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Trip Report (Oct 2012 - as we go)

Houston
Level Contributor
39 posts
35 reviews
Trip Report (Oct 2012 - as we go)

We are finally on Montserrat and in our villa (Villa Tropicasa).

When we landed in Antigua on Saturday the Montserrat airport was closed because of weather and it basically stayed that way until Monday. So, on Monday we were able to catch the SVG Air flight (great small planes - unless you don't like to fly), get to the villa and settle in some.

Ken Cassell, the owner of Villa Tropicasa met us at the airport, along with his regular Taxi man, Winston. Both, as is everyone we've ever met on Montserrat, are great people. Ken is an excellent host, met us at the villa and went through a walk-through with us.

The villa is perfect for us (two couples) and really exactly our style. I don't know if I'm allowed to put their website here by (www.sunislandrealestate.com/villatropicasa/) is it. As in most real estate photos, the pictures are "better" than the actual, but the villa is very nice. I'll rate it on their page on TA later.

Monday evening we ate at Tina's. This is a very nice, excellent food and affordable. Montserrat doesn't have "resorts" or "5-star" restaurants, which is why we came. However, you can't beat the food!

It poured rain throughout the afternoon and night, with at least one 20-30 minute period of "verticle rain". As on many islands, after verticle rain, the power in our area went out for about an hour - really No Problem, Mon.

I have no idea what we will do today - if anything :)

Houston
Level Contributor
39 posts
35 reviews
1. Re: Trip Report (Oct 2012 - as we go)

Yesterday we really didn't do anything, except go grocery shopping and relax. Rams is very close to Tropicasa Villa, so that's where we shopped. We also filled up the little RAV4 as we plan on doing some driving around the island today.

As far as we can tell, no grocery stores have beef. So we just purchased some chicken breasts and had a nice grilled chicken dinner with corn, green beans, bread, baked potato and white wine.

I know several have mentioned that the groceries are expensive here on Montserrate, but we have not really found them to be more expensive than any other island. Selection might not be as good as say Grand Cayman or Antigua, but those are much larger islands. We've found the selection to be similar to Dominica.

In fact, we would say the island is very much like Dominica without the crazy drivers, less population and better villa selection.

It continues to rain off-and-on, as we expect during October, but we are still hopefull to get to the Exclusion Zone. If you saw the MVO post earlier in the week you'll notice the heavy rains from Rafael caused some large mudflows. This may keep us from being able to go to the EZ. We did have one 30 minute vertical rain period yesterday. We will at least get to the border.

Houston
Level Contributor
39 posts
35 reviews
2. Re: Trip Report (Oct 2012 - as we go)

On Wednesday we spent the day in the C Zone at Richmond Hills and the area north of Plymouth. Interesting to us, since we were here 10 years ago, was how much of Plymouth was gone. In 2002 we could still see the downtown area, including the famous clock. Now there are only a few buildings. However, we were able to get much closer this year, which was very nice - and sad.

We then went up Gerbaldi (sp?) Hill. We really enjoyed this view and took a lot of pictures. The Bedlam (?) valley/river was low enough that we could cross it and travel down to the road through the river bed in our RAV4 (wish we had a better 4x4 to go to some other areas).

We also revisited the MVO site (which was new and not opened in 2002). It was kind of neat to go back in the MVO Visitor's Sign-in book and see our names from Oct 21, 2002. The movie was good, although the sound was not that great. We understand from the receptionist that they are just finishing up a new movie.

Today, we went to the east side of the island to view the old airport and that area Jack-something Hill. Total shock on our part. When we look back at the photos from 2002, you could see a lot of the runway and other buildings. Today, it's all gone. Kind of unbelievable.

Overall we've really enjoyed our last two days, but were really sadden with the destruction and sad for the people of Montserrat who have so adversely affected.

Tomorrow we expect to go out to the beaches, but might just to decide to sit in the pool. We also plan to go to dinner at Olveston's, which is just down the street and looks very nice.

Houston
Level Contributor
39 posts
35 reviews
3. Re: Trip Report (Oct 2012 - as we go)

We headed to Woodlands Beach today and loved it. Since we are in the low season we had the beach to ourselves. A local boy (probably around 10) and his dad came for a while, as the boy went boogie boarding.

After a shower we headed over to Olveston House for dinner. You can read my review, but briefly it was great and very affordable. We would have eaten here several more times if we had known how inexpensive it was.

tellygoonuk
Level Contributor
5 posts
23 reviews
4. Re: Trip Report (Oct 2012 - as we go)

Great to see you posting news of your stay. We arrive at Tropicasa on Friday 26th for 17 days (flights permitting). Please keep up the posts and enjoy the remainder of your stay.

Houston
Level Contributor
39 posts
35 reviews
5. Re: Trip Report (Oct 2012 - as we go)

We are back in the US and thoroughly enjoyed our trip to Montserrat and Tropicasa. Ken Cassell and his staff are top-notch customer service oriented owner. We would stay here again without a problem - except that Ken said he is in the process of building a new villa, which we might would consider.

Vacations are never long enough, but this one was great!

Columbus, Ohio
Level Contributor
1,039 posts
15 reviews
6. Re: Trip Report (Oct 2012 - as we go)

Thanks for sharing.

Where did you stay at in Antigua?

Thanks for the tips on Ovelston House. Good to know the affordable places to eat.

Did you snorkel or kayak?

I understand we can rent kayaks and snorkel gear from a local dive shop.

How's the shell hunting?

Any hassle from anyone? (we will be visiting after 8 trips to Jamaica so I'm worried about that).

tellygoonuk
Level Contributor
5 posts
23 reviews
7. Re: Trip Report (Oct 2012 - as we go)

My wife and I are on Montserrat now and we have never been to such a relaxed, friendly place.

Just enjoy!

Columbus, Ohio
Level Contributor
1,039 posts
15 reviews
8. Re: Trip Report (Oct 2012 - as we go)

Wonderful! Have a great trip. We can't wait till it's our turn.

Can anyone share a photo album of your vaca pics?

British Columbia...
Level Contributor
470 posts
150 reviews
9. Re: Trip Report (Oct 2012 - as we go)

Good to hear you're enjoying your visit!

We liked Tina's probably the least of the places we went to eat, mainly because of the view (construction across the road)..

Like I said, best was the People's Place for food and atmosphere.. And the Attic has great burgers..

Were the washrooms open at Woodlands? Was really nonsensical that they were closed except for one day (when the kids were off school) when we were there in Feb.. I can understand maybe they worry about vandalism? but are cat holes in the surrounding bushes preferable?? We didn't have a vehicle, so not as easy to just pop back to the villa.. :(

If you liked Woodlands, you'll love Rendevous! Make sure you get the boat tour out to Plymouth from Green Monkey! That'll get you as close as you can get to the EZ..

Jamaica if you're interested I can email you some choice pics from when we went last year.. PM me.

Edited: 9:49 am, October 30, 2012
British Columbia...
Level Contributor
470 posts
150 reviews
10. Re: Trip Report (Oct 2012 - as we go)

Oh for Pete's sake! LOL

An ad masked your post about being back already..

Please let us know more about how your trip went! How long were you there for again? Did those GPS POI's help? Did you get a hike in?

Edited: 9:53 am, October 30, 2012
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