Our visit to Bequia & Moonhole

Reply

Jul 24th, 2012, 11:02 AM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 4,934
Our visit to Bequia & Moonhole

My GF & I decided to take a week & spend some time on Bequia, more specifically the Moonhole 'compound' after I read an article about Tom Johnston in (I believe) the NYTimes travel section. We are always seeking out of the way, off the beaten track places to visit. As some may remember, my last couple of visits to the Caribbean were to Montserrat.

Here is some add'l info - http://moonholecompany.com/history.aspx & the place we stayed which I found on vrbo.com - http://www.moonhole.com/moreinfo.htm

We departed from CLT w/a direct flight to Barbados where we were promptly greeted by a most helpful young lady, sign in hand, to get us through to our connecting flight on SVG Air. Both flights were uneventful but the SVG planes do a loop via Bequia, St. V, Union Island & Palm Island so you'll likely land on all of these islands either coming or going.

Next - Arriving on Bequia
SAnParis2 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 25th, 2012, 08:39 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 5,765
moonhole looks very cool. i would like the no electic a lot. i've been curious about bequia so can't wait to read more of your report. i'm particularly interested to hear about the snorkeling, to know if you see any rental houses that are on the beach & about the grocery store. friends stayed on palm so it would be fun to stop there 8-)
virginia is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 26th, 2012, 10:32 AM
  #3
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 4,934
Virginia - We are not snorkelers but heard nothing but good things about it, although the side of the island where our beaches were located were rough a lot of the time we were there. That did not, however, keep a couple of locals from spear fishing & Andy (one of the Moonhole staff) from Kayaking/fishing every day.
There are a couple of the Moonhole houses right on the water but they are also near the entrance so 'in season' you would experience 'more traffic'. The best grocery store to visit is Doris Fresh Foods. She has a good selection & although we bought some things there...well you'll understand better as my diatribe continues...
SAnParis2 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 26th, 2012, 10:45 AM
  #4
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 4,934
We arrived on Bequia & took the short taxi ride to Moonhole - keeping in mind a 'taxi' for the most part is a short bed pickup truck w/seats on the sides & a cover. Upon arrival we were greeted by the Staff & they carried our bags up to our abode (quite a good little hike). When we arrived, Rena & Pam were already working on our Dinner.
(I had sent $100US ahead of time as well as a 'provision list' since we were arriving Saturday evening).
Pam & Rena would cook our meals (unless we were out or we advised them otherwise), take care of provisions, clean, & light our lanterns @ night while we were there. It was agreed upon that meals would be @ 8:30, 1 & 6:30. We paid for the food, drinks & items we used upon departure (that ended up being about $330US less the $100 I had sent prior) for the week. Mosquitos were our only concern but both beds had mosquito nets so the first night we elected to stay on the main level. If you've not viewed the pictures the place is wide open w/a few windows but no doors - all concrete & stone. Water was gravity fed & cold, so if you wanted to shave you had to heat it on the stove (propane). We did have a refrigerator that ran off of a generator but that was our only 'luxury' in that regard.
So after a simple but delicious Dinner, we settled in for the night enjoying our views as well as peace & solitude.
Since we were near the end of the island we could see the water on both sides & the airport/runway straight out the back as well as St. Vincent & a few other islands scattered about....Paradise.

Next segment - Attack of the Iguana
SAnParis2 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 26th, 2012, 11:00 AM
  #5
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 4,934
So we settled in for the first night after enjoying a nip of Barbados Rum that I had procured in duty-free en route. Not to jump ahead but we only stayed upstairs the first 2 nights, we found the lower level was more open & apt to catch the breeze & thus was cooler, which made for better sleeping conditions.

Our first night I am sure we went right to sleep after a nearly complete day of travel but sometime in the night we were both awakened by what we believed to be a scratching sound. Knowing there were only supposed to be birds, bats & some reptiles (no snakes they assured us although we saw one cross the path right in front of us later on in the week)I figured it to be an iguana. Now I know the buggers can get pretty big so it was up to me (blind as a bat though I am sans contacts) to venture out, flashlight in hand & scare the perpetrator away. My GF wanted no part of it. So we're thinking (as our imaginations run wild) that he must have drug some fruit off the kitchen counter & is enjoying quite the feast w/what should be our breakfast (& I was very much looking forward to the mango & papaya). I bravely venture out but can find...well... nothing.

Upon returning to bed we still heard the quite distinctive sound a few more times but it seemed to be more distant & not right in our room so we finally drifted back off to sleep - A fit & restful sleep w/only a slight pause for chasing critters away...I just wonder(ed) what it was ?

Next - The great iguana mystery solved
SAnParis2 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 26th, 2012, 12:16 PM
  #6
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 415
I'm hooked! I love a good mystery.
Jimmie is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 26th, 2012, 02:03 PM
  #7
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 5,765
oh goody. a mystery - perhaps a pirates ghost?
virginia is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 26th, 2012, 07:54 PM
  #8
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,310
you are brave...I would have been up all night
mnag is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 27th, 2012, 11:52 AM
  #9
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 4,934
So upon awakening our first day in our little island paradise we discovered a couple of things - We are very far east & it gets light really, really early in the morning & it gets dark very early @ night. So we ended up sleeping from like 9 or 10 to about 5am while we were there that week. We also discovered that when you have an open abode w/a concrete floor & dry leaves blow across the floor @ night it sounds very much like a reptile or other varmit scurrying around, if you let your imagination get the best of you.

Our first breakfast consisted of fresh papaya & mango as well as fresh bread & juice. We also discussed what we liked w/the ladies who were taking care of us (we don't dislike much of anything) & encouraged local fare.

That day (Sunday so not much was open) would be a template for many days to follow - Some reading, breakfast, walk to beach to play in the water read & relax, return for lunch, repeat morning, return for Dinner. Relax...repeat as needed.

Due to the day of the week & spending most of the prior day traveling Sunday was very much a 'rest day'. For lunch we had callaloo & for Dinner some barracuda (caught by our soon to be good friend Andy) salad & the like.

Next - New friends & Mardi Gras on St. Vincent
SAnParis2 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 28th, 2012, 08:05 AM
  #10
cw
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 3,648
I'm interested in Bequia so very much enjoying your report. I had not heard of Moonhole. The homes are unique. Is your rental a private rental and not through the foundation? They all seem to be have similar terms--pay for food, meals prepared for you. Looking forward to more.
cw is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 28th, 2012, 01:11 PM
  #11
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 4,870
Oh, I'm so glad that y'all enjoyed your trip to BEquia & Moonhole. Very special place!. I look forward to more. MUCH more. Hint, hint.
ejcrowe is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 29th, 2012, 07:31 PM
  #12
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,503
That looks like an interesting experience! Looking forward to the rest of your report!
brenandg is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 30th, 2012, 06:42 AM
  #13
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 4,934
First of all Mardi Gras was going on on Monday & Tuesday so we delayed our trip into 'town' until Wednesday. We spoke to a couple of folks about taking the Ferry over to St. V but decided instead to just relax @ our current locale. We did meet Winnie, who runs the place & is a great source of info as well as Andy her Son who is deaf & was the primary resource of our fish while we were on the island. Andy uses a small, probably 25 yr old plastic kayak w/a rig of PVC piping to hold his fishing poles around him & is out in the ocean almost daily. I have no idea how you do that & land a 25lb. barracuda in the process. We referred to him as the 'fish whisperer'.
SAnParis2 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 30th, 2012, 06:50 AM
  #14
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 4,934
Moonhole - some first hand history

From what we were told or learned while in Bequia there were originally 17 units on the 35 acre property. I think 9 are still inhabitable + there is one for sale that needs some work which we viewed. It is listed for around $200k. The house we stayed in just went on the market for $700k. Many of the properties are still held by the original owners or have been handed down to children. They seldom sell or change hands. The orignal home of Tom Johnston is no longer accessible except by boat - it is the home you see actually located in the 'Moonhole' @ the end of the island. The Foundation controls/takes care of the majority of the site as well as provides security & such. There are a few privately held homes that do not utilize their resources. It is most certainly a unique experience - but if you wish to experience it to its fullest, you need to go ASAP. A big resort is expected to be built on the neighboring hill which will at the very least spoil some views & likely create 'noise pollution' for those who choose to stay in Moonhole.

Next up - Our visit to the 'big city' - Port Elizabeth
SAnParis2 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 30th, 2012, 07:37 AM
  #15
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 5,139
enjoying your report...
sassy_cat is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 30th, 2012, 10:19 AM
  #16
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 4,934
Thanks for your encouragement - it is hard to write too much about a week of R & R - I won't delve into my GF reading "50 Shades of Grey". OK, maybe I will - That is perhaps the worst written piece of crap in the free world & so outlandish is the 'storyline' (in some regards) as to border on the equivalent of a female version of 'Penthouse Letters'. We did have fun a bit of w/it though & were using the 'oft-repeated phrases' which has become a bit of an 'inside joke' w/us. The author apparently posseses a very limited vocabulary - perhaps w/all the $$$ she has made, she can take some college level writing/English courses.
SAnParis2 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 31st, 2012, 04:41 AM
  #17
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 4,934
So upon the advice of folks in Moonhole we decided to forego St. V & delay our trip to town until Wednesday. We had the same taxi driver pick us up & he assured us he would 'be around' for whenever we wanted to go back. We wandered through townfor much of the morning w/our backpack & then had to 'retrace our steps' in the afternoon to purchase things so we didn't have to carry them around all day.
One of our most interesting stops was @ the model boat builders shop - http://www.paradise-islands.org/gren...t-building.htm We spoke to 2 of the builders & ending up buying a coconut boat for my Son after some trepidation over being able to 'put it back together' once we arrived home. We went in search of roti & wanted to eat @ thw Porthole but it was closed for repairs, they directed us to the Green Boule. A nice enough little spot w/picnic tables out by the Bay where we had some conch roti & beers. After that, a swim in the Bay before going back to make our purchases. We did buy some fruit & such @ Doris' Fine Foods (after we finally found it) & some other small items. We intended to eat @ Mac's Pizza for dinner but just ran out of things to do - so we located our driver & headed back to Moonhole.

Next - More of the same
SAnParis2 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 1st, 2012, 06:54 AM
  #18
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 4,934
The remainder of our week went much the same, fortunately there was a nice, varied selection of books to read and we enjoyed the peace & quiet, & people of Moonhole that make it such a special place. Over the course of our stay we did venture into some of the other properties w/the permission of the Moonhole folks & found some to have electricity & surprisingly some w/even better views than ours. We also did some hiking out to the far end of the property, or at least as far as it appeared we could safely go.
To say the least, we returned home tanned, relaxed & recharged.
The only thing we kind of missed was a visit to the turtle sanctuary - http://www.turtles.bequia.net/ perhaps next time.
Our trip home was also uneventful w/the exception of when we landed in CLT, a virtual monsoon was taking place.
To sum up a great little unique trip but certainly not for everyone. We'll continue to seek out add'l 'off the beaten path venues' for our future travels - as always we are open to suggestions.
Happy travels, S.
SAnParis2 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 1st, 2012, 08:49 AM
  #19
cw
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 3,648
Thanks for the report. I've put Moonhole on my list of places to look at more.

How did you like your meals? and did you find it intrusive having someone in the house to cook?

It really sounds like a wonderful place.
cw is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 2nd, 2012, 12:14 PM
  #20
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 4,934
The having people there did take some getting used to although there is an area downstairs where they could go, it was seldom a big deal although I think they probably got 'flashed' a couple of times when we didn't realize they were there. The food/cooking was excellent & they would fix whatever we wanted. If you were there 'in season' lobster & conch would be on the menu. As it was, we had a lot of fish & chicken as well as some interesting fruit(s) that we had not had before.
As I may have mentioned, it gets light very early & dark very early so we tended to be up @ first light (between 5 & 6) & breakfast wasn't until 8:30. Then @ 6:30 they basically served us Dinner, lit our lanterns & left so we could enjoy Dinner & relax. We really weren't around the house much during the day except around lunchtime anyway.
SAnParis2 is offline  
Reply With Quote
 



Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 05:59 AM.