Trip Update, Day 11, Delta 2 – Eric von Aschwege
With the exception of some early morning rain, everyone slept like a rock with the boats lying perfectly still at the Basseterre docks. Captains woke early to finish clearing into customs, and PD Eric went to get some bananas and chocolate chips – absolutely necessary additions to breakfast of pancakes! The pancakes were delicious, and before we knew it, it was time to gather our things and hop in Percy’s taxi for a ride around the island.
The first place we visited was Fort George, on Brimstone Hill. Once called the “Gibraltar” of the Caribbean, Fort George is a massive 18th century English fort that took over 100 years to complete. It is located at the very top of Brimstone Hill, an extinct offshoot of a volcano from thousands of years ago. Percy drove us to the top, 800 feet above sea level, where students explored the walls, bastions, barracks, and cannons. We had a picnic lunch overlooking Sandy Point below, and then headed off towards Romney Manor and Caribelle Batik.
On the way to Batik, we pulled over to look at the site in which the first contact between Europeans and native Carib Indians took place. Here students also got to hold a baby Green Vervet monkey and get their photos taken. Everyone was amazed by how the monkey’s hands appeared just like a person’s, only much smaller!
Romney Manor is a beautifully groomed Caribbean garden, complete with fruit trees and a variety of native Caribbean plants. Inside the building is Caribelle Batik, a workshop in which waxes are “painted” over cotton fabric and then dyes are applied to create unique patterns and shapes. Students enjoyed browsing around the shop and buying lots of fun gifts for family and friends.
On the way back from Batik, we stopped at a fruit vendor who was selling Ginnups, or “Spanish Limes”. They’re about the size of large grapes and have a hard inner shell with a fleshy exterior – they taste sweet and sometimes sour, similar to a sour grape. We bought a couple bundles of them and have been sharing them between everyone, they’re delicious!
This evening we enjoyed a barbeque on the docks. Eric, Rob, and KCK took turns working the small boat grills, and everyone had their full share of hotdogs, hamburgers, and pineapple. Tomorrow we’re getting picked up by Percy and going to Cockleshell Beach for some watersports activities!