Vegan in the Caribbean

Coconuts, beaches, sun, the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea…

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Coconut juice

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I have been privileged to be staying on St Kitts for nearly 4 weeks. Sadly, I’ll be flying back to the UK tomorrow evening. It’s been a great opportunity to work remotely with the world’s best office view (see below) and have time to relax, have adventures, enjoy the amazing wildlife and the occasional rum punch or other cocktail.

Peninsula view

Bird in flight

Of course there were the daily household chores, and helping my partner, Andrew, to move back to the UK after having worked here for over 1.5 year. But I will be sad to lose this view, and all the outdoor opportunities. Vegan life on St Kitts is somewhat more challenging than being in the UK or USA. While most food can be bought from the supermarket, it can be screamingly expensive as a lot of it is imported from the UK or North America. It is hard to find cereals without honey, and a bag of gluten-free (the only honey-free) muesli is a Waitrose-branded 500g bag for 37 East Caribbean Dollar – a whopping £9.25! Oops! I guess I should have stuck with porridge…

Even a lot of fruit is imported, whereas I can see papayas growing right outside the apartment (out of reach). Unfortunately, it was the wrong time of year for native mangoes, which are really sweet and tasty. So I’ll have to come back! papayas out of reach

When eating out, veganised pasta is usually available, and there is Indian cuisine on the island (which we didn’t go to this time). We bought Ital food (vegan Rastafarian) twice, which was really nice. We were invited to a posh restaurant on the peninsula last week, where Andrew and I decided to do a little salsa dance between courses. Andrew has had classes since January and expected me to follow in just a few training sessions, and it was surprisingly fun.

Highlights included:

  • A very steep hash run in soaring temperatures, something that the Birmingham Hash House Harriers would have loved 😉
  • A lovely trip through a gorge to a bat cave. We were advised not to walk in the water due to Leptospirosis, however, it was difficult to stay dry. As I slightly slipped on a rock at one point I smashed my shin.

JdB ladder

Gorge

  • An ascent to the volcano rim, descent into the crater, crossing to the other side to the sulphur vents and back, which took us 8.5h, and we only just managed to get out of the forest by daylight

Ak and JdB tree

JdB descent

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  • A catamaran cruise to Shitten Bay, where snorkelling was great, followed by a visit to Nevis, the sister island, and dancing on the cat on the way back

Brain coral

Stingray 2

Fish

JdB snorkel mask

Nevis beach

  • Kayaking from Whitehouse Bay to Shipwreck beach (Andrew swam it in about 1.5h)
  • Seeing amazing awe-inspiring waves crashing on ‘Black Rocks’. I held my breath when Andrew crossed the whirlpools and suckholes to get to the largest rock (‘the castle’, which is about 4-5m high), climbed on it, had a wave washing over him and then jumping off it and swimming back to shore…

Black rocks

This wave is big

  • Going down water slides and climbing a bouncy castle climbing wall
  • Dinners with Andrew’s colleagues and friends
  • Visiting Nevis for the weekend. This included high-end dining and breakfast, as well as borrowing a kayak and going across the ‘channel’ to Booby island (between St Kitts and Nevis), where we saw three massive green turtles, and on the way back we saw two of them. On Sunday we were mad enough to do a roundtrip run of around 12K over a 250m hill at the hottest time of day (12:30-14:30)! I haven’t run further than 5K in months! We walked a bit, fed a starving pig, took some wrong turns, visited Andrew’s former neighbours and went off road to run on Lover’s Beach…

JdB kayak

Turtle

JdB Booby Island

Ak and JdB

AK and JdB start run

Starving pig

JdB AK Nevis airport

JdB running Lovers beach

JdB AK finish

  • Seeing the wild green vervet monkeys gorge on ripe palm berries

Monkey snack

Monkey snack ground

  • Enjoying the swooping pelicans right outside the apartment window (the one below is drying its wings)

Pelican close-up

  • Amazing sunsets

Sunset Nevis

Sunset SaltPlage

Oh, and did I mention lying on deck chairs by a pool or beach?

Deck chairs

Sadly, I didn’t do much of that! I was also hoping to visit St Eustatius or Saba, the Dutch Antilles, which are visible from here, but unfortunately, there were no ferries and flying was too expensive.

So tomorrow I’m heading back to a cold, dark and probably wet UK. However, I will treasure the memory of this beautiful place for a long time.

3 thoughts on “Vegan in the Caribbean

  1. Peter Stamboliev

    Hoi jasmijn

    Hoe gaat ie?

    Leuke blog!

    Ik ga binnenkort op de vegan cruise van tilbury naar noorwegen. 25 sept tot 2 okt

    Kom je /komen jullie ook?

    Groetjes peter.
    Ps.Zag helma nog op landjuweel festival in amsterdam onlang

    Like

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