27 June 2016

Unique to Mustique

The Grenadines are a magnificent and varied set of islands.  There are a few "private" islands, mostly owned by resorts that limit access to those not spending the cash to stay at the resort to "one chain above the high tide water mark", whatever that means.

Mustique is even unique among those that are private.  The island is definitely not a resort.  It is accessible to those arriving on their own boat for the year except for Christmas/New Year's and Easter when those that own the spectacular villas actually come to the island and plebs are not welcome except in a restricted area around the harbour.
Only one harbour where mooring is a must, limited to three nights and a fee applied for the Parks, it was lovely, indeed.

The Mustique Company runs the show on the island.  Although the island is part of the St Vincent and the Grenadines, it is privately owned.  Not sure exactly how it is governed but “The Company” is the employer and organizer of daily life.
Colourful boats in the fishing niche.  The Flamboyant trees bloom at the beginning of the wet season.  They dot the islands with a gorgeous deep orange colour.  Aptly named.

Security - we were told that we didn't have to lock TomTom to the dinghy dock or even our boat when we left it for the day.  We usually lock ourselves into the boat at night - the door and all hatches, closed and locked which impedes airflow but lets us sleep more soundly with less fear of a stranger taking advantage of an open door.  We continued to lock up while on Mustique but it was a very pleasant change to know it was unnecessary.

Marked trails - We have chosen the path that becomes a smaller and smaller tunnel through the underbrush that only a goat could get through numerous times on other islands requiring a retrace of steps.  Mustique had great signs so the rich and famous can make it back home, I suppose.
Very clear!

Even clearer.

...with a lovely wooden frame.

Recycling program that seems to work AND beautifully disguised garbage bins all over the place AND free garbage disposal for yachties.  These lead to the next unique quality - Mustique is clean.  Very little litter.  
The favourite beaches are quaintly equipped with thatched umbrellas.

Conch landfill.  On other islands the shells are piled on beaches or shoresides.  Mustique creates breakwaters with them to further protect their white sand beaches.

Raked beaches.  On many islands, the beach bars rake the beach in front of their establishment.  This was especially true in Brazil.  In Mustique, entire beaches are raked by the company landscapers.

Tastefully developed.  Instead of the usual clutter of condos or resorts, the only development are a few huge but, for the most part, darn gorgeous villas.  These are scattered with much more natural land than man-smeared hillsides.  This makes for an unexpectedly stunning natural setting.
This was a relatively crowded slope of development.  The villas look lovely from a distance.  All are gated and well hidden by voluptuous gardens.

Spectacular coastline on the Atlantic side.  We walked around the whole island over two days.
Truman Show like village - this was a bit of a turn off on first walk through.  Library, primary school, police station, post office were so picture perfect, it seemed like a film set. These were spread out over quite a distance like suburban America…and Canada.  Suburban car culture is not what we are looking for in the Caribbean or anywhere for that matter.  Even the locals live in identical, tidy, lemon yellow houses.  It became more charming on second and third passing.
The single vegetable stand was made out of a boat hull.  Vegetables and fruit arranged photogenically.

Two of two boutiques in "town".
Picture perfect supermarket - more market than super.  The staff at those villas must bring in their own delicacies.

The library

The picket fenced school.  Dramatically different than most island schools - sadly.

Even the fish market was cute.
Speed bumps just like home - big arrows, wide bump - as opposed to the natural bump or gully that happens to act like a speed bump or the narrow lump that throws bikes off balance and kills shock absorbers on other islands.  

Sidewalks.  Although very few actually walk and the town facilities are spread out like suburban America, there are sidewalks.  On other islands, sidewalks are an after thought and a pedestrian plays second fiddle to the car, risking life and limb.
A sidewalk from one beach to another along an otherwise unwelcoming rocky shoreline that would not be great for heels or even flip flops.

Not really a sidewalk but impressive stairs built into the hillside.
Lawns - strange!  Although it is the end of the dry season making most of the island and all the Grenadines parched with leafless, wintry trees, some of the lawns on Mustique are even green!

Peacocks in a big, walk-in cage in the village that always have their tails spread for full viewing - what’s that about! - as opposed to roosters and chickens scuttling about underfoot.  Somehow, I prefer the chickens.
Every time we walked by this guy was wooing the girl next door.  He was determined.

A tiny airstrip - this is not unique to Mustique - that had a slight slope at both ends.  The approach was perpendicular to the island’s main road.
A dip in the middle of this airstrip

The vehicles are dominated by service trucks with locals standing up in the back, upper body exposed to wind, bugs and branches.  I guess there are no bylaws here about using the truck beds for passengers, much less seatbelts.

Devoid of people, beaches entirely to ourselves.  On a four hour hike, we saw one person!  This could be a function of the time of year but given that their are only 90 villas and one hotel, I doubt that it is ever crowded.