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Port Elizabeth Travel Blog

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View of Admiralty Bay (Port Elizabeth) from Hamilton Fort

If you are travelling through the islands of the Caribbean, sometimes your itinerary is decided by the transport availability...that's what happened to me here.  I needed to make it down through the island group by Thursday as that was when the MV Jasper boat goes from Union island to Carriacou (Grenada).  And to get to Bequia island here in Grenadines I had to go Saturday, because the shared vans on St Vincent island can't be guaranteed on Sundays (nothing happens anywhere on Sundays I've noticed!!).  So I was up early to leave Richmond Vale and got a shared van back to Kingstown, this time with a slightly more sensible driver.

Princess Margaret beach from afar
  He kept us entertained by having a competition with one of his rivals whose van seemed to be running less well and took great pleasure in overtaking him down the straights whenever possible and plenty of banter accompanied it!!

Getting to Bequia (pronounced 'Beck-way' out here) is simple, quite a few ferries run each day, so by early afternoon I was over on the island.  Its only 7 sq miles in size, so is pretty easy to see most of it in aa couple of days.  although really the main reason you come to any of the islands in the Grenadines is to do...well, nothing.  Relaxation is the name of the game here.  I checked into Julie's Guesthouse and got some lunch at a quality little cafe called Tweaties - had a roti (curried chicken in a big wrap) for EC$12 (£3), bloody amazing! And Cheryl the owner chatted to me about the island and life in the Grenadines.

I saw a gap in the market, so I thought I'd set up my own business while I was there...
  She even opened her bookstore especially for me as I needed to get a new book!  Later I decided to head towards the beaches.  The guesthouse is in the middle of Port Elizabeth, the main town here, and the beaches are just out of the town.  I decided to walk to get some exercise as it was only about a mile.  Princess Margaret beach is beautiful, nice white sand and clear blue water (its as clear as a swimming pool!) and a few yachts dotting the horizon....just perfect.  You can see why the yachting jet set choose to stop at this little place.

Coming here out of season means its pretty quiet - even more so at night.  I had a nice meal at Tommy's for about EC$35, but none of the 'bars' seemed to have anyone in, so I called it a night.

If I thought Saturday was quiet, then Sunday was something else!!  The streets were literally deserted - I thought maybe they had evacuated the island or something!  No shops open, no taxis, nothing.

View of Friendship Bay
  I walked along the waterfront and managed to find one of the hotels serving breakfast (note: the Frangipani Hotel does lovely banana bread!).  Then the rains came....a light shower turned into a rather heavy downpour as seems to be the way here in the summer.  The weather changes unbelievably quickly - it literally goes from hot sunshine to rain in the blink of an eye.  the rain is a nice chiller from the humidity though, so I didn't mind walking in it!

As there were no shared vans hanging around, I walked to the old fort at one end of Admiralty Bay - only took 20 minutes or so.  the locals seem to give me some strange looks sometimes - they're always friendly and will say hi to you, but I'm not sure if its the fact I'm white or that I walk everywhere that they find peculiar!  I managed to also walk to the otherside of the island to Friendship Bay before the afternoon downpour happened - I thought I'd be able to find a shop or cafe or something open down there to get a drink, but no way, Jose!  Had to walk all the way back to my guesthouse (gasping) before Julie's got me a massive Coke!!

I'll be leaving tomorrow as the boat to Union Island only leaves on Mondays and Thursdays and I need to get down there to do a tour to the Tobago Cays.

Beach at Friendship Bay (not quite as nice as Princess Margaret beach)
..although that is looking in doubt as the guy who runs the Scara Mouche (www.scaramouchegrenadines.com) said its so quiet for bookings this week that he may not go at all!! I will be gutted if I can't find someway to get out there as its meant to be one of the best sights in the entire Caribbean!! fingers crossed....

TRAVEL INFO

There are frequent ferries to/from Bequia from St Vincent island, every day (less frequent on Sunday, but still 2-3 crossings).  I came to Bequia thinking I could go on from here to Union Island on the MV Barracuda, as it says in the Lonely Planet.  Note, though, at this time they have stopped calling at Bequia on that route, so you have board in St Vincent (it leaves at 11am on Mondays/Thursdays from Kingstown).  The ferry to Bequia costs EC$20 one-way and takes an hour. 

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View of Admiralty Bay (Port Elizab…
View of Admiralty Bay (Port Eliza…
Princess Margaret beach from afar
Princess Margaret beach from afar
I saw a gap in the market, so I th…
I saw a gap in the market, so I t…
View of Friendship Bay
View of Friendship Bay
Beach at Friendship Bay (not quite…
Beach at Friendship Bay (not quit…
Port Elizabeth Hostels review
Affordable, central location
Julie's is a dcent option. Its the cheapest place to stay in town, but the rooms are clean and have an 'ensuite' shower/toilet. I had a fan room whi… read entire review
Port Elizabeth
photo by: Sads79