Canouan, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 🇻🇨

Transamerica 2021 STOP 5 

October 1, 2021

The Valley, Anguilla – Canouan, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

Flight distance: 345 nm
Hours in the air: 1:06

The most pristine beaches in the Caribbean

Getting out of Anguilla was a swift affair, let alone that we had to wait on the tarmac for about 20 minutes due to air traffic congestion. 😳😂

A good hour of flying time brought us to Canouan, one of the Grenadine islands. There was nobody else there and this little airport apparently mostly receives private jets so they know the drill. We were told that testing would be performed at the hotel. Now this is not just any kind of a hotel, it is a Mandarin Oriental which says everything and proofed to be 100% true. So we were again tested, twice each this time, antigen so we could move around the hotel immediately and a PCR for the island.

This stay is one of the highlights of this trip, we all get almost 2 days off, so I will enjoy it and report further tomorrow. In the meantime I will be relishing the view and study my wine material, this time it does not include drinking …😩

On our day off we took a late lunch and then decided to go for a short hike (in these temps!) up a local hill, the highest on the island. First the idea was to walk there and back but after a bit more investigation it became clear it was going to be too far. So the hotel bus took us to the bottom of the hill, supposedly to the beginning of the trail. Well, we might be navigating the world with our plane but clearly we were not able to find the trail and gave up after allegedly having passed the turn off three! times. For me it was more of a physical exercise anyway than getting up the hill plus we ended up flying the drone for the vista.

After lunch and a short time at the beautiful pool some of us decided we wanted to see a bit more of the island. We were shown the west side of the island, the main village and the impressive, newly built harbor which is hurricane proof. Quite a bit of the investment for the infrastructure comes for the owners of our resort and the golf course, both Europeans, and that included also a secondary school for which the kids had to go to the main island (being Grenadine). All the locals were really curious, very nice and friendly. The whole island makes quite a good impression to me, the people seem at ease with life, also what we got the learn from our guide. This is so much different from a lot of other island [in paradise] I have seen over the last years.

Facts & figures

The archipelago in the Lesser Antilles is located south of Saint Lucia, west of Barbados, and north east of Grenada. The island nation shares maritime borders with Barbados, Grenada, Saint Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago, and Venezuela.

Saint Vincent is of volcanic origin, its highest point is La Soufriere, an active stratovolcano with a crater lake and a height of 1’234 m, it is one of the most potentially dangerous volcanoes in the Caribbean. The last recorded eruption was in April 2021.

SVG occupies a total land area of 389 km² (Saint Vincent 344 km²), compared, Saint Vincent is somewhat larger than Malta, or twice the size of Washington, DC. The island nation is densely populated with around 110’000 people. Capital, chief port, and main commercial center of SVG is Kingstown (pop 25’000). Spoken languages are English (official) and English Creole.Before the arrival of Europeans and Africans in the 16th century, various Amerindian groups passed through or settled on St. Vincent and the Grenadines, including the Ciboney, Arawak, and Carib people. The island now known as Saint Vincent was originally named Youloumain by the native Island Caribs who called themselves Kalina/Carina (“l” and “r” being pronounced the same in their language).

It is thought that Christopher Columbus sighted the island in 1498, giving it the name St Vincent. The indigenous Garifuna people, who became known as the “Black Caribs”, aggressively prevented European settlement on Saint Vincent.

Various attempts by the English and Dutch to claim the island proved unsuccessful, and it was the French who were first able to colonize the island in 1719. The French brought with them enslaved African prisoners of war to work the plantations of sugar, coffee, indigo, tobacco, cotton and cocoa.

The British captured the island and drove out the French (supported by the Black Caribs) during the Seven Years’ War (1756-63), yet control between the two nations went back and forth over the following centuries.

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines passed through various stages of colonial status under the British, lastly In 2009, when a referendum was held on a proposal to adopt a new constitution that would make the country a republic, replacing Queen Elizabeth II as head of state. A two-thirds majority was required, but the referendum was defeated 29’019 votes (55.64%) to 22,493 (43.13%).

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