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Do not let the size and population of this island fool you. An island nation with a population of 109 thousand people, my homeland, St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) embodies the peace and tranquility that makes a trip worth while. Furthermore, it is untouched, and this is what makes it unique.

I was proud when I took a direct flight from JFK to Argyle International Airport (SVD) and walked through a glass jet bridge, which showcased the beauty of this small gem. Note: Argyle is the newest airport in the region and it is doing well. My direct flight was the second secluded nonstop flight to ever depart from a US airport to SVD, with Caribbean Airlines. The journey was 4 hours and 50 minutes and brought me into SVD by mid-day, so my exploration of SVG began much earlier than usual. In the past the journey was long and such a trip generally brought you into St. Vincent around 7 or 10 PM.

Trinity Falls 

My first stop on my second day was to Trinity Falls. I had heard many stories about Trinity Falls but never had the opportunity to visit. In the last few years, it seemed that the fanfare resounded around another local fall, Dark View, which is much more accessible but can’t be compared to Trinity. The journey to Trinity was long and arduous, yet fun and it could probably be packaged as a jungle tour experience. Our tour guide, Mr. Amos, took us across rivers, through bushes, up hills and down into valleys in order for us to see Trinity. Unfortunately, my cousins and I were unable to take a dip in the falls, because there was no way of getting into it. Nonetheless, it was nice to see Trinity from afar and to enjoy the crashing sounds that resounded from the falls. Hopefully, on my next trip, infrastructure will allow us to actually get into the water.

At Vermont Nature Trail, I realized that my outfit choice was off once I got there…

I was determined on my week-long trip to SVG to see as many sites as I could. Vermont Nature Trail was next on the list. I remembered it vaguely, from my visit with Sunday School way back, most likely before I was 10. Vermont is a nature walk, and my cousins and I enjoyed the shade of the trees that canopied the forest. Truth is, this is not the experience many people talk or think of when they picture the Caribbean, a juxtaposition to the beaches that people usually ascribe to the region. It was relaxing and was a reminder that tropical does not only mean beaches. The walk lasted for about 2 ½ hours. The bird sounds brought anticipation of spotting the Amazona Guildingii, St. Vincent’s national bird. But we were unlucky and didn’t see it…Next time, I guess.

Cousins Catoya and Carrie-ann on the jetty at Wallilabou

Sunday came but my exploration did not end. My cousins and I visited the site where Pirates of the Caribbean was filmed, Wallilabou, and Young Island to lime, hangout, as islanders say. I could have stayed at Wallilabou beach for the entire evening. The water was just the right shade of turquoise. And the way the sun hit the water brought me to an instant place of peace. I really wished I could have traded places with the young man, who I ran into, fishing on the jetty; maybe for a few weeks, lol. Also the exclusivity of Young Island, makes St. Vincent the ideal destination. We had some cocktails on the island at the Captain Bligh Lounge and bar after calling the island to gain access. We enjoyed the breeze coming from the water while having good chats and laughs. BTW, we spotted the Governor General while there. He was having dinner with some folks. The Governor General is one of the owners of the island and the Head of State for St. Vincent and Grenadines.
My cousin Tonnyia and I, waiting for the boat to Young Island

I could not return to the US without a visit to the Grenadines. The Tobago Keys and Canouan was on my radar. However, my cousin Catoya, warned that I may not have enough time since the ferry ride to Canouan lasted for four hours, so overnighting was recommended. Therefore, doing it on that Tuesday before I returned on Wednesday would have been unrealistic. Hence, Bequia was the best and quickest option to explore. Even though I had visited Bequia before, of course, there are always new things to discover. The talk with our taxi driver who gave us a grand tour of the island was awing, to say the least. To our surprise, he showed us three large private islands off the coast of Bequia and then told us one was his. I think our minds raced 100 miles an hour, thinking about how we could develop the area if we owned such an island.

Ocean gazing on the ferry ride to Bequia

As we pulled up to the tranquil Turtle Sanctuary and saw the cascading waves coming in threes, fours or even fives, it was an amazing sight to behold. The sanctuary is located right on the beach and there you will find turtles that are newborn to as old as 3, which is the age they are released.

After our visit to the Turtle Sanctuary, our taxi driver was nice enough to take us to Lower Bay since it was the only place where we may find lunch at about 1PM. There, Toya and I had lunch at Keegans Restaurant. My fish sandwich and callaloo soup, with a good ole Carib Beer, was everything!! What better to do after lunch than to mount the swing that was close to the restaurant, relax and then take a dip! And that’s exactly what I did.

Chilling at the beach

We got so lost in relaxation, that we lost track of time and forgot that the last ferry returned to mainland at 4:30PM. Had it not been for two angels who came in the form of a pastor and his wife, from the COG church in Bequia, we would have certainly missed that boat and I would have missed my flight back to New York. But all things work together for good!

St. Vincent is indeed the Gem of the Antilles. I have not discovered it all, but this last trip motivates me, to return for more.

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