Caribbean Cruise Day 4 – St Kitts Oil Starved Railway

Welcome to day 4.

Hopefully you have got a sense by now that the weather on this trip is less than perfect. When it’s hot, it’s hot and it’s glorious, but global warming has changed the Caribbean weather to a point where the coral is dying and rain showers in the Dry season are brief but frequent. Sailing into St Kitts this morning was, according to announcements, challenging at best. The unseasonably high winds, now force 8, meant that we had to dock slowly in order for the thrusters to keep us from being blown into the port and crashing.

This could be why I woke up early, or it could just be the ideas that had been formed in my head over night. I woke up to the stark realisation that we were at Butlins. They’ve taken that concept and jazzed it up with better locations and weather. Throw in better food and service and the opportunity to dress up in a tux or cocktail dress a few times, but you’ve still got Butlin’s at sea. Underneath it all is a very British holiday resort where British customs are in force, along with British food and British entertainment with the addition of the Purell police. I’ve been to tropical places before and you get bottled water for free in your room, they want you hydrated as they know how important it is. Not on this ship, you can get one bottle free here if you buy 5 but that’s as far as the gratuity extends. Even the plug sockets are British standard 3 pins. The entertainment is cabaret, tribute acts and show tunes. There’s bingo going on and knit and natter (or stitch and bitch as the ladies who go call it) All in, it’s a British resort holiday with nicer weather and a new beach to discover each day. You certainly can’t explore much of any island as it would cost a fortune and you only have about 8 or 9 hours of time at most.

Rant over.

St Kitts is home to our first excursion of the holiday. My choice as I quite like trains. It’s something my father liked and it rubbed off on me. I even got to drive a steam train once but that’s another story. This railway was built for tourists and is a two story train on half gauge tracks. It basically feels like it’s going to topple over a lot. I loved it, despite the several heavy downpours we were subjected to that drenched us. I mostly enjoyed the rum heavy drinks they supplied. I figured we’d get one but it was more like 4 and I was pretty drunk by the end of the journey. What I do remember is that the whole train is need of some oil, it just squeaks and squeals its way along the tracks. The scenery was beautiful though, and the whole thing was well narrated by a local providing all sorts of information about how much they hate monkeys and how we can take them all with us if we want.

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The St Kitts Railway in all her glory – Photo by Technicalbob

Not sure my sister and wife were feeling it as much as me, I had my GoPro out, a rum beverage in my hand, the wind in my hair and I’d made friends with the elderly couple sat next to me. Turns out their son lives just round the corner from us. Small world, after all. You can see a rough edit of my GoPro footage below.

We were delivered back to the boat in time for Lunch and decided to head into town to see what that was about. We had to get a shuttle bus as the birth nearest the town was taken by Brittania, another P&O ferry even bigger than ours. There was some live entertainment, people dancing and such but it became apparent that shopping in the Caribbean was pretty much the same on each island, just the names on the beach shirts and the magnets and the various, skilfully, carved wooden odds and ends changed. The diamond shops were all much of a muchness and there was no shortage of rum varieties. We quickly ran out of things to do and the ‘we hate cruises’ feelings started to emerge as we realised that this holiday was not going to offer us much of what we perdonally want from a holiday. I spent the rest of the evening trying to cheer up The Wife, not that I was much help.

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St Kitts Dancers – Photo by Technicalbob

The highlight of the day came courtesy of our minibus driver en route to the railway. He spoke as though he was fond of the waccy baccy and even had his own catchphrase. Our travels through Indonesia gave rise to me and H saying ‘special, for you’, whenever we make food or drinks for each other, as most people there said it to us. This chap gave rise to a whole new quote by constantly telling us ‘you’ll be fine’ in a drawn out manner. Every story he told about the island contained at least one character who would be fiiiinne despite their #IslandLife troubles. He was genuinely funny with it too.

Back to the beginning here

Go forth to day 5 here

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