the adjoining countries. This peace loving community, however, was deeply affected by the Vietnam war and the Indochina wars forcing many to immigrate to other countries. I think they are part of the “Unrepresented People Organization” in the UN.

    In any case, that day, I got to know a lot about Amy, her mom and their family history. Also, her birthday. Which, of course, meant that once a year, I kept up with the progress she and her mom were making in their lives. I know she switched to the Four Seasons hotel in downtown Atlanta and then moved to the Ritz in Grand Cayman.

    I believe (and my facts are a little fuzzy here), she had to come to vacation in Nevis with her friends one year. And made friends with the bar owner in the hotel she was staying in (also Four Seasons). That bar owner – Hiren – also had an Indian restaurant nearby.

    From my Facebook posts, she had realized I was in St. Kitts and had asked me if I was going to be in Nevis. When I let her know yesterday that I will be there, she had given Hiren a heads up!!!

    And that is how, Hiren knew of me!!

    As you can imagine, the team was suitably impressed!

    But that was nothing compared to how impressed we all were with the food. As you can guess, I might have eaten in an Indian restaurant here and there. This was top the books. Our teammate Doug, the chef par excellence in our group – and decidedly with high standards when it comes to food quality actually walked up to the chef in the kitchen to pay his compliments.

    Never thought that I will have some of the best Indian food in the world in a small island called Nevis.

    But then again, I never thought I will make intersection points in that island either!!!

  28. The one time I wish I had upgraded my iPhone 7 Jan 14, 2020

    Before returning the rental car, Doug and I made one last trip to the top of Timothy Hill. Just in time to capture this rainbow hugging the island. I did not have my DSLR with me – since it was raining. Had to make do with my iPhone.

  29. South side aerial view from Timothy Hill Jan 14, 2020

    To the left is the Atlantic Ocean. To the right is the Caribbean Sea. The straight line of mountains keep them apart. The barely visible mountain to the top right is Mt. Nevis in the next island.