Page 2 of 2 Previous
“In Charlestown, everything closes at 5 p.m.,” said Champ. “It’s like a ghost town.”
Night life on the island consists of a rotating schedule of special dinners — pig roasts, West Indian barbecues, seafood grills — sponsored by hotels, plantation inns and bars, many times featuring live local string bands or Calypso music. On Friday nights, the Water Department sponsors a cookout with chicken, ribs, music and beer.
Charlestown is celebrated as the birthplace of Alexander Hamilton, a U.S. Founding Father and first secretary of the Treasury, and his family home has been reconstructed as a museum. A lesser-known fact is that in the 17th and 18th centuries, Charlestown was home to Sephardic Jews expelled from Brazil who were active participants in the sugar cane growing and processing industry. In the Jewish cemetery, grave markers bear inscriptions carved in Hebrew, English and Portuguese.
A visit to Nevis isn’t complete without sampling a Killer Bee rum punch at Sunshine’s Beach Bar & Grill. Sunshine himself served us conch fritters with a side of his special hot sauce. We hid from the heat of the day under jaunty saffron-hued umbrellas, watching kayakers paddle past as the house monkey chugged a beer. (“Come take a photo with the monkey 5 U$,” read the sign on the cage.) Reggae music played, palm trees swayed, the warm turquoise sea beckoned, and life was pretty much perfect.
“You realize this is a complete fantasy,” I said to Libby.
“Yes,” she answered. “That’s why we travel. Real life is tedious enough.”