Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Nevis Day Two: The Moon, the Sun and a Funeral

Timing is everything. I didn't plan on purpose to be here on Nevis on the first night of a full moon. Yet, there it was appearing perfectly between two palm trees as we floated in the pool for a late night dip. This morning I woke up just in time to catch a magnificent sunrise, the glowing orb emerging slowly out of the ocean, peeking from behind a cloud before disappearing again.

Our taxi driver, Marlon Brando,from yesterday, picked us up from the house to give us a island tour, compliments of our hostess and villa owner Jane Paul. I am fascinated by each person's unique story and Marlon was no exception. Raised in Guyana, South America as a young man he made his fortune mining gold and, like most of his siblings and peers, made off for greener pastures. He backpacked through the Caribbean and was introduced to Nevis by a friend. Over the years he married, had three children and started a taxi and car rental service, catering to the tourist trade. As we drove, he was a treasure trove of knowledge, not only about Nevis, but any subject that was brought up. From him I learned that Nevis has a population of 11,000,with 55 churches of diverse religions. Most of the people are related in one way or another, which keeps crime in check and should there be a trial makes it really hard to find an impartial jury. Goats and sheep graze at will everywhere from parking lots to roadsides, forcing residents to fence them out lest they eat all the vegetation. The sheep look like goats, a hairless variety called Black Belly which almost always give birth to twins.

During our tour, once again timing was on our side. The day just happened to be the funeral of Nevis' first Premier, Dr. Simeon Daniel and June 4th was declared to be a half-day holiday in his honor. Dr. Daniel led Nevis to indendence from Great Britain in 1983, but they are still part of the Commonwealth. As we visited Charlestown we were able to observe the townspeople gathering to pay their respects and a uniform clad marching band making their way up the main street. At the same time, the TV was full of reports from Great Britain, celebrating the golden jubilee of Queen Elizabeth.

We topped off the day with a romantic dinner in the most idyllic location possible: The Golden Rock Hotel and Restaurant. We arrived at sunset and there were candles everywhere on the grounds. The lobster salad sandwich , seared ahi tuna, crab cake, coconut creme brule and chocolate pie were to die for.

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