We traveled to St. Kitts, British West Indies this summer and discovered a ruggedly beautiful & largely secluded island. The terrain changes drastically as you drive north to south– like, desert-to-rain-forest-drastic. What drew us there was a little open-air cottage on the very south tip of the island with its own secluded beach & view of sister island Nevis from every window. It was pure magic.
‘Can you Hear the Doves?’: There’s a little alleyway that runs beside the cottage out to the beach. Hemmed in on one side by pale yellow siding & on the other by sea almonds, it was especially enchanting in the morning when the sun cast shadows of the pickets onto the ground. The southern tip of the island is incessantly windy (a definite advantage for open-air accommodations in a hot climate!) so we had a constant serenade of palm fronds whipping in the wind. In the early hours of the day, the coos of mourning doves, which were nesting in the trees all around the back of the cottage, were added to this serenade. It was immensely peaceful.
‘Silver Diadem’: This painting is of a majestic Bismarck Palm that greets you as you enter through the gate to the cottage drive. I started to notice them all over the island– they’re hard to miss with their huge, silvery leaves which are so rigid they look almost architectural. We’d probably driven past this one 10 times before I stopped to take a photo. It was late afternoon & the sun was low enough to shine through the crown, casting shadows from one leaf onto another, creating intricate patterns of spines, branches, shadows & sunlight.
‘An Almost Secluded Bluff’: One day, after snorkeling on another beach, we decided to explore the mountain that rose sharply behind our cottage. The views were breathtaking, even from the halfway point. When we saw a vague path winding from the road across hills & valleys, leading to rocky cliffs on the water’s edge, we parked the Jeep & set out on flip flopped foot (not the best choice, but as I said, we’d been snorkeling). It soon became apparent that this was a goat path & much better suited to hooves than flip flops but we persevered & soon came upon 3 wary natives. As wild goats do, they looked us over suspiciously from a distance then took off over the rocky edge of a rise. We decided to abandon the trek & return another day with appropriate footwear- and I’m so glad we did. Once at the edge of the high, windy cliffs you could gaze down into crashing waves, to a disappearing shoreline on the left, a mysterious, spot of land in the waters straight ahead or follow the descending shoreline to the right where, eventually, cliff gives way to beach & we could see a tiny speck that was our cottage. Though secluded, it is not a quiet spot; the wind at the southern tip of the island is relentless and, of course, you hear the occasional bleat of a wild goat or 2.