The Caribbean cure for stress? A five-hour trek in Nevis


In “The Caribbean cure for stress? Five-hour trek along nature trail at Stonyhill on tiny island of Nevis,” Wendy Driver explains why she was left dreaming of returning to the tiny island of Nevis. She speaks of the 3,000 feet above trail is the summit of the dormant volcano Nevis Peak, the Vervet monkeys that live in the rainforest, the remains of sugar plantations are dotted across island of Nevis, and the great food.

Trailing vines and creepers brush my face as I scramble over tangled roots and fallen logs. The rainforest is hot and steamy, and the only sound is the shrill cries and hoots of birds calling to each other high up in the treetops. Suddenly I hear a rustle of leaves and look up to spot black faces peering down at us. Vervet monkeys are checking us out before they leap off through the branches and disappear into the dense vegetation.

Earla is leading me along a nature trail at Stonyhill on the tiny Caribbean island of Nevis. Some 3,000ft above us, the summit of the dormant volcano, Nevis Peak, is lost in cloud. It takes a gruelling five-hour trek to reach it so I have opted for a shorter hike, learning about the healing properties of plants and trees.

As we pick our way across narrow ravines, Earla points out the prickly soursop fruit (anti-carcinogenic) and the creeping charlie ground ivy (good for high blood pressure). She picks up large brown and white leaves lying beneath my feet. ‘They are from the trumpet tree,’ she explains. ‘We make tea with them to cure coughs and colds.’ [. . .]

Nevis itself is quiet and unspoilt but is easily accessible with direct British Airways flights to St Kitts, its larger sister, followed by a five-minute speedboat transfer. The only traffic jams here are caused by herds of sheep and goats.

The remains of sugar plantations are dotted across Nevis. The New River Coconut Walk Estate was the last to close in the 1950s and will soon become an open-air museum. Others have been converted into hotels. My favourite is Golden Rock, which has fantastic gardens and panoramic vistas of neighbouring Montserrat.

For an authentic Caribbean meal, head to Sunshine’s on Pinney’s Beach. I opt for spicy jerk chicken with rice and peas, and the owner’s signature Killer Bee cocktail. [. . .]
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