Category: Caribbean

It is easy to recognize Curaçao from the air. A flat island with a massive harbour, basically an inland sea called Schottegat. It does not look beautiful as this inland sea is home to a big refinery of Venezuela’s state oil company PDVSA. Curaçao is considered as a part of the Caribbean but geologically it is already part of South America. Politically, it gets a bit complicated, Curaçao is in fact one of the four constituent countries of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The other constituents are nearby Aruba, still-Caribbean Sint Maarten and the Netherlands proper. On paper, the four parts are equal but in real life the Netherlands (98% of the population and area) seems to be more equal than others. […]

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I started this trip in Puerto Rico and to avoid problems with US immigration I had booked a flight out of the Caribbean (that is their requirement!) before I left home. I had not planned my journey in any detail, I just knew the date I would fly from Curacao to Venezuela and I had a rough idea which islands I wanted to visit along the way. I knew it was a tight schedule but I didn’t realize that it was too tight. I will have less than 48 hours on Trinidad & Tobago, […]

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Budget accommodation is rare in Saint Lucia. I found a hostel in Gros Islet, the sun sets beautifully as I arrive. I came just in time; it’s Friday night and the famous street party is about to start. I go with a traveller from Latvia. Street party is meant literally here, food stalls have been set up and the music is playing. The food is delicious and the dancing a bit weird. Time and again we see something that can only be described as “playfucking”, a guy, and sometimes it seems a guy unknown to the girl, approaches from behind, she bends down and he moves as if he would, well… Strange manners around here. […]

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I arrive on Montserrat with the small boat from Saint John’s in Antigua. It is dark when we arrive but my bed is ready, I had made a reservation. Montserrat is an internally self-governing British Overseas Territory and in this way a remnant of the British Empire. Queen Elizabeth II is the head of state and appoints a Governor as her representative. Executive power though, rests with the Montserrat government. The links to Britain are more important if it comes to foreign relations and defence, or in case of Montserrat being struck by a natural disaster. […]

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It is early afternoon as the ferry from Puerto Rico arrives in Santo Domingo. I buy the bus ticket for tomorrow. In the old town, I get a first impression of prostitution Dominican Republic style. A young lady walks up to me, starts talking to me and soon thereafter asks if I want her to accompany me. Ähhm, no. She actually stresses me as she doesn’t realize how bad my Spanish still is and keeps talking way more than I understand. Time to say goodbye. […]

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I arrive by bus from Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. It is a modern, air-conditioned bus and the passengers all look rather well-off. After the border some UN peacekeepers are busy repairing the road, the drive takes all day and we arrive shortly before sunset. The taxi drivers want an outrageous 20$ for the short ride to the hotel, I get them down to 10$ which is still ridiculous. I pay 55$ for a simple room, with no internet and no water in the pool. Probably still the best I can get in Haiti.

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