Royston guided us on a volcano climb and general island tour. He provided lunch, water, soda, juice, and beer. He was such a pleasant and informative guide! We had a great day, thanks to Royston.
Royston met us at the cruise port at 8:00. First we picked up Subway sandwiches for lunch, then drove down to the south-east peninsula where we had great views of the two sides of the island, with Nevis in the background. Then up the west coast to Bloody Point, where we had requested to see the Carib petroglyphs. Royston said not many people do this short hike, and we certainly couldn’t have located the trailhead without his knowledge! We had a pleasant hike up an eerily beautiful river canyon, with Royston telling us about the Carib massacre and pointing out the petroglyphs. You will get your feet wet on this hike, unless you are a gymnast like Royston! We had amphibious hiking sandals, which worked well.
We passed Romney Manor and Brimstone Hill, where Royston left it up to us whether to stop and for how long. At about 10:30, we arrived at the volcano trailhead. The Mt. Liamuiga hike took a little less than two hours each way. The trail was steep, slippery, and included some rock-scrambling segments near the top. We didn’t see any monkeys, although we heard them crashing around several times.
The view from the top was stunning! There is lush green forest plummeting down on all sides. The crater lake far below is misted with clouds, until the occasional sunbeam suddenly lights up its jade depths. Royston said it is possible to go down to the lake. He has even been swimming in its chilly waters! He was willing to take us there, but we were content to summit. Going down in the crater would have pushed us for time, besides being quite a bit more strenuous.
The Mt. Liamuiga volcano hike was more difficult than I had expected. In the weeks before the hike, I was walking 4 miles daily, running 2 miles each day on an elliptical set to a steep incline, and doing strength training three times a week. I didn’t find the hike exhausting, but it did tire me, and I had muscle soreness the next day. The downhill part was pretty hard on the knees, and a hiking pole was helpful (although you can probably find a serviceable stick if you scout around near the trailhead). Royston said that most people he guides do make it to the summit, including 60-year-olds and a 5-year-old. If you are reasonably fit, it’s definitely worth doing for the unusual experience and fantastic view!
After the hike, Royston took us along the eastern side of the island, where we saw the Atlantic and Caribbean surf meeting, and admired the tranquility of the beautiful and unusual Black Rocks geological formation. We circled the island and got back to the port about 4:00, where we briefly checked out the shops. This itinerary was not great for shopping, but St. Kitts would be one of the better options. Royston is a wealth of information about his beautiful island, and I strongly recommend him as a guide for any kind of island tour you want.
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