31.10.2008 - 04.04.2009
Yes, it does exist, island fever. Well, at least in one's mind. Right now I am in between two trips to several of the world's most beautiful islands.
I spend the whole month of November in the Caribbean and although most people go there on a cruise or spend a week doing close to nothing on a package holiday, basically the best way to travel around is arrange your flights between the islands (with LIAT..Leaves Island Any Time) and see what happens next. There really is a wide choice but the best islands are the ones which lack beaches or just have a few. Not surprisingly, these islands don't have any direct flights from North America or Europe, so it's just heaven there. Because yes, for the average person no beaches means no fun. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed a few days at beaches myself, especially Maho Beach where the big airplanes land on Sint Maarten. And finding yourself all alone with your girlfriend on one of the few beaches on Dominica where parts of ' Pirates Of The Caribbean' has been filmed, is just awesome.
Dominica must be the most beautiful island in the region. Amazingly green, quiet and friendly with dozens of waterfalls, thousands of palm trees covering the mountain slopes and colourful villages and people.
Although a little less spectacular, Saba and Montserrat are definately two of my other favourites. So small, you can actually see the whole country at once if you place yourself on the right position on the island. And that is the great thing about these places called small islands: you can actually see and do everything that is possible.
So, one down, one to go. Another trip lasting about a month to one of the most off the beaten track island nations in the world: the Pitcairn Islands. I'll be heading there in March with a catamaran called 'Bounty Bay', leaving from Mangareva, French Polynesia. Getting to Mangareva alone is a long (and expensive!) series of flights from Amsterdam to Paris to LA to Tahiti to Mangareva, probably around 25 hours of flying time. But Mangareva has the airport which is nearest to Pitcairn, about 600 kilometers! There aren't many nations in the world which are so difficult to reach. This might just be the most difficult one, and together with the history regarding the mutiny on the Bounty, that is just the reason to go there. The destination is important, but just the travelling part is much nicer. Well, at least if I don't get seasick too much....
And did you know that the Pitcairn Islands actually consist of 4 islands. Of course there Pitcairn where the busload of people live but there is also Oeno, Henderson (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) and totally off the beaten track Ducie. I'll be visiting all of these islands and Ducie is visited by just a few dozens of people every year. YEAH!!!