Saturday, March 29, 2014

Blissed out: Bequia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines

Posted By on Sat, Mar 29, 2014 at 12:31 PM

Bequia means "island of the clouds" in the native Arawak language, and it's no wonder. The clouds constantly roll in, sprinkle refreshing, cool raindrops for a minute, then roll out. 

Port Elizabeth, Bequia Island, St. Vincent and the Grenadines is a curious, colorful place popular with cruising yachts, expatriots and tourists from all over.  When I first arrived, I needed Internet because being on a ship at night means there's not much connectivity. Not to mention, the food around this area is downright delicious.

Without much effort, I found myself in a tiny cafe called Maria's French Terrace surrounded by futbol-watching French people. The entire island measures only seven square miles (roughly the size of San Francisco proper) so I didn't figure I'd have trouble finding WiFi, and I was right. This place has stunning views to enjoy your lunch overlooking this:
click to enlarge 8a130856a7a911e3a787123c4a08efd0_8.jpg
Better brush up on your Fran├žais if you want to enjoy Bequia though, just FYI. I took it back in high school and this was literally the first time in all of my life that I was able to use it in the wild. 

There's not much to do on this tiny island except enjoy it's surrounding ocean, which is perhaps its most enchanting aspect. There are beaches, but they're not really for sun-bathing. Why would you lay out on the beach when the ocean is right there? There aren't many clocks, there's a lot of simultaneously relaxing and intoxicating rum punch, and opportunities to do the following abound. Here's 26 seconds of what Bequia is best for:

 Moonhole is one of the sickest places I've seen in a long time. All of its rooms are open air and it's built in glorious 1960's architecture. It's formally defined as a "unique community of sculpted homes in a marine, bird and wildlife sanctuary." There's one family that built the place and has subsequently turned the beach and waters around it into a nature preserve. Its rental suites feature whale bones and sharing a room with nature.:

Here's what it's like snorkeling about 25 feet off the shore of this place (without sunburning the backs of your knees):

Also, if you listened closely to the first video in this post, you would have heard a man explaining that Bequia is one of the very few places in this world still allowed to hunt up to four whales a year, according to the International Whaling Commission, though oftentimes there are zero caught annually. This is an example  of natural, traditional interaction with whales, much unlike what's going on with the orcas at Sea World.  The hunting tradition goes back over 200 years with the Arawak people. The whole place is spectacular in both history and natural beauty:

Island of the clouds lives up to its name. 

Next stop: Roseau, Dominica! 

For more commentary, follow me on Twitter @dbirdy, for more photos peep my Flickr, if you're into the travel philosophy thing read my website, and to see a bunch of random and fun travel videos, subscribe to my YouTube channel!

Zero, zilch, none and no part of this post is sponsored by any of the above mentioned company or companies, nor would I ever present such a thing.

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