is green and pleasant, with a dramatically steep central
mountain range rising 3,750 feet high. Much of it is
covered in rainforest, which is often shrouded in
passing clouds. Up in these heights live many thousands
of African green vervet monkeys, descendents of a few
originally bought over by planters. The land between the
mountains and the sea is gently sloping and fertile,
planted mainly in sugar cane. This lower land is
relatively flat and easy to drive on.
The Caribs called St.
which means "fertile isle."
Columbus renamed it after his patron saint, and nowadays
it is known either as St. Christopher or by the
abbreviated St. Kitts. Sir Thomas Warner landed here
with a group of settlers in 1623, making it the first
British Caribbean colony. A French group joined them,
and the two nations teamed up to massacre the 2,000
Carib inhabitants before they fell out between
themselves. After 150 years of fighting and uncertainty,
St. Kitts, with its sister isle, Nevis, became British
under the treaty of Versailles in 1783. Today they are a
fully independent, twin-island state with a British
tradition and about 50,000 inhabitants. In graciousness
and outstanding visual beauty, these islands have not
changed too much from the old plantation days. Most of
the large estates have been converted to small luxury
hotels and restaurants. The economy is based on tourism
and agriculture, with sugar cane as the most important
crop. Baron Edmond and Rothschild Distilleries have even
created a new cane sugar spirit, called CSR, from the
local sugar cane.
A railway that runs right
round the island and was used for collecting the sugar
cane is now offered as a luxury train ride, with offers
spectacular views. This is the only surviving railway in
the eastern Caribbean.
is a magnificent and huge
fort, that has been partially restored, and offers great
views to other islands.
is an ambitious marina and housing project In the south
of St. Kitts. Work has been going well and it is being
beautifully landscaped as it progresses .
Most of the island’s sugar
cane is government owned. The present government decided
in 2005 to get out of the sugar business. The cane is
still around although no longer harvested