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Spring Break in the Caribbean

SAINT KITTS & NEVIS | Saturday, 17 March 2007 | Views [2523]

Heya Rum Lovers,

After 10 weeks of Canadian school it was time for Spring Break and one week of student free bliss. I had contemplated doing a cliche' and visiting Cancun with heaps of young college crew, but lucky for me the Australian Cricket team happened to be playing twice in the World Cup during my week off. The only downside was that they were playing on one of the smaller and more difficult to reach islands in the Caribbean. To get down to St Kitts & Nevis from Vancouver was nothing short of a mission. I left school early on the Friday for a three hour drive to Seattle for my flight. I was very fortunate that the border crossing, which can take up to four hours, was very quick as I later got caught in Seattle peak hour, with traffic backed up for 30kms or so.

When I made it to the airport, they gave me the full security treatment, not quite the rubber gloves but near enough! It didn't help that I got the giggles when I was getting patted down.....he wasn't even that cute! I had to take three flights to get to the Caribbean, via Vegas and Miami. Las Vegas is a sight to behold at night; it really is an oasis in the desert with bright neon lights surrounded by complete blackness. I didn't realise how close the airport actually is to the main strip, you could literally walk out the front door of the airport and be playing roulette at MGM Grand in about 5 minutes. Not that you needed to as the airport had pokies in every terminal anyway!!

The Caribbean was awesome, hot days and beautiful beaches that were much needed after a long Canadian winter. The guest house I was staying in was very, very dodgy - think non-flushing toilets, a 5 inch TV that doesn't work, leaky showers all located in the dodgy part of town! Still, at least I had a roof over my head which wasn't a sure thing at first. I didn't ever feel too much at risk, except for when I wore my Great WHITE North shirt out to tea one night.....considering that I was the only white guy I spotted that night, probably not the greatest move in fashion history.

While I was in town, there was a cricket match every second day, so I would alternate between snorkelling and cricket. I saw some aweome cricket including the fastest world cup hundred ever (Matthew Hayden), 14 sixes' in one game (one was caught about 5 metres in front of me by a guy wearing a Carlton jumper) and Georgie Hogg bowling really well. Best of all, we beat the saffas comfortably. Their was heaps of aussies in the stands, many staying for the whole World Cup, lucky bastards. I ended up befriending a couple from Adelaide during the South African gane and getting stuck into the rum with them. I was pretty smashed at the end of the day, as my ticket included 8 drinks of any kind and a lunch ticket (which I swapped for a drink!).

Whilst watching Australia was amazing, I sat with the Scotts for two games which was a very interesting experience. Even though they are pretty average cricketers (the Kallaroo Tigers would give them a run for their money) their fans really know how to support them. The are like the English, singing all the time but with a better sense of humour and style. Also, they are alot like aussies in that if their mate is piking, they start laying into him! One poor bloke decided to have a water at 11am after already downing about 7 beers and he copped no end of grief from his "mates".

The beaches were sensational, heaps of cool tropical fish and so warm! At nights I went out to dinner solo, but would usually meet some interesting people, including two British yachtsmen who were competing in a round the world boat race costing them around $25,000 a week! I also bumped into a couple of the cricketers, only the South Africans unfortunately, and had my picture taken with them. Jonty Rhodes was an awesome bloke, Graham Smith is huge and very quiet and Steve Bucknor is as casual as he appears on TV. I did run into John Buchannon also, but he was walking along the beach in his budgie smugglers at the time and I felt that asking for a photo was a little inappropriate!

Probably the only downside of my trip was getting horribly burnt on the first day and having 'racoon' eyes for a week. That and seeing some hardcore poverty and ghetto like conditions. In some respects the houses and streets in some parts of Bassettere are like Bali's slum areas, without the people hassling you for cash. The people are so friendly though, offering me lifts, dinners and accommodation at the drop of a hat. All in all the Caribbean was an amazing place to watch cricket and definitely somewhere I want to go back.

Hope you're all doing great wherever you are.

Keep smiling, Ben.

Tags: Beaches & sunshine

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