Jorge Sanchez (Spain):
Spanish discoverers named the island Nuestra Señora de las Nieves, because they seemed to observe snow (nieves means snow in Spanish) on the top of the main mountain of the island, actually a dead volcano, when they saw clouds. But English pirates deformed the name Nieves by Nevis. I had to fly to get there, from Kingstown, in St Vincent, although I always prefer taking boats between islands. But there was not boat service between those islands. I was finishing an eighty days around the world journey and had left in my pockets only a fewdollars, plus an electronic ticket Antigua – Frankfurt, that I had bought by Internet very cheap, with Condor Airways, for a few days later, that I would pay back in my country. I was the only passenger in the plane; the rest of the passengers would continue to Basseterre, in St. Kitts. In Immigration they asked me for the name of the hotel where I was supposed to spend the night. I asked the agent which one he could suggest me, since I had no bookings. And he recommended me Four Seasons Hotel. Then I wrote in de immigration form: Hotel Four Seasons. I was given one month stay. Outside, the airport was almost empty; that was the last flight of the night. A taxi driver, the only one, came to me and asked me the hotel where I will stay. I said to him that I was going to sleep on the beach, as usual, and that I would walk until the main town, called Charlestown. I added that I was not a rich tourist, but a traveller on a budget. He replied:- How? There are ten miles from here to Charlestown! And it is already dark!I felt pity for him. Had I been a rich tourist I would have paid him the ride, even if I would have preferred to walk, because I learnt that he came especially to pick me up when he was told that a passenger was coming from St Vincent.I started to walk. After three hours or so I found a shop and cafeteria open. It was about midnight. I bought some bananas and asked permission to eat them in the tables. The owner, a black woman, seeing the avidity with which I was eating the bananas (it was my only meal of the day), brought me for free an enormous cup of half a litre capacity containing delicious coffee with milk. She advised me to be careful in Charlestown because they are many young rastafaris who rob people to buy marihuana. But I did not pay attention to that, since in my small bag, weighing 3 kilos, I only carried some clothes, toilet items plus a notebook. One hour later I saw the silhouette of a beautiful church facing the sea. I said to me: oh! I found the suitable place to sleep! But when I went closer I saw a cemetery with many graves and resolved not to disturb the souls. I reached Charlestown half an hour later, and slept in the first park that I found, near to Alexander Hamilton’s birthplace. There were many mosquitoes. Early in the morning I walked back to the church that had impressed me the previous night. It was called St Thomas, and a sign said that it was the first Anglican Church erected in the Caribbean Sea. During the day it did not seemed to me so beautiful like in the night. There were many monkeys and lambs walking around the graves with total impunity. I spent the rest of the day visiting places getting to know many local people, and making a trekking to the dead volcano. In the late afternoon I took the boat Mark Twain to Basseterre.
Date posted: July 2013
Have you been to City of Charlestown? Share your experiences!