Even when it rains…..Sarah brings the sun! 😀 ☀️
Even when it rains…..Sarah brings the sun! 😀 ☀️
⇧ Portrait of me in Montego Bay, Jamaica ⇧
Today i’m celebrating my 41st Birthday, Yay!!! If you’ve already read my “About Steve” page you’ll know i should’ve died when i was 25….but God in His endless Mercy and Grace gave me a second chance. Now i thank God for every year and Sarah & i try to go away in April for our Birthdays to capture and enjoy part of His amazing creation! 🙂
Also…I thank God everyday for Sarah as i know i don’t deserve her, but God never seems to stop expressing His love. My heart overflows with love for her. She has encouraged, inspired and loves me in spite of all my faults, she is the sunshine that warms me along my journey. I really don’t have the words to fully express how blessed i am to have my best friend as my wife to cherish and share every moment of this amazing life!
We have just returned from Jamaica, Honduras & Mexico so i have a few photos to edit…but as soon as i get them ready i’ll do a day by day account like my other adventures!
I must appologise to you all for not quite finishing my last tour posts for Azores and Spain…but i’ve got the photos sorted and ready to post. Sorry for any overlap from this holiday and last holiday, i hope you enjoy! 🙂
My Holiday Adventures:
🌴 Day Navigator 🌴
After another early start(and you’ve guessed it) a bacon roll, we headed off the ship. The shore excursion lady was at the bottom of the gangway steps, and she showed us where to join the queue. Well i say queue, there were only about 8 of us in total. I thought “I think we may have over reached on this one. Maybe it’s going to be too difficult, and really not suited for the blind”.
We were then led towards the minibus. We were told they’d saved us the 2 seats in the front next to the driver, i said “Sweet”, and climbed aboard. I really didn’t expect what happened next…the driver turned on his CD player which started playing Ed Sheeran “Thinking out loud” and he started singing as i tapped away on my legs to the beat. His voice was incredible, it was like we were having our own concert in the front of the minibus, whilst driving around paradise. Quite a surreal moment. After more fantastic singing to Tarrus Riley’s “She’s Royal”, he pulled up at Fort James Beach where we were to start our horseback trek.
Welcome to Paradise…
We left the minibus and were instantly greeted with a stunning view of porcelain palm fringed sands, and stilted turquoise waters of Fort James beach, also we received a further warm welcome by the “Horseman(sorry, i forgot his name)”. 🙂
⇧ The horseman strolling along the beautiful beach ⇧
⇧ Horses being led to the sea to cool off ⇧
The Horse Ride…
Once everyone was fitted with a protective hat, it was time to line up and meet the horses. He asked for experienced riders first, then one at a time they mounted the horses. It was about this time i started to get a little nervous. I was saying to Sarah “How do we get up there? Are there steps? Which foot do i put forward first? Are the horses big enough to carry me?”
The horseman was out of earshot, but i think he could see my face, he said “Don’t worry, i have a couple of special horses for you two”. This put my mind a little more at ease. Sarah mounted first on the horse named “Sunshine”, what a perfect horse for her! 🙂 Then i mounted easily with the excellent help from horseman onto the horse named “Little Man”,
After a short tutorial on how to hold(and use) the reins, it was time to move on out! We had only walked along next to a road for about a minute, and i’d just got used to the weird motion of rocking side to side whilst not being able to see the ground or the horse in front. When…a huge commotion…Lots of shouting from horseman, and the horses. I thought(at first) it sounded like a car had hit one of the horses. I pulled back on the reins as i saw Sarah(who was in front of me) appear at my side, Yay my horse stopped! 🙂 We found out at the end, that a car got too close and spooked a few of the horses, so no one(or horses) were hurt.
My plan was to take my Samsung WB550 compact camera with me to take photos & video whilst on the horse, but that was soon foiled when i got onto the horse, and my shorts were pulled tight around my pocket, so it had seal it shut. I didn’t want to try and move, as i thought the horse might mistaken my movements and start galloping off!. I did eventually get an opportunity when my foot suddenly got smacked out of the stirrup by an aloe vera plant(it got a few of us), and as my leg was free i quickly grabbed my camera! 🙂 Note to self, next time take my other camera with a neck strap! 🙂
The horseman who was overseeing us said “Welcome to Sandhaven Beach”…
⇧ “Little Man” taking me on a beautiful journey 🙂 ⇧
⇧ Sarah on “Sunshine” & in sunshine, along Sandhaven beach ⇧
⇧ Sarah ensconced in Sunshine! 🙂 ⇧
Words completely fail me when i try and describe the feeling of riding in paradise. The sound of the waves, the feel of the hot sun with the cool breeze, the movement(and sound) of the horse, topped off with the amazing panorama. We really didn’t want to leave our new fave place on earth!! 🙂
We left Sandhaven beach and headed back to Fort James beach. We’d been riding for around 1½ hours, and just before we finished, the man asked for my cameras so he could take a photo of us on our horses.
My horse “little Man” was busy eating grass, i think he had my appetite! 🙂
⇧ “Little Man & “Sunshine” ⇧
Once off the horses, we were given a bottle of water each as they prepared for stage 2. Stage 2 gave the chance for the experienced riders to ride faster(or gallop as i’m told), and the chance to ride bareback into the water. Sarah and another lady paired up together to do this.
Sarah said “I was sat trying to balance without a saddle, when suddenly i was thrown back as one of my legs was pulled up. I looked down to see that the horse had taken a liking to one of my bright yellow laces, and was pulling on it as though it was spaghetti! 🙂
Once stage 2 was over, we had about 45 minutes before the singing taxi arrived. “No way, does this mean you get to swim in paradise again?!” i said as Sarah was already half way down the beach!! 🙂
⇧ Sarah excited to be the only one in the beautiful sea ⇧
⇧ What a way to relax! 🙂 ⇧
⇧ I think Sarah enjoyed her swim! 🙂 ⇧
The taxi ride was just as fun. The drivers stunning voice carried us all the way back to the ship.
Back on the ship…
We now had to say goodbye to the Caribbean. 😦 We took our usual sofa’s in the coffee port, and with coffee’s in hand, we watched the island slowly disappear. We both agreed that this was our fave place of the trip, and the horse ride was our best experience so far!!
Our new friend…
On returning to our cabin, the steward had created a folded towel turtle, and used my hat as the shell, fantastic!! 🙂
Our Route 4 2day…
This afternoon Thomson Dream sails to Horta, Portugal, we’ll arrive on Sunday late morning, after 5 leisurely days at sea. having travelled 2,173 nautical miles, at an average speed of 16 knots.
🌴 Day Navigator 🌴
🌴 Day Navigator 🌴
Our excursion today “St Kitts Scenic Railway” didn’t start until 11am, so we had a more relaxed breakfast at Lido’s on Deck 9. Then another lovely coffee at the Coffee Port on Deck 8. Now we had sustenance, it was down to Deck 4 and off the ship to enjoy what today had in store for us?! 🙂
Welcome to St Kitts…
Once an illustrious sugar colony, it now focusses its efforts on being a tropical paradise. A seductive blend of blonde sandss, and duck egg blue seas.
Once we slowly navigated down the gangway steps, we looked up to see a view of the beautiful bay.
The Caribbean never failed to surprise us, even when we thought we had seen the most beautiful places, the next place would leave us awe-struck with it’s breathtaking landscapes!
⇧ Sarah’s Panorama of St Kitts ⇧
As i was taking a photo of Sarah, a nice lady came over and asked if we would like her to take one of us both together? “Oh yes please, that would be so kind of you”. The photo she took is probably my fave photo of the trip! 🙂
⇧ Sarah & i at St Kitts ⇧
Showing my excitement, and love for the Caribbean. Sarah chose(and bought) me an amazingly bright and colourful Caribbean shirt, 🙂
Excursion Details – St Kitts Scenic Railway…
First up, board a tour bus for a drive along the south coast. Important landmarks lie around every corner here.
Second, hop on a train at the “Needs-Must” station, and St Kitts light railway takes you on a 3 hour tour of the islands best bits. You’ll chug over ravines over 300 feet deep, circle mount Liamuga volcano, take a sneak peak at the islands black sand beaches, and soak up the jaw dropping views over lush sugar cain fields,
Another soothing air conditioned bus ride. Our tour guide was fantastic, and told us all about the Economy, history(some grusome battles), and the monkeys! She said “Around 100,000 monkeys live in the tree covered hills, and they steal our fruit etc. So if you want to take one with you, it will help us greatly!”.
⇧ A view from the bus window ⇧
We got off the bus at the “Needs-Must” station. The hot sun felt lovely as we waited for the train. We had no idea what to expect, and looking at the small narrow train tracks, we expected a little open top fun train, or something like.
Then…this large double decker monster pulled up. “Wow, i didn’t expect that! It’s really tall, and doesn’t look wide enough to take the height”. I said as we climbed the stairs to the upper deck of the 1st carriage. “Yes! We get to sit at the front too! Unbelievable”.
As the train pulled away, the tour guide told us that the train will sway(strongly) side to side, so it’s best to stay seated, but if you want to stand then keep hold of the rail above the seats. She wasn’t joking!! It was the craziest train i’d ever been on, and i thought there is no way i can take photos whilst being violently thrown around!
But…as usual, i didn’t let that stop me! My Nikkor lens has VR(Vibration Reduction) on it, so i’ll test it out. I really didn’t expect to have any photos from this amazing, unforgettable train ride, but was surprised when a few turned out not too blurry!
We started off travelling through vivid green fields flanked by volcanos.
Then just as a lady asked us if we wanted a “Pina Colada”, we saw the first of many beautiful curved bays, with the sea crashing into the shore.
Sarah & i just kept saying “Wow, this is Amazing! How did we get here, it’s like a dream”. The beautiful hot sun shining down, a lovely cool breeze flowing through the train, and a Pina Colada in hand. Some of my fave things are Coconut, Banana and Pineapple, and this drink had them all! Mmmmm. 🙂
Then as the train curled its way through the lush landscape, a 3 part harmony choir started singing. The ladies would come up to our deck and sing some beautiful songs as part of the trip. The voices were fantastic, and brought even more sunshine to this incredible journey. 🙂
As the singers finished, we heard a horn next to us, so we all started waving at the people on the fun bus! 🙂
We were then treated to another stunning bay!
After passing through more sugarcane fields, the lady brought us a piece of sugarcane with spices. Wow, it was the nicest sweet thing i’d ever tasted! I always talk about this sugarcane everywhere i go.
⇧ Sarah sat at the front of the train! ⇧
The tour guide then said “On your left you will make out the bridge we will be travelling over shortly”. I heard Sarah say “No way, the train isn’t going to make it over that, it looks too small and rickety. Steve, if you could see it, you’d be saying the same!!”.
Yes i would! After seeing this photo, i could tell exactly why Sarah was getting worried! 🙂
After the bridge, we travelled back towards the end of the journey. But not before we were blessed, by what is now my favourite church building.
This fantastic train ride came to an end back at “Needs-Must” station, where the bus was ready to take us back to the ship. But before we boarded, we still had a short time to look around the shops at the dock.
I bought another Caribbean shirt(blue one) so i could keep up with the vibrant colours surrounding us from all angles! Sarah even plaited my hair too! 🙂
⇧ My quiet blue shirt ⇧
Tomorrow will be our last Caribbean island, before we are at sea for 5 days crossing the atlantic for the Azores.
We’ve booked a horse ride across the beach etc, so i’m a little nervous. But at least the horse isn’t blind(i hope) and will lead the way! Either way, i’m sure it’ll be another unforgettable experience! This holiday has been full of them! 🙂
Our Route 4 2day…
This evening Thomson Dream travels to St Johns, Antigua. We’ll arrive tomorrow morning having travelled 61 nautical miles, at an average speed of 4 knots.
🌴 Day Navigator 🌴
As Sarah & i were walking around Hampton Court Palace gardens, i stopped to take this photo of what i call “The pathway to paradise”. I could feel the warmth of spring while the “Fresh” scent of the flowers ensconced us. 🙂
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