Saturday, November 1, 2014

Changes - Part II

A few posts ago, I mentioned I'd been down to the Peninsula and there were some changes to share. So let's do some before and afters. As you head up Timothy Hill toward the peninsula, you encounter a nice deep hole in the road that apparently has been there for about 3 weeks now (UPDATE: This was filled in as of Sunday 11/2).

Timothy Hill has had a lot of problems with huge boulders falling down,

August 2011
so an alternate route was created, which is still in use.

They're supposed to be building a tunnel, at least part of the way, but considering there's nothing to burrow into, I'm not sure what they're doing.

I encountered quite a bit of traffic at 6:30am on a Friday. Very close traffic (I fist-pumped the truck driver as he passed).

Once on the other side of the mountain,  you come upon Friar's Beach.

Not much has changed on either side, although like The Strip, the Caribbean-side beach has taken a beating and can be non-existent at times. There are still the same bars.

Carambola from road
Carambola from beach
Jam Rock from road
Jam Rock from beach
Sunset Beach Bar from road
Sunset Beach Bar from beach
Discovery Beach Bar from road
Discovery Beach bar from beach
Unknown bar from road
Still unknown bar from beach
Godfather's from road
Godfather's from beach (it's there!)
Mongoose from road
Mongoose from beach
Shipwreck from beach (hanging in there!)
Shipwreck beach (cont'd)

Notice all the %#* seaweed. We have the latest tropical storm to thank for that. The best spot for lying out on S. Friar's right now is Mongoose on one end or Carambola on the other, although once open, some of these bars might try to scoop the offending stuff away. The beaches on the Atlantic side look a little better, and the Marriott always rakes up their seaweed. Sandy Bank is looking good too, thanks to Christophe Harbour's raking efforts.

Here's a view of Shipwreck then and now. Looking toward the left (toward Nevis):

December 2010
October 2014 (not sure why it's looking like a Polaroid)

Looking to the right:

December 2010
October 2014

The sunset looks the same though!

Monkeys are still there too.

Nothing seems to be happening along most of the drive, which is what I've always liked about it. The first development you come to is Peninsula Cove, but it's as it was 2 years ago - nothing but nice landscaping that was installed in 2011. That's still being maintained, but the sign is almost faded to nothingness. If you Google "Peninsula Cove St. Kitts" there is no home page for it, and yet many realtors are still promoting it as a investment/citizenship opportunity. Hmmm... It's supposed to be on that slope. Shrug.

Next up is Christophe Harbour and its many projects. One of them is a marina that got off to a slow start but is now picking up steam and is supposed to open in a couple of months.

May 2012
October 2014
May 2012
October 2014

Here are a few more current photos of the area. In addition to my pics, there's a time-lapse video of it going in.

The harbor lots (homes built on fill, jutting into the pond) now have some activity on them.

More homes and infrastructure have been put into place.

The first home has gone up on the cliff leading to Cardinal Point (according to Christophe Harbour's Facebook page, there's a hiking trail starting at Cardinal Point and climbing up to Sugarloaf Peak). This is the home owner's view. The Pavilion looks cool from above.

May 2010
October 2014

May 2010
October 2014

There are some cute villas steps from the beach, although without a view, that allow fractional ownership. It seems insane to me to pay the same price for basically a timeshare that you would for an actual property (and there are many on-island), but I suppose if you just want the passport and not the hassle of maintaining something, this is the way to go. Homes in this particular area are in the millions, so paying $400K is a steal if you've got that kind of money.

I'm not sure what's going on with the golf course. Down at White House Bay, the dock for cruisers has been removed.

Notice the building at the end there? That would be Salt Plage. From the outside, it looks like a ramshackle metal shack.

Up close and inside, it's rather chic. They've even incorporated ruins they found onsite into the decor. The place was closed when we were there, so we're not quite getting the full effect.

It's nice, but apparently they haven't seen what happens there during a storm.

Farther down the peninsula, the road to Cockleshell beach/Spice Mill is now paved. That was rather pleasant.

Once you turn off to go to Banana Bay though, you see a lot of changes. Sugars is building apartments before you get to that beach.

And the dirt road you used to take Banana Bay has been rerouted to around the point.

Coming back toward Cockleshell
Once you get around, you see both the Sugars complex and the Park Hyatt buildings rising.

You still have access to the beach, but the fence line limits things, and well, it's not exactly relaxing at the moment.

This is what it looked like in 2010 & 2011:

Sigh. Well, the view out is still nice, and the old pilings that provided such good snorkeling are still there, so maybe that's still worth a try (a previous trip there).

We didn't head down the road to Reggae Beach or the Beach House, since I didn't get the impression they'd changed much. The villas that were next to the Beach House were moved to Sandy Bank - completely in one piece with even the furniture inside and paintings on the walls - so Turtle Beach is partly back to its wild state.

Cockleshell Beach from Spice Mill looking down toward Reggae.
Heading back toward Basseterre, on the other side of Frigate Bay, I know a few things have changed in Bird Rock. For example, a very controversial project involving a dolphinarium is being built. If I head that way, I'll take pics. I don't have to see it to know I'm against it, and a petition is available should you want to oppose it too. The person who wrote the petition no longer lives on the island, and many people who have commented are also not from the island (including me). Considering the attraction is meant for tourists, this is not necessarily a bad thing, but I'd like to see more Kittitians put their two cents in. For more details, there's a Facebook page to check out. There's also an interesting Facebook page about ongoing non-eco friendly development, too.

Rocky's when it existed and had calm snorkeling
December 2009
Rocky's is no more. Neither is the reef.

The times, they are a-changin'

Renee P.