All photos by Jeff Burgess
I arrived at the Hurricane Cove Bungalows at approximately 9 pm
after an exhausting day of travel including 4 different planes.
My driver from the airport (Biddy - Highly Recommended) had allowed me to stop for some carryout Chinese food. Biddy told me that I would be staying in the Williwah unit which I had heard was the newest one bedroom unit on the property. I also realized this unit had its own swimming pool. As we pulled up to the property I was told that I would be taken directly to my bungalow and could meet the on-site manager the following morning.
Pulling up to the bungalow I was immediately in shock. Although very dark outside, the lighting around the bungalow and pool looked like something directly out of a travel ad you can only dream about. The sound of the waves crashing on the rocks below the bungalow were overwhelming. Biddy wished me well and drove off into the darkness while I stared at a star filled sky.
Walking through the double door entry, I was greeted to a room with all wood walls, tile floors and wood beam ceiling. It had a very cabin like feel although with a modern shine. I was in the bedroom area. Straight in front of me was a queen sized bed with mosquito net hanging from a vaulted wood beam ceiling.
There was a ceiling fan above the bed as well. All the windows had storm shutters which obviously were going to be needed in the following days. To my left was a step down sitting area with wood slat flooring and wicker and modernistic furniture. To the right of the bedroom were the kitchen and dining area along with the bathroom and walk-in closet. The kitchen was fully stocked and included a full sized refrigerator. The bathroom was floored in tile with tile counters and a tile shower. I noticed a timer on the wall of the bathroom which I now wish I would have paid more attention to.
I sat down to eat my chinese food and was soon greeted by a neighborhood cat. It was nice to see such a friendly cat when you feeling a bit overwhelmed from being 4000+ miles from home.
The food was perfect. If you are staying on Nevis demand your taxi driver takes you to the Sea King restaurant which is in all reality a patio off someone's house. Great food and cheap prices.
Since I had been up now for 33 hours I knew it was time for bed. Out on the patio for a quick smoke from a pack of Marlboro's which cost only $1.50 on my stop over in St. Martin. For this price, how could one not smoke?
In the darkness, the silouhette of the nearby island of St. Kitts could be seen. Walking to the other side of the pool, you could see a few lights glowing from the Oualie Beach Resort at the bottom of the hill. The bugs seemed quieter than many of the other Caribbean islands I have traveled to in the past, although I think alot of the noise was drowned out by the rumbling surf directly below the rear of the bungalow.
One nice thing about arriving at your final destination at night, is the visual surprise which awaits in the morning.
This visual surprise did not disappoint!
I awoke at 6:30 to see a lightly cloud filled sky over the island of St. Kitts to the north. To the southwest was Oaulie Beach with a lone person raking the sand. To have such incredible views from one property is rare. From the location of my bungalow, there was an approximate 270 degree view of paradise. I spent the next hour just enjoying everything the skyline had to offer.
Within walking distance from the Hurricane Cove Bungalows is a more inclusive type resort called the Oaulie Beach Hotel situated directly on Oaulie Beach. Although the four-plex styled rooms appeared nice, I was much happier about my choice of staying at Hurricane Cove. The Oualie Beach Hotel does offer an on site restaurant, bar and various rental activities. On my way over for breakfast, I stopped by the Hurricane Management office and met Kathryn Wyatt the onsite manager for the property. She was extremely helpful and very knowledgeable about the island of Nevis. She was kind enough to answer my barrage of questions. Kathryn also provided me with a list of do's and don'ts. The management office was stocked with a nice selection of cold drinks including beer, tanning lotions, personal items, sunglasses and t-shirts. She also introduced me to the two resident dogs Sensi and Dutchie. Both were very friendly and would later prove to be good guide dogs as well. Kathryn suggested nearby
Lovers Beach for a day of sun, water, rest and relaxation. I was off to breakfast to read over the Hurricane Cove info.
While eating breakfast I realized I had already broken one of the don'ts. I was guilty of feeding
the neighborhood cat some beef broccoli the night before. I plead innocent by ignorance. Walking back to Williwah I was impressed by how well the bungalow blended into the surrounding environment. The entire property was so well landscaped with many types of natural plants and other vegitation. Its location at the end of a hill had to be one of the best locations on the entire island.
The day was spent on a deserted nearby beach called Lovers Beach. This absolutely had to be the finest untouched beach I have ever set foot on. It was strange that no other humans were ever to be seen during the three hours spent sunning and swimming in the slightly wavey waters. A few pelicans glided over head most of the day with a 5 minute cooling rain shower hitting near the end of the three hour visit. Thoughts of GIlligan's Island came to mind. Somehow I wouldn't mind being stranded on this little island as long as there were a few Gingers and Mary Anns to keep me company. It was hard to leave this beach since it was a place most people can only dream about. Knowing I was heading back to Hurricane Cove was a nice consolation though. About a 10 minute walk and I was back to my bungalow and ready for a swim in the small private pool on the patio. Vegetation surrounding the pool keeps things private although I had nothing to hide at this point.
That evening Kathryn had suggested a restaurant in town which my cab driver was never able to find. I eventually ended up eating a tasty seafood platter overlooking the water at a restaurant called Unella's by the Sea. Back to the room with a few groceries and I was ready to retire. I was glad there was no TV in the unit to pop the bubble I was living in. The next morning I hitch hiked my way back to town for some shopping and sightseeing. I met up with a local Rasta man named Watusi who suggested breakfast at the Cotton House.
After some French Toast and bacon with a garnish of cucumber, lettuce and tomato (?) I headed out to see what was going on in the streets of Charlestown. The lack of tourists was obvious immediately. Between the off season and the current world crisis, tourism seems to be in a current stand still. Street vendors sold various fruits and vegetables while the sounds of Reggae music filled the streets coming from various store fronts. Many of the buildings were constructed during the 18th century. The islanders were for the most part very friendly. After a few hours it was time to head back the Hurricane Cove and I found Watusi waiting to drive me back. During the ride he told many fascinating stories of his experiences living on the island as well as a few "dumb tourist" stories. By the time we had made it back to the property the beginning of Tropical Storm Karen was starting to hit. I barely ran 25 yards from the Taxi and was already completely drenched.
I wondered what it would be like to be in a storm this severe while sitting on the tip of an island prone to Hurricanes. The winds blew and lightning began to strike at the ocean. I began closing the storm windows in preparation for what was to come. The storm continued most of the afternoon until there was a small break which allowed me to make it back to Oualie's for a supposed beach barbque. The barbque had been cancelled due to weather and I was forced to eat from a limited selection of over priced items. Small portions and big prices are not good when your mind has been thinking of "all you can eat buffet" . Oh well not having many other choices, at least the Spicey Caribbean Pasta tasted good! I soon noticed that I had a few friends waiting for me. The dogs from Hurricane Cove were sitting nearby watching me eat. I realized they would be my tour guides back to the property. After a few drinks in the bar while doing some interesting people watching, I was ready to head back. As soon as I returned to the bungalow, the storm began to kick into high gear once again. I knew my last night was going to be an experience.
The rain never let up the entire night. Lightning bolts lit the sky what seemed like every 60 seconds. Winds were reported up to 50 miles per hour. I have been through a Hurricane in New York City a few years back, but this seemed different. More explosive most likely due to the small island which has no defense like the tall buildings in New York offered. I went outside for awhile and was joined by my cat friend who seemed somewhat unnerved by the expereince. Eventually daylight began to break with continual rain showers and I knew it would soon be time to head off to the airport for a frightening plane ride to St. Martin.
The Hurricane Cove Bungalows are like no other property in the world. They will challenge the adventure traveler while also offering the comforts for almost any type of traveler to enjoy.
The view is breathtaking. Kathryn and Steve Wyatt are the perfect managers, always there to help although respecting each and everyone's privacy. The animals are a nice addition for all of us who hate leaving our pets at home. The nearby beautiful beaches, as well as many conveniences within walking distance make for a perfect vacation paradise. With 12 units available even larger parties can be accomodated. The prices are very competitive and the off season rates appear to be the best bargain on the island. The common area pool is very relaxing as well.
I have nothing but wonderful things to say about the Hurricane Cove Bungalows
4 Star rating in my book!
Jeff Burgess - Travelinvasion.com