One of my favorite haunts is Julie's Guest House in Bequia, which is just south of the 'mainland' of St. Vincent, one hour by ferry. Julie (a man), runs a wonderful local hotel, that caters to travellers. OK, so maybe it's a one star, but....for about $60 a day you get a hotel room, breakfast and dinner. Tip: The air-con rooms are in another building, and costs a bit more. At Julie's it's still the old Caribbean, where everyone says good day, please and thank you - a lot. There are mosquito nets in the rooms ( bring some deet, anyway). There is a small bar, serving up some of the best rum punches on the planet. And---it's a place to meet other travellers, you'll love it. Totally, OFF the beaten track! (784) 458-3530 or (784) 457-3497
November 26, 2008
November 18, 2008
Music, rum and mojitos. Not necessarily in that order - Montserrate Bar is in central Havana, a stones throw from Parque Central, just up the street from the famous El Floridita, which is said to be the birthplace of the daiquiri. The Montserrate is friendly and inexpensive, offering up lunch and dinner, usually pork and chicken. Alcohol flows as easily as the music does - choose the national drink, a mojito or beer or rum. Don't look for wine in this joint. No cover for the music, which plays all day and night, just leave a tip for the band.
November 16, 2008
Off the beaten track, and away from civilization and development, La Sagesse is a romantic getaway offering just twelve rooms. It is located on the south coast of Grenada, at the far end of an old road that cuts through the old La Sagesse plantation.
The main building, The Manor House has five rooms. The rest of the accommodation is spread out in a few other small buildings, some of which are almost touching the beach.
This is a place to relax, go swimming or take nature walks. It's a definite get-away-from-it-all kind of place. The postcard worthy horseshoe-shaped bay offers beach walkers a mile of sand to stroll while dreaming tropical thoughts.
Built to catch a cool breeze, the hotel's excellent beachside restaurant is directly on the sandy strand. This casual eatery features excellent fresh grilled fish like tuna and swordfish. As it is the only place to eat within walking distance, the dishes have been priced a bit high. Of course, this is nothing unusual as Grenada is typically pricier than some other nearby isles.
The picture perfect sandy beach on La Sagesse Bay offers some excellent shade due to a cluster of shade trees and coconut palms near the hotel. There are beach chairs for guests, and although the beach is open to everyone, getting there is problematic for anyone without a car, so normally the beach is quiet and tranquil. It is also an excellent beach for young children, as it's quite shallow and calm.
$130-$195 depending on season and room. +18% service & VAT
September 29, 2008
Bonaire is famed for it's diving, and it's safe geographic position south of the hurricane belt. However, unlike most of the Caribbean islands, it isn't a classic tropical paradise. It's dry as a bone, flat as a pancake, full of cactus and is a major supplier of sea salt. On a 'desert' island that is considered one of the top diving destinations in the world, who could have imagined finding such varied and interesting animal life topside.
Bonaire is home to one of the largest concentrations of greater flamingoes in the world. They achieve their iconic pink color due to their preferred diet of shrimp and other microscopic delicacies found in the brackish water of the salt pans. Driving into Washington-Slaagbai National Park parrots fly amongst the cacti. Feral donkeys roam about the island at will. Driving fast at night down a quiet country road, or any roadway is cause for concern, as the wild donkeys can emerge from the bush at any time. Iguanas are everywhere - climbing up cactus, sunning on rocks, trying to get some shade under thorny bushes. There are small green ones, and lengthy menacing ones. Somehow the islanders are able to catch them in spite of their ability to move swiftly into the underbrush when stalked. To complete a bonafide Bonarian experience you'll need to make local friends if you are to sample island 'chicken', a delicacy only prepared at home.
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