Sunset Crest was situated on top of a hill at Craigston Point, overlooking Carriacou’s even smaller out-islands, with a private (in theory, not officially) swimming cove about a 10-minute walk down the hill in one direction, and Sparrow Bay, a more substantive beach, about a 15-minute walk in another direction. The house was simply furnished, with two beds covered by mosquito nets, a kitchen stocked with the essentials, no hot water, and no air-conditioning. But you could literally open up the entire front and back of the house, made up of louvred doors, and top-of-the-hill breezes kept it cool and free of bugs. It was usually so warm outside that the cold showers were actually nice, and the lack of a TV, computer, or any other kind of electronic convenience was nothing short of wonderful.
The porch wrapped around three sides of the house, and there were hammocks, wooden artisan deck chairs, and views for miles. Because we were at the top of the hill, there was no other house looking down on us, so it was completely private. It was easy to spend a whole day stretched out on the deck, reading a good book and completely checking out. There was even an outdoor shower to rinse off sand after returning from the beach (or just cool off when it was really hot).
The only downside to being at the top of that hill was the drive up. Once we turned off the main road, we drove on a two-strip, vaguely defined "road" for about five miles. We were constantly screeching to halts to allow geckoes and other wildlife to cross, swerving from one side to another to avoid the overhanging leaves and branches, and if we met another car coming from the other direction, the only thing to do was drive in reverse until we found a spot to pull over and let them by. But the really scary part came when we reached our "driveway," which was actually the steepest hill known to man. There was nothing to do but put the jeep into first gear and plow up as quickly as possible, hoping we wouldn’t start backsliding or run into anything as we made the sharp curve to the house. It sounds horrendous, but it was actually just one of those quirky things about the island that made the trip fun. And arriving at our breezy, quiet house, whose views provided the most amazing sunset shows and starry skies, made the drive up worth every nail-biting second.
New York, New York
November 7, 2004
From journal Tales from the Less-Traveled Grenadines