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  • Spice Isle 377.JPG Spice Isle 377.JPG

    • From: spiceislandgirl
    • Description:

      Scenes from Grenada, The Spice Island

    • 3 years ago
    • Views: 234
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  • Spice Isle 519.JPG Spice Isle 519.JPG

    • From: spiceislandgirl
    • Description:

      Scenes from Grenada, The Spice Island

    • 3 years ago
    • Views: 198
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  • Spice Isle 408.JPG Spice Isle 408.JPG

    • From: spiceislandgirl
    • Description:

      Scenes from Grenada, The Spice Island

    • 3 years ago
    • Views: 173
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  • Spice Isle 649.JPG Spice Isle 649.JPG

    • From: spiceislandgirl
    • Description:

      Scenes from Grenada, The Spice Island

    • 3 years ago
    • Views: 167
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  • Spice Isle 182.JPG Spice Isle 182.JPG

    • From: spiceislandgirl
    • Description:

      Scenes from Grenada 

    • 3 years ago
    • Views: 250
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  • Spice Isle 210.JPG Spice Isle 210.JPG

    • From: spiceislandgirl
    • Description:

      Scenes from Grenada 

    • 3 years ago
    • Views: 234
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  • Spice Isle 013.JPG Spice Isle 013.JPG

    • From: spiceislandgirl
    • Description:

      Scenes from Grenada 

    • 3 years ago
    • Views: 200
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  • Spice Isle 048.JPG Spice Isle 048.JPG

    • From: spiceislandgirl
    • Description:

      Scenes from Grenada 

    • 3 years ago
    • Views: 203
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  • Spice Isle 192.JPG Spice Isle 192.JPG

    • From: spiceislandgirl
    • Description:

      Scenes from Grenada 

    • 3 years ago
    • Views: 165
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  • Grenada Unpretentiously Amazin Grenada Unpretentiously Amazing

    • From: spiceislandgirl
    • Description:

      When my friends ask me to visit Grenada, I first had to find a map and remember where it was. I looked around to find possible activities and tourist jaunts.  The island has been pretty quiet since the conflict with the US back in the 80's.  However, they are working to rebound and compete with other West Indian countries for tourism.  One of the first things I notices was the number of waterfalls and beaches, and the Grand Etang National Park.  I know that does not sound all that exciting, but sometimes you have to use your imagination.   I was able to find a package on a well known travel site for around $900 for the whole week.  Less than $1000 air and hotel, it's worth a look and see.  

       

      I arrived on a Friday night around 9:00 pm, everything looked dark.  In the distance, I could see little light twinkling in the sky near  Grand Anse, the city center.  Just great, what has my friend got me into,  I thought.   I paid $1000 to sleep for a week in no man's land.  The taxi transferred us to the hotel.  From my window, I see a few cars on the street, no big bustling commercial centers that I could make out in the dark and no people outside.   I think the only people who were awake were the people who arrived on the flights that evening and where in route to their hotel or abode for the evening.   Alas, on the way I notice a Subway, a sign that there is life, a business I recognize.  It's Friday night, one of the biggest nights for socialization and entertainment everyone is at home.  Did they all leave the island for a holiday.   Ok, I try to stop thinking about the uncertain thoughts of being in the land of the lost, as we arrive at the small boutique hotel.  The lobby is open air; the owner comes down and asks our names.  He picks up the reservation pad, reviews it, takes a key from the hook on the desk, and says, "Let me drive you to your room, it's on a hill."  We put our things in the van and up the hill we go.  The van strains a bit, as it climbs the steep hill, more like a mini-mountain.  He opens the door to the room and tells us, to call the restuarant if we want a snack, even though it’s not customary,  he will give us room service.  After a 3 1/2 hour flight, of course a snack and beverage was welcomed.  

       

      My first impression when I walked into the room was that I had stepped back in time to the 1980's.  The hotel looked literally like it had not had new furniture since, the 1980's.  However, it was clean and they earn the most points with me for that.  I was not moving there for eternity, so the antiquated furniture didn't bother me in the least and I just don't want to get sick or encounter pest during my stay.  

       

      After my snack of delectable fruit punch, a sandwich, and fries.  I proceeded to take a shower and get ready for bed.  It had been a long day, I took once last look out the sliding door facing the dark area that sounded like the ocean and went to sleep.  The next morning, I was awakened to birds, beautiful flower gardens, chirping and a beautiful sunny view that only the mind can imagine.  It was Grand Anse beach and I was a stone's throwaway from it.  The darkness hid the splendor.  I sat on the veranda, for more than an hour watching the ships pass and the waves roll for miles.   

       

      That day, I spent the whole day on the beach.  It was exceptionally clean and was obvious not many people are aware of the treasures for the eyes in Grenada.   A definite positive for me was the fact that the beach was not crowded,  overrun with tourist, and kids running about.  There are a couple hotels that are strategically along the coast; however not enough to spoil the shore like some other islands.

       

      In the afternoon, I went up to the grocery story which was about a 10 minute walk away for water and snacks. The prices were reasonable, and there was a food court nearby serving up local favorite foods and punches.   I would advise against the punches, since they are made from raw fruit and most American's digestive systems are not accustomed to the bacteria encountered from eating raw fruits and vegetables outside the US.   

       

      On Monday, we took a bus up to the Grand Etang National Park to hike.  This was especially refreshing. Once you reach the top at the lookout point, it’s a little cooler and the view is breathtaking.  You may be lucky enough to see some of the small monkeys who inhabit the park.  Just across the road, there is a lake formed from the mouth of a dormant volcano, rumored to be many miles deep and home to a mermaid.  The story of the mermaid cannot be confirmed, as I did not see her.   There is lore that people who drown in the lake are found on other islands. The signage prohibits fishing and swimming.  However, there are picnic tables and pavilions perfect for a small lunch or shelter if it rains during your visit.  There is also a restaurant in the park which provides sandwiches and refreshments.   Plan at least 3 to 4 hours or longer depending on how well you enjoy nature.   It is recommended you wear hiking shoes on this excursion.  The hills are slippery and the park is in the rainforest, so the trails are damp.  This is an easy hike and a good one for the entire family. 

       

      Our next day trip was to Mt. Carmel Falls.  This was a decent 30 to 45 minute hike.  To get to the falls, we climbed over two, three foot around rocks.   While on the island, we also visited The Falls of the Seven Sisters and Annandale Falls.  All the falls have a different appeal.  Mt. Carmel's Falls are huge and the water continually falls in big sheets from the colossal rocks which look like a wall.  To get to the Seven Sister's you must hike for around an hour, around some twists and turns, slippery slopes, and once you reach is a tricky maze of boulders connected across a stream and to see all seven (7) falls you must be an expert hiker. Make sure you have plenty of water for this one and that you are in pretty good physical condition.  The Annandale Falls is just like a city park.  You drive in and walk down steps to the falls.  It is very easy to navigate.  If you like you can take a walk in the rocky pools and see the different creatures that inhabit.  This one is a fun one for the kids, you don't have to worry about it not being safe.  There are still more falls to visit in the country. 

       

      The following day, we set out to find the Claibone Springs, a natural hot spring.  It took many twists and turns. By the way, few roads in Grenada are marked.  The drive up into the mountains was relaxing. There are very few hairpin curves to unnerve you.   Most of the day, we asked for directions and everyone pointed in a different direction.  However, it was all cool, we were on vacation. So, there was no time schedule.  By the evening, we finally had navigated the mountains.  In real time, it took around an hour of drive time and another hour or so to sift through the lush vegetation.  We followed the sounds to find the spring. It was quite a treat once; we arrived and put on our swimsuits to bathe in nature's hot tub. I don't know if the stories are true about healing and rejuvenation, but the water was clear until we disturbed the sulphur sediment on the bottom.  We felt so good after our bath; we drove back into town, had dinner and caught a movie.  

       

      I could talk for many pages about the natural wonders of Grenada, the Spice Island. Let me not forget to mention, the Clark's Court rum tour, the Belmont Estates, River Antoine, Chef Castle in Excel Plaza, and Levera Point.  If you go to Levera at the right time of the year you can see the sea turtles hatching. Needless to say, I have plans to return.  This is the place to go if you are a nature lover.  I was never concerned about my safety, even though I still recommend using the same vacation precautions, you would use in any other place.  Don't let the darkness of night fool you, it is truly amazing.  

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    • 3 years ago
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  • Barbados 10 days for 2 around Barbados 10 days for 2 around $100 per day

    • From: spiceislandgirl
    • Description:

      To get the true feel for a place, I tend to stray away from national hotel chains.  Most of the time, I chose boutique hotels or guest houses depending on my plans.  Beach vacations infused with a little bit of local flavor and a sprinkling of nature are my idea of a great vacation.   For this vacation, I chose to spend half of it at a beachfront resort, which I chose based on Expedia and Trip Advisor reviews which have a 50/50 chance of being accurate.  The second half was spent at holiday apartment with a view of the Atlantic Ocean. 

      First, I will start off discussing my opinions of the accommodations, then move to the food and culture.   Since my flight was arriving after 9:00pm, I thought it would be wise to chose stay at a hotel, rather than being taking by taxi in an unfamiliar place to a holiday apartment, that was a little bit off the normal tourist zone.   I found a good deal on Expedia, which would give me 4 days, 3 nights stay at an oceanfront property for around $60.00 per night, at the Butterfly Beach Resort a 2 ½ to 3 star rated property.  Overall, the property seemed to be well-maintained for the age.  The rooms were spacious and comfortable.  I chose a studio which had a small kitchen area with a cook top stove, refrigerator, and sink.  The only problem with the hotel was the kitchen area had not been cleaned as well as, it should be cleaned.  As a result, there was a very unpleasant odor, I could not tell, if there was food in the drain or if the trashcan needed to be sanitized.  The beach is decent.   From the shore to the hotel measures a few feet, however the view was beautiful.  The hotel made attempts to encourage guests to mingle and socialize by hosting manager’s receptions a few times a week and happy hour.  If you are ever there, try the rum punch and the flying fish cakes.  They are a pleasant treat.   On the other hand, the male receptionist who checked us in upon arrival was not very warm or welcoming.  He acted as if we where bothering him by checking.  I don’t understand some people’s attitude toward those who make it possible for them to get a paycheck.  Even though, the maids could learn a few things about cleanliness from my grandma, the hotel was OK for the price.  The total for stay with taxes and an Expedia coupon for $10.00 off per night for the entire stay around $250.00.

      On the other hand, we concluded our 10 day stay at the Seawinds Condominiums in the Silver Sands area.  It is obvious from the looks of the place, this place was recently built.  The kitchens where very large and had nice cabinets, marble counters, a full-size refrigerator, and stove.  It was larger than my own kitchen at home.  The bath was full-sized.  Each unit had a nice patio which from any side of the building you could get a glimpse of the ocean.   For the price, I can’t complain that the television was only 13 inches, or that we had to put the twin sized beds together or that the air conditioning system was a little less than adequate.  We paid $50 per night including VAT and other surcharges.  My favorite pieces of furniture were the wicker Papason chairs perfect for my afternoon naps after a long walk on the beach.      

      Again, the maid must not be getting paid pretty well, because the first day I had to spend a couple hours doing a little general cleaning.   It is apparent, the owners or whoever is doing the booking had not given the place a once over, before the next rental, because the cookware appeared to have been used and put away without a thorough cleaning, and the aluminum fry plan was ready to be recycled.  As matter of fact, I learned to bring some of those plastic summer dishes.  The ones you use at picnics.  It’s easier to just leave them.  I found dinner plates, cocktail glasses, and utensils all for around $5.00.  To leave them behind was no loss. Another tip, travel with disinfectant wipes.  They do wonders at places that make you feel like they are not really all that clean.

      Overall the Seawinds was a winner for the price, at $300 for the entire stay. Warning the Silver Sands area is located on the backside of a residential area.  So safety protocol should be established.  Do not befriend locals or invite them into your place, unless you want to be the victim of some type of crime.  The beach in this area is mainly for surfers.

      If you want to swim with sea turtles, see fish fly, or snorkel; take the bus into the area just before you reach Bridgetown.  There you will find Carlisle Bay.  The water is much calmer and is ideal for families, couples, or singles.  Yes, there is pink sand there.  

      In addition, if you like day trips, go to Harrison’s Cave.  Make sure you get there at least an hour and fifteen minutes before they close. It takes a while to reach by bus, the most economical way of travel in Barbados.   Even though, there are set fees for cabs, you are at the driver’s mercy and they charge you whatever they want.  So make sure to get there early. The cave tour is around $50 USD per person.

      On Friday evening, don’t neglect the Fish Fry at Oistins. This is where you will find the fresh catch fish grilled, fried, steamed or however you like it.  One of the most popular places is “George’s.”  His place is always standing room only.  There you will find live music, dancing, and plenty to eat.  If you prefer to cook and save money; the market at Oistins is open daily, where you can get fish fresh dressed, and packed to go.  For $10USD, you can buy enough snapper or tuna for two meals.  That would never happen in the US.     

      Don’t get caught eating at the many fast food restaurants littered around the island.  Try the local foods.  The flying fish is excellent.  Roti, an Indian pastry filled with curry chicken or other meat and rolled neatly are good to try.  Word to the wise, the restaurant Chefette, a “golden arches” type chain sells Roti.  It is not worth it.   Go to a local restaurant for the best Roti.   Local pastries are decadent.  My favorite was a pastry similar to a cinnamon roll, but was filled with dyed coconut and currants. 

      All in all, Barbados definitely rates high as a place I plan to visit again.  Getting around was easy, bus drivers usually will stop you very close to where you are going.  Grocery prices are decent.  We shopped at the IGA in Oistins.   For the 10 days we spent about $150 dollars on groceries, another $120 dinning out a few times, $50 on transportation around the island, and $50 for transfer to and from the airport.  Throw in $50 for vacation trinkets and a few small bottles of Cockspur rum.   The best part of it all was the $51 plane ticket.  I love racking up those frequent flyer miles.   Oh yes, a ten day vacation in the islands is possible for under $1000.

       

         

       Carlslie Bay

    • Blog post
    • 3 years ago
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  • Twilight over St. George's, Gr Twilight over St. George's, Grenada

    • From: jnine13
    • Description:
    • 4 years ago
    • Views: 383
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  • Plumeria Tree, Grenada Plumeria Tree, Grenada

    • From: jnine13
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    • 4 years ago
    • Views: 353
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  • She’s going to be extremely bu She’s going to be extremely busy over the next few days

    • From: AbigaleSteven
    • Description:

      On Tuesday we secured our place in the World Cup Final by beating the West Indies by 146 runs. It will be the first time we have been in a World Cup Final since 1993 and is a massive achievement for all the girls.

      For me this meant an unrelenting list of interview requests which is phenomenal and showed that all the hundreds of people I have contacted over the past four years have been taking notice and are cottoning on to how good these players are.

      First up were rights holders Sky Sports followed by Sky Sports News and then Sky News. We also fitted in BBC, various national newspapers as well as the Loughborough Echo, the Leicestershire Mercury and other regional press. I’m always keen to continue to provide for the regional press as they cover us year in, year out, so it’s great to reward them when things are going well.

      By 9.30pm the interviews were just about finished and England had just woken up. Cue 52 more interview requests for the players. This was brilliant even if it did mean a 2am finish for me - a 20-hour day no less! We have managed to fulfil every single one of those requests so hopefully the players and the game are now getting the profile they deserve.

      Over the past few days I have had so many messages of good luck to pass onto the squad which has been just brilliant. It’s great to see that people back home are taking an interest and really getting behind us before Sunday. Lots of my friends (who know I’m here, but don’t really follow the cricket) have heard the scores and are emailing, texting and Facebooking me to let me know and wish us well, which is awesome. Even my Dad, who’s in Siberia, has been keeping up to date with how it’s all going and has been sending pep talks via text! All greatly received!

      On Wednesday night after training we had a team meeting and Clare Connor and I gave a brief media session to the players in preparation for what could be the biggest week of their lives.

      This was made slightly amusing by the fact that Caroline Atkins and I had swapped clothes for the evening as people keep getting us mixed up! I think I’ve got the better end of the deal there - an opening international bat vs a media manager?! While I dressed Shaggy, as she’s affectionately known, in a lovely joules skirt with a white vest top, cardi and white flip-flops, she dressed me in her baggy jeans, a salmon pink polo shirt (salmon is not my colour!) and my running trainers! Needless to say she got the best straw in the clothing stakes!

      When the players all saw me there was a deathly silence as they were all too polite to say anything, until one of them started laughing and then they all did with huge sighs of relief that it wasn’t real. This is no slight whatsoever on Shaggy’s clothes as everyone kept telling me - they just look a lot better on her! Caroline, on the other hand, got a lot of compliments and even managed to get served at the bar first that evening!

      The win over the West Indies and the fact that India had beaten Australia meant that our game against the hosts on Thursday had no relevance on our place in the final. However, we wanted to win. After winning the toss and batting we were all out for 161 and they knocked off the runs in 34 overs. This was so disappointing but, as Lottie keeps saying, we’re in a World Cup Final so we have regrouped and are now looking ahead to the most important game on Sunday.

      Despite the loss, the good luck messages still roll in and everyone is still very much behind us which means so much to everyone here.

      Today was a rare day off and after my 1am finish this morning I managed a lie-in until 8am. After a quick visit to the gym I started my first round of interviews with Isa Guha and the BBC. That was swiftly followed by Katherine Brunt with various journalists and then I returned to my computer to reply to the emails that had come in overnight.

      Whilst here I am still trying to keep up to speed with things back home like our PR and media plans for this year’s Friends Provident Trophy, the ICC World Twenty20, and anything else that needs doing.

      Anya and I then headed out to George Street to find some Ugg boots. Mine were for myself and my boyfriend’s sister while Annie’s were for her sister and her brother’s girlfriend.

      We eventually found a shop that sold original Uggs after traipsing round hundreds of shops, much to Annie’s annoyance! We rewarded ourselves with pizza for lunch and then a quick stop back to the hotel to catch up on a few more emails and phone calls. This afternoon we headed down to the Aquarium at Darling Harbour following a recommendation after bumping into my colleague Gill Harris in Circular Quay earlier!

      It was then a quick dinner before returning to the hotel to do an hour’s worth of interviews with Lottie. Another late night with training tomorrow and then the pre-final press conference and photo shoot at the SCG with Lottie again.

      She’s going to be extremely busy over the next few days!

    • Blog post
    • 4 years ago
    • Views: 266
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  • Tropical Flowers Tropical Flowers

    • From: melpilgrim
    • Description:

      Anguilla, British West Indies

    • 4 years ago
    • Views: 465
  • St. Martin, French West Indies St. Martin, French West Indies

    • From: melpilgrim
    • Description:

      A local neighborhood scene just a few blocks from the Port of Marigot on the Caribbean island of St. Martin

    • 4 years ago
    • Views: 521
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  • A Dog's Life A Dog's Life

    • From: melpilgrim
    • Description:

      I wouldn't mind having this dog's life --- he's got a pretty outstanding view of some spectacular blues in the Caribbean waters off of Rendezvous Bay, Anguilla, British West Indies.

    • 4 years ago
    • Views: 337
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  • St Kitts 7 07 thru 7 10 09_00 St Kitts 7 07 thru 7 10 09_0053.jpg

    • From: debreb13
    • Description:
    • 5 years ago
    • Views: 291
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  • St Kitts 7 07 thru 7 10 09_00 St Kitts 7 07 thru 7 10 09_0027.jpg

    • From: debreb13
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    • 5 years ago
    • Views: 524
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