July 2019: Paula and I couldn’t visit the Lesser Antilles islands without a stop in the British Overseas Territory of Montserrat, otherwise known as the Pompeii of the Caribbean because of a volcanic eruption there in the 90s that decimated the capitol, Plymouth leaving it buried in volcanic ash and forcing the island to move the capitol to the other side of the island. Nowadays it is possible to visit the entrance of Plymouth but only with a special permit since the volcano is in danger of another eruption and even more dangerous is the threat of a massive lahar flow that could be triggered by an earthquake that many feel is inevitable. The lahar would destroy everything in its path and for this reason visitors are not allowed to travel far into Plymouth, they must stay near a running vehicle at all times and the driver must have a radio in case an evacuation is called. Paula and I organized a personal tour of Plymouth with one of the most famous town historians, a British man David from Gingerbread Hill, who has lived on the island foremost of his life.

 

Our travel route on the island

We spend three days on the island and Montserrat was one of our favorite destinations because of the small population of the island, looming dangerous volcano grumbling in the background and the incredibly serene and laidback atmosphere of the island and its people. This was out itinerary:

Day 1

Arrive Antigua from JFK, depart Antigua via twin prop plane on Montserrat Airlines on a short 20 minute flight to Montserrat Island. Private transfer from Clover/Gingerbread Hill to our guesthouse overlooking the ocean. Buy food at the grocery store, and retire to our private guesthouse.

Day 2

Meet David and visit the exclusion zone of Plymouth, the old capital before it was destroyed by the Soufriere Hills Volcano. Visit various ruins, observe the volcanic ash mining industry, and abandoned luxury resorts.  Kayak to remote white sand beach in Rendezvous Bay, and visit bat caves on ocean cliffs. On the way back to the Gingerbread Hill guesthouse visit rum houses.  Retire to guesthouse.

Day 3

Depart morning to Antigua via Montserrat Airlines (twin propeller airplane/20 minute flight).

 

 

 

Montserrat Airlines flight from Antigua in small turbo prop 20 miniute flight

Montserrat Airlines flight from Antigua in small turbo prop 20 miniute flight

Bartender at a local rum bar

Island jungles

Gingerbread Hill-Montserrat was once a hideaway for famous musicians-Beatles, Sting, Davod Bowie…. who came to escape poparrazi and the suffocation of their fans and record their music in siolation. 

Our private guesthouse and view of the island from our patio

Our private guesthouse and view of the island from our patio

Our private guesthouse and view of the island from our patio

Our private guesthouse and view of the island from our bed

Road to Plymouth

Plymouth ghost town

Plymouth ghost town

Plymouth ghost town

Plymouth ghost town

Plymouth ghost town

Plymouth ghost town

Plymouth ghost town

Plymouth ghost town

Plymouth ghost town

Plymouth ghost town

Plymouth ghost town

Plymouth ghost town-old governor’s mansion

Plymouth ghost town

Local wildlife

Rendevous Beach

Rendevous Beach

Rendevous Beach

From Montserrat, Paula and I flew back to Antigua via Montserrat Airlines to continue our trip in the Lesser Antilles.

 

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