Second Stop: Saintly St. Vincent

Posted on: Monday, January 5th, 2009
Posted in: Travelog, 2nd Stop: St. Vincent, Latest Trip | 4 comments

I’ve got a feeling we’re not in America any more.  Heck, we may not even be on planet earth.  This volcanic island is so blooming green and steep that the Hobbit might feel out of place.  But oh, what beauty!  A comforting vibe emanates from the happy people, the flowering foliage, and the ever-visible sea itself.  

Already three days seems too short, but that’s what the itinerary states, so we better dig in.  In no particular order, here are some first impressions. 
  • Caribbean authenticity lives here.  While not quite Harry Belafonte’s West Indies, this is the real deal. 
  • Black & white.  I’m guessing White folk make up at most 5% of the population (1%?), yet that didn’t seem to matter; never crossed my mind till now. 

Street Scene

  • Music is booming.  For the first time in years, classic rock was nowhere to be found; instead, local sounds and reggae throb nonstop from every bar, car, and boombox.
  • Caribbean independence.  In the Virgin Islands, there are strong ties to the USA and Great Britain; here, the connection here seems chiefly to itself.

Flag of St. Vincent

  • Tourism, what tourism?  Although they say visitors have replaced bananas as their #1 crop, only 7 small planes land daily and they must be empty these days. 
  • Culture lives.  The colors, food, and vernacular taste like seafood, plantains, and nutmeg; when Vincentians describe a local dish or delicacy, they get all smiley and excited. 

St. Vincent Laundry


  • Speaking of flowers!  Thanks to rich volcanic soil and ample rain-forest water, flowers and gardens are in bloom everywhere; they take pride in feeding themselves from their soils and seas. 
  • Simple living.  Many live in near-poverty conditions, though the place is clearly on the upswing; despite 30% unemployment, Vincentians carry on and take care of each other. 
  • Signs of the Times

  • Men & women.  A convivial but competitive machismo abounds (I met a man with 16 children); men honk and bark and gesture with abandon, while women dress pretty and stick with their kind like flowers. 
  • Posh spice.  Like all islands, there are some massive mansions with views of bliss; story goes that many of those rich folk left young, made their money, then came home to retire. 

Wonderful Waterfall

  • Kind & gentle.  Manners matter, and even if many have modest education or assets, they conduct themselves with more class than most people back home.
  • Get-lost land.  I met people from all over the world who have landed in this sanctuary to relax, recover, retreat, and get lost; they never looked out of place. 

Soccer on St. Vincent

  • Prideful & quirky.  Chest out, shoulders high, eye to eye and yet so laid-back; about anyone will chat you up till you can’t escape but don’t, don’t! take their picture or cop no attitude.
  • Return guaranteed.  This seafood-craving, reggae-loving, green-yearning gardener-cook may be biased, but I honestly think this likely among the last “undiscovered” gems around; next time, I’ll slow down and stay a while. St. Vincent Bamboo
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4 Responses to “Second Stop: Saintly St. Vincent”

  1. Babbo Says:


    This was just an outstanding snapshot of St. Vincent. Having never been there myself, it made me feel strongly my loss.

  2. Sue Trowbridge Says:

    Thanks for sharing such a rarely publicized island. It looks lush, what are the temperature ranges there this time of year or is it the same year round? Sue

  3. khorsted Says:

    Hello Sue (and pardon the delayed reply–guess I’ve gone on “island time” too…). The temps this year? Who knows? There are no banks with blinking time and temp signs. One rarely sees a clock, and if so, it’s stuck dusty and on 5:55 (happy hour). Heck, there are hardly banks! They have missed out on the “offshore” business boom here. There are a few cash machines–2–but they are usually broke (in all ways). Moreover, they talk C temps, not F, down here. I can convert, but am up to my eyeballs in math challenges trying to homeschool AllBoy and his New Math. That aside, I reckon it’s about 80 during the day. About 70 at night. Always a breeze. Plenty of shade. And I never, ever think about what clothes to wear (or not wear). It’s just about perfect all the time. Oh sure, I got hot running errands ‘downtown’ once. But I snuck into the New York Bar for a cold beer–and soon met salty Yachties and 2 ex-Minnesotans. Stay warm, *kirk

  4. scott Says:

    what a joy to see all the pics & chuckle out loud at the travel woos. nice to have arrived!

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