I told the cabby to pick me up in an hour and a half. He deposited me on Cockleshell Beach, the door step of one of the best known places on St. Kitts, Reggae Beach Bar. The weather was poor, cloudy with a slight drizzle. Do you think that was going to stop this salty soul from having a good time, not a chance.
I walked in to find the place very mellow. There wasn’t a lot of people there due to the poor weather. Bob Marley was playing and I found a home on a bar stool and waited to catch the bartenders attention.
“Parlez-vous francais?” the bartender says. Sometimes its hard to catch all the words if the islander has a thick accent. So I quickly reply with a “Say again please.” He responds, “Parlez-vous francais?” Ah, I caught it this time. “No, don’t speak French…. English….thirsty….beer….please.” Eric, the bartender, starts laughing and introduces himself. I’m not sure if he was messing with me or actually wanting to work on his French, regardless we have a good laugh and I collected my first cold Carib and settle in.
I get to talking with a couple American guys and ask them about their vacation. Turns out they are students on island at one of the universities and get to spend entire semesters here. I don’t know why I never thought of that, brilliant!
They tell me that Reggae Beach is their favorite place because there is always something going on, except for this day. Of course.
We all start shootin’ the breeze with bartender/francophile, Eric. He starts to whip up some type of drink with 151 rum, a banana, what looks to be colada mix and something else. He tosses it all into a blender, and 30 seconds later was pouring the two students, me and himself a rocks glass full of this dangerous concoction. Dangerous because it was out of this world good, but you know it had one hell of a kick. Another please?
I slam back the drink and make my way to the sand. Cockleshell beach is one of the best on the island. It’s located on the end of the southern peninsula and faces the enchanting island of Nevis. The water is crystal clear, calm and I was told there is a reef just off shore you can snorkel on.
I wander around making my way to a little dock. I don’t know if you remember this, but a couple weeks before the St. Kitts trip I wrote a post called “Sitting on the Dock in the Bay” about the island, and it featured a photo of a dock overlooking a calm bay with Nevis in the background. I said when I was on island I’d try and find that little dock. Turns out it sits right next to Reggae Beach Bar. I stood there and took in the same view as that beautiful picture and a wave of contentment swept over me. I was truly in a happy place.
Here is that photo and then mine.
I retreat from the dock and find my way to large cage where I find a friendly monkey, a goat and a huge fat pig. They only thing I thought about when looking at that giant blob with four stubby legs was, “Man, that is a lot of bacon.” I must have been hungry.
I started talking to the monkey and watching him jump around his cage. He eventually came to sit right up against the chicken wire in front of me. I reached out and gave the little guy a couple back scratches which he seemed to enjoy.
My time at Reggae Beach Bar was coming to an end much to quickly. I go see Eric for another Carib and head to the gift shop to collect some goodies. I was hoping to meet my friend Delano, who use to run the Reggae Beach twitter account and has made a video with our friends Team Cocktail. I was told that Delano moved on to another restaurant and no longer works there, but still frequents the bar quite a bit.
I grab a beer for the road and close out with Eric. I thank him for the great time and tell him to stop scaring people with his bad French.
The cabby flashes his lights at me and off we go down the muddy road. I watched as Reggae Beach disappears over the hill and silently wished the cabby would have forgotten about me.
If you find yourself on St. Kitts, Reggae Beach Bar is a must. Great drinks, beautiful location and lots to do and see. My only regret was that I didn’t get to spend more time there. What’s that cliche we all use? Ah yes, “there’s always next time.”