“Without even realising it, we had been infected by something on Carriacou – not Ziko, dengue or any other mosquito-borne illness, but rather a realisation that life could be very different from the materialistic, fast-paced lifestyle we had grown used to in England”
The Islands Issue of House of Coco Magazine is about to drop! As the mags dedicated Caribbean Reporter, I’m uber proud of the inspiring editorials dedicated to island life and travellers who desire connections to culture, people and lifestyle.
It’s filled with fifty shades of beautiful blue, romanticising you with the Editors pursuit to remind us all why it’s vital to ‘switch off from the world and escape’ and ‘take time away to recharge your batteries’. Words I lived by during a weekend getaway at a self-catered apartment aptly named Castaway in Carriacou.
Funnily enough, The Islands Issue includes my travel feature, ‘Why Souls and Hearts are Stolen on the Island of Carriacou’, highlighting the story of a British couple who fell in love with this 13 sq mile island, also known as the ‘Land of Reefs’ for its stunning coral colonies. The irony of it all is that’s precisely what happened when fellow Brits Liz and Martin and owners of Castaway Carriacou visited in 2016.
Castaway Carriacou is a brand new fully furnished 2-level, one-bedroom apartment nestled on a hilltop in Hermitage, offering 360 views of Tyrell Bay. Liz and Martin are incredibly hospitable and take pride in giving you a hotel concierge-style greeting with luggage assistance, recommendations and total privacy once your keys are handed over.
Magical is the word that best describes waking up to that soothing sunrise and drifting off under a fiery sunset over the stunning views of Saline Island and White Island. You can blame Liz and a bit of Pinterest inspiration for the calming Caribbean hues throughout the apartment, while Martin’s handy work on the interiors adds to the beach house theme.
My first sleep was so cosy and serene I woke up in total shock and disbelief that a peaceful night during Carriacou’s carnival season was possible. Apart from the very sporadic baaing and mooing of grazing cows and goats, there was not a single car horn, sound system or nosy neighbour within earshot. For once, I got to bask in what seemed like a very long dreamy night of uninterrupted sleep!
That king-sized bed with fluffy pillows that swallowed me up, nearly made me miss out on a night of exploring the quaint bars and restaurants of Tyrell Bay. I must admit Castaway was quite hard to leave. With functioning AC, a thermostatic rain shower, UV purifier providing water safe enough to drink, a fully equipped modern kitchen, inviting sofa bed and an abundance of DVD’s, books and games, staying in would have left me quite content.
The apartment is less than a 10-minute drive from the recently upgraded Port of Tyrell Bay and a 15-minute drive from Main Street, Hillsborough. For ease of access, I’d recommend a rental with good suspension and tyres. I used Stafford Taxi and Tour Services (+1 473-403-0895), who had a fleet of safe and reliable vehicles that could manage the steep drive up to Castaway.
Carriacou is accessible from Grenada by sea and air. You can book a direct flight from Maurice Bishop International Airport, Grenada to Lauriston Airport, Carriacou with SVG Air or private charter. If you’re travelling to Carriacou by sea, Osprey Lines Limited offer a regular service with frequently updated timetables depending on the season.
If you’re reading this and thinking its time to recharge your batteries, Liz and Martin have kindly offered my readers 10% of their first booking at Castaway Carriacou. Quote Kiki Castaway upon booking by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone + 1 (473) 449-0317. This offer is valid until 30th April 2019 so don’t miss out!
For now, I’ll leave you with a few words shared by Liz and Martin on their Castaway Blog detailing the journey of building their home in Carriacou.
“In Carriacou, everyone had time to stop and chat in a way we felt had been lost long ago in the UK, and whilst we had enjoyed our time on Grenada, Carriacou had a unique charm which we quickly warmed to. It seemed like the Caribbean of yesteryear before the invasion of mass tourism had jaded the locals’ natural welcome and changed the culture to meet the requirements of demanding foreigners.
A few days after our trip to Carriacou we flew back to the UK not knowing at that point that that one night stay was going to change the future course of our lives. Without even realising it, we had been infected by something on Carriacou – not Ziko, dengue or any other mosquito-borne illness, but rather a realisation that life could be very different from the materialistic, fast-paced lifestyle we had grown used to in England.
Neither of us can really remember how or when we made the decision, but by May 2016 we had decided to return to Grenada for four weeks to explore whether this was somewhere we could consider starting a new phase in our lives together.
When we received the paperwork from our Grenadian lawyer which confirmed that we were Alien Landholders and owners of our little piece of the Caribbean, it was exciting times ahead. I admit to being a bit scared at times. It was not a small change in our lives. But we can never look back and say “what if”.
Right from the outset, we wanted to have a house with separate guest accommodation we could rent to holidaymakers. We wanted each apartment to be very private so we would be unaware of guests staying and they would have privacy and be unaware of us …unless we were needed for help or advice. This would give us a small income, give us something to do and would allow others to find out that Carriacou was a lovely and relaxing place to stay while helping the local economy.
In keeping with island tradition, small coins had also been buried in the four corners of the foundations. We then had a ceremony which involves the local fiendishly-strong rum called Jack Iron being thrown on the ground. This might mean that the land or the build would be blessed with good luck or that your life on the plot would be forever enriched with alcohol.
We hope you have enjoyed reading about our journey and that you will decide to come and stay with us and find out what Carriacou has to offer for yourselves.
Can you imagine we had no idea that such an island even existed!”
Liz and Martin