CARAMBOLA BEACH CLUB, ST KITTS
For information on this beach click here:
This will be our second time in St Kitts this year. We were happy to try something else since the last time did not end up being the best day. We were off the ship at 8:15am just in time for the paparazzi to catch us.
We walked outside the port gate, told the taxi driver where we wanted to go, and off we went. It cost us $4 for each adult and they said the kids were going to be free. Awesome!
Oh crap, it looks like we were going to have to endure a mountain after all. Hold on....But the views are so beautiful up here. I have to say it was definitely a different experience being in an enclosed vehicle instead of an open air taxi. I felt safer, but yet you couldn't get good pictures. I guess that's the trade off you get.
Last time we were here, they were working on the roads and tunnels and they had all the detours. What a difference a few months make...they now have the tunnel completed! Gosh I remember the sharp turn we had to make last time and that is now gone. You don't have to go that way anymore. Whew!
There was the sign signaling that we were already at Carambolas.
WE HAVE ARRIVED...BRING ON THE FUN!!!
We came out of the restaurant building and onto the beach. We were the first ones there!!! We had our pick of chairs and followed this guy looking for the perfect spot.
Sakari had already removed her cover-up and her and B were checking out the water. We headed down toward the end because it looked like an interesting spot and we ended up at the very end.
Immediately the swimming and exploring began. Even though it was still early in the morning, the water was warm and it was already hot. Holy moly those are some bright swimming trunks B. (Just kidding, this is what happens when you forget to change the setting on your camera to underwater).
The morning pictures turned out kinda crappy. I'm not sure why. The water must have been stirred up a bit or something because they didn't end up very clear. Sakari was off exploring and had morphed into a mermaid and I spotted some fish.
Over to the right of us was a dock of some sort. I headed that way and there were a bunch of rocks up against it.
Don't this "stuff" at the bottom of this area remind you of a dirt mop? It was weird looking.
So there really wasn't a whole lot to see over by the dock. I was kinda disappointed. So there's an area that runs up and down the beach that has rocks and "sea life" and that's where we would do our snorkeling.
We found some black spiny sea urchins. Of course I pointed at them and ask Sakari if she would like to pick one up today. I got that "look" from her and I think she learned her lesson from the day before at St Lucia.
I think she's swimming faster than her tail is today.
GASP...it's one of those fire worms that stung Sakari back at Little French Key one year. I pointed at it and told her to stay away and not pick it up.
Does anyone see what's here? Yea, I didn't either, but Kendra is a pro at spotting these. She has found every single one of them when we have been snorkeling in the past.
The hubby had followed us out and decided to join us...from above the water. It must have gotten too hot for him back on the beach. (This entire area of snorkeling is not deep, you can stand up there). So I found this sea urchin and I decided to let the hubby hold it. He has never held one before.
I hated to see all this trash in the water. Of course it's no fault of Carambola. This could have came from anywhere...from the weather/ocean bringing it in, to inconsiderate people on the beach, to the wind whisking it away from the beach. You just never know. I still hate to see it though. Especially bags that critters can get caught up in. I watch so many of those "rescue" videos online.
So I was in the water with a lady and her daughter. She approached me and we started talking (she had been snorkeling too). She ask me if I knew if we were allowed to snorkel "on the other side" and pointed on the other side of the dock. She said she walked over there earlier and there was lagoon type area with steps leading down in to it. I had never heard anyone mention this and knew I had to go explore and see what she was talking about.
This deck part you see in the picture, that leads to the left of the picture, is the dock. The rocky area is where I was headed. It was like the property next door or something.
It was nothing but rocks everywhere and man it hurt my feet. But I made it and it was BEAUTIFUL over there!
The steps she was talking about...this area was AMAZING and so pretty. It reminded me of Chankanaabs lagoon.
It looked like a prime area for snorkeling (or even diving) and with all the rocks down there, I can only imagine the things to see.
The only problem is, the steps led down to the water and really not into the water. Once getting down in there, I'm not sure how you would get out...short of having to hoist your body up with your arms...and this fluffy girl won't be doing that any time soon.
I could see fish everywhere. There were just so many of them. The place just really looked amazing.
I kept putting my foot down on the last steps, as several crabs scurried off of the steps and back into the water, scaring the crap out of me at first, and sticking my camera under the water to see if I could get any good shots of the fish that were crowding the steps. There were hundreds...seriously....until I would put my camera in the water and then they would disappear. It reminded me of my aquarium at home and the fish going back and forth at the top waiting for me to feed them. But once I stuck my camera in the water, they would flee for the most part. The other problem was, once again, I forgot to put my camera setting on underwater. So I end up with a bunch of "RED". I didn't realize it at the time of course. I walked away hoping that I ended up with a bunch of pictures that made it look like I was actually under the water over there. Fail
After sitting down to massage the battle wounds on my feet, I look over and see the kids on the dock talking to someone. Why were the kids talking to some stranger and is this stranger danger or a friendly local stranger? I had to go investigate.
Do you see what B has in his hands? A monkey!
This guy sat over at the dock for hours. The kids were over there playing with the monkey for hours. It would crawl all over them and let them feed it and hold it and they were busy jumping off the dock over and over too.
Of course this concerned me because I knew that below the dock (at a certain point) there were huge rocks that I had snorkeled earlier. The last thing I needed was for one of them to jump and hit a rock and break something. I had to go over to investigate.
The monkey was sitting on Sakari's shoulder. Now I know these guys walk up and down the beach (and in port) letting you hold and take pictures of the monkey for $5 each. This guy never mentioned anything about having to pay anything and he was sitting on the dock for hours. He was letting the kids play with the monkey for a good portion of the day. I went over to talk to him. We talked for quite some time and I told him how my daughter (Kendra) has been wanting a monkey forever. He mentioned they sell them for $100. Oh wow, because they are thousands back home. He also mentioned they can ship to the US. I went over to tell Kendra and she came running. She would spend probably the next 2 hours talking to him about the monkey and holding it while also taking pictures of it to send to her fiance back home telling him she wants it...That would be followed with her being on the phone with him for another hour. LOL She was bound and determined that she wanted a monkey. Not any monkey, but THIS monkey. LOL
The kids continued to jump and Kendra continued to talk monkey talk. The guy gave Kendra his social media site for her to add him and told her everything about this monkey. He had went into the forest to get the mother and she had 5 babies. This was one of them and he was 4 months old I believe. He said they were all pretty tame and they had removed their fang teeth. He said they can only ship to 2 places in the US (Miami and Arizona I think). She would have to arrange to have an address in one of those places to accept the monkey and then have to pay shipping for it to get there (COD). She would not pay for the monkey until it arrived in the US.
I told her that no matter "how" he said it's done, I still can't believe that US customs would allow some animal from a different country to just be shipped there with no problems due to diseases and such. But she was on a mission.
(Update since we returned...still no monkey, of course, and the guy won't answer her on SM so....)
A video of the kids (and the hubby) jumping off the deck.
Sakari found a sand dollar. This entire cruise she kept asking me how much is this worth? She just couldn't put the name "dollar" together with "it's not real money".
The hubby, Sakari, and I decided we were going to go for a "walk". I knew I wanted to see if I could find this "black" sand that everyone talks about down by Ship Wreck. After leaving Carambola, we started to see some blackness in the sand. Cool This stuff really sparkled in the sun.
It was getting blacker and I was getting excited. I just couldn't believe how it sparkled in the sun. It was like little diamonds in the sand. So pretty. I really wish the camera could capture what I was seeing.
Watching the ocean water rush up, it would turn brown, then when the water went back out, it would be black.
We came to another beach club and it was deserted. Not one person there. They had chairs put out and what looked like a little bar with (maybe) the owner sitting there. But not a single person there.
The sand was REALLY black at this point. Just look at the difference at the sand by the water compared to the beach beside it.
Heading on down toward the Ship Wreck bar...then we arrived. I do have to admit, my first impressions of this place was not a positive one. I was prepared for it not to be a luxurious place, and I was expecting kinda rustic, but I didn't really picture this. It didn't look rustic to me, it kinda looked run down. It looked like there were weeds growing and the place hadn't been "swept" or anything. I don't know, I just wasn't too impressed.
I mean I know you are going for a different kinda feel here, but I would at least think you might rake the beach from all the sea weed and get rid of some of the debris in the area. Make it a little more appealing. I know a lot of people on here love this place. But, I'm glad I made the decision to stay a Carambola instead. I really don't think this place is for me...and not just because of the beach or area.
So, I know it was mentioned that this area was good for snorkeling and Sakari and I decided to take a look around. We headed into the water...this is what you'll be walking on...shells and rocks.
It pretty much had the same "look" as it is down by Carambola...with the "ledge" running up and down the beach with a few things to see there.
However, there were TONS...I mean TONS of black spiny sea urchins.
I really didn't think there was much to see in this area and definitely no different than the area over by Carambola.
It was pretty shallow in most areas, but man the sea urchins. They were really making me nervous. Although Sakari and I had brought our snorkel mask so that we could look around, I did not bring any flippers and with all the sea urchins everywhere you turned, it was making me super nervous.
They were seriously in every crevice. One wrong turn and you could be scraped by one or put your foot down on one.
This was also floating at the top of the water in the entire area...which made it kinda creepy when it was constantly rubbing up against you.
We were only in the water about 10 minutes before I tapped Sakari on the shoulder and told her "Let's get out of here". I was just too nervous. I really don't know how anyone can swim in this area with all the sea urchins...or maybe they had an area on down that had a sandy entrance. The area we were in was directly in front of the Ship Wreck and to the right.
It almost looked like oil mixed in with the sand when you picked it up. So cool though.
We started heading back and I was glad that I took the trip to see the black sand. I REALLY like it. It was beautiful and so unique. I just didn't care for Ship Wreck itself.
Sakari ask if she could run back to Carambola and the chairs and she scurried off. I don't know where she gets her energy.
Once away from Ship Wreck, the sand turns back to brown (which is weird) and then it would turn back to black once we got back to the other little beach place with no people, then it would be black again.
We did this in the sand in front of that other place.
It really was a pretty place. I'm not sure why no one was there unless people are just not aware of it. It liked the natural shade with the palm trees. It's definitely a place I could see myself staying at. It's very simple, but yet gorgeous.
Discovery Beach Bar I guess is the name. I'll have to do some research on this place maybe for the next time.
Their rental was the same as Carambola....$10 per chair.
A big open area in between this place and Carambola. The hubbys wheels were turning...buy this place and make a beach club and work from the beach every day...haha...um yea, I'm game, but somehow I think it's too close to Carambola, which seems to get most of the business and is well known.
From here, you could see the new tunnel they just built
We continued on our walk back to Carambola.
Once I got back to our chairs, I was showing Kendra my black sand and what she had missed out on by being on the phone for an hour with her fiance talking monkey talk. I put some down on the sand and showed her the difference. It looks like a bag of charcoal.
As you can see, a lot more people have showed up at Carambola now. I took a few pictures with my phone to post back home for everyone to see.
We decided it was time to grab a bite to eat and headed up to the restaurant. THE SAND IS SCORCHING HOT!!! Every place we went the sand was hot. I always thought people said that the sand never gets hot in the Caribbean like regular sand will. What gives?
The hubby went up to the bar and placed our order, got him a beer, and only had a few $$ left over. I ask where mine was at and he said he was a few bucks shy of being able to buy me a drink. Really?
I would take a few pics of the restaurant while we waited.
At one point, Kendra and the kids had sat down while they were waiting on their food. Someone came along and told them they could not sit there. She told them she had ordered food and was just waiting on it, so she was not just sitting there for the heck of it. She had food on the way. They proceeded to tell her that she would not be able to eat in there either. Um, ok. Then she said they told her that all boys had to have a shirt on as well and girls needed clothes on.
Do you see the guy in this picture? He doesn't have a shirt and neither does his son. His wife was also in a bathing suit. They sat down and ate with no problem.
As we continued to wait for our food, yet another couple came in and sat down and ate their food there...with bathing suits and no shirts on. I mean I understand it's a restaurant, but it's also a beach. Where are you supposed to eat your food? There were no other places to sit to eat. They didn't bother saying anything to the other people that were sitting down and eating.
The hubby bugged the guy at the bar for so long until he finally gave in and gave me a dirty banana for the rest of the dollar bills the hubby still had in his hand.
We got our food and were forced to go back and eat at our chairs.
Sitting at the chairs eating our meals and the hubby was enjoying his Stag.
There were a lot of people that came in and just put their towels down instead of paying for chairs and umbrella. The lady I had talked to earlier was one of them. She had put her things down directly in front of a round chair beside us and they would use the chair to lean on... then they would eventually move up into one of the round chairs by the end of the day. She was also from our ship. She was traveling just her and her daughter. This was her daughters graduation gift. She said she lets each one of her kids pick where they want to go and what they want to do for their graduation. Then she proceeded to tell me she has 10 kids!!! 10!! Of course I had to ask if they were all hers and she actually birthed them all...the answer was YES! Mad props to her for being able to raise 10 kids and give them each a once in a lifetime graduation present. She was extremely nice and we actually talked for hours while standing in the water. This was her first cruise. She ask me A LOT of cruise questions and where to go and what to do. She was super nice.
We had another family (of women) who came in and tried to get some chairs (for free) and the staff stopped them. They had to move. Then the couple beside us were leaving and they ask if they could have their chairs. Of course the couple didn't mind...they were leaving. It wasn't long before the staff came to collect their money and a huge argument broke out. "They gave me their chairs. Those chairs were already paid for"....and so on. Really? That's not how it works people. You relinquish your chairs and are done for the day, you can't just take over their chairs because someone else paid for them already. You are coming in new, you must rent them yourself. They really tried. But, they were a huge group and they were not about to pay $10 pp. They must have had at least 8-9 people. Remember, it's $10 per chair and $10 per umbrella.
Kendra and I decided we would head out one last time to snorkel. I talked her into going over to the rocks by the dock and we would go out a little further than I did. It did get a "little" more interesting I guess.
But still nothing I would call amazing and not much fish either. We finally gave up and headed back to shore.
Kendra and I came back from snorkeling the small area around the dock and the kids were now doing hand stands.
Sakari has a pair of fins that we purchased for her back when she was around 3-4 years old or so. She wore them back when she had just learned to swim, but really hasn't worn them since. Well B had been using Kendra's fins the entire cruise and Sakari decided she wanted to try mine out. It's kinda funny to watch her kick because she still tries to kick with her legs together, as she does with her monofin.
We decided to pack up our things at 2:30pm and head to the showers.
They also have showers inside and that's where Kendra headed to. I followed after awhile because we weren't getting anywhere at this one. I believe they only had 2 (maybe 3) inside and they were in big rooms with a dressing room to each and the shower was huge. The only problem was, when someone else had the water on, there wasn't much pressure on yours. You could definitely tell when they turned theirs off.
The bathrooms were really nice there. I tried to get a shot, but this lady just wanted to stand in front of the mirror, on the phone, and stare at herself forever. She wasn't doing anything...just talking and staring.
We headed outside to the taxi's at 2:55pm and a driver ask us if we had a taxi coming. I told him that our taxi driver had said that he would return at 3pm to pick us up. The problem was, I had no idea what the van looked like or the driver actually. I'm so busy taking pictures that I didn't really pay attention. The taxi drivers there were nice and didn't try to "steal" you away from another driver that was coming for you. He did say "Well if your driver doesn't show up at 3pm and it's a little after, when I get ready to leave, I'll make sure you got a ride, otherwise I'll take you, but please give him time." I thought that was nice.
I driver did show up in time and he noticed us. He acknowledged us and then walked over to the front desk and about that time the other driver said "You are still standing here...come on, I'll take you, come on" and pointed at the van we were standing in front of...that was COMPLETELY packed and he was shoving more in. Um, we have 5 people, that wouldn't have worked for us anyhow. I'm not sitting on laps. I'm too old and fluffy for that crap.
We got in the van and the driver managed to talk 2 other guys, who had to have been totally wasted, and I swear they sounds like girls giggling the entire time. Yea, we'll go...No, go ahead...wait, we'll go...well I'm not sure...giggle, giggle, giggle. The did speak a foreign language and did that all the way back to the port while they seriously giggled worse than girls do. It wasn't just a little giggle either, it was very obnoxious and loud and never ended. At this point, I'm thinking maybe sitting on someones lap in a full van might have actually been the better deal.
Then we were off and headed back to the port.
Once we pulled up, the guys jumped out of the van and handed the driver $5 for the both of them. They mumbled something in a different language, handed him the $5, and walked away! Um...why do you guys get to set your own price???
We thought this place was very pretty and we had a decent day here. I would recommend it to
others. The snorkeling is not the best here, but there is some things to see here. I also highly recommend taking a walk down toward Ship Wreck because the black sand is definitely a DO-NO-MISS type of thing if you have never seen a black sand beach. It is beautiful and sparkles in the sun like diamonds.