Posts Tagged ‘Mount Scenery’

Mount Scenery Saba

August 9, 2010

I live in Bonaire and always wanted to visit our sister island Saba. Saba is a few hundred miles away but so close with DAE and Insel providing air service to Sint Maarten. There I can arrange your quick flight on Winair to Saba. The prices in Saba are from budget to high end. This island is about eco tours, diving and hiking. Hiking was on my agenda and I had plans to try a few trails and Mount Scenery. The base to Mt. Scenery is in Windwardside and the hike is around 2.5-3 hours. I also hiked the Dancing Place Trail. Lovely views of Statia, St. Kitt and Nevis.

There are 1064 steps up the 877 m elevation (almost 3000 feet). It is the highest point in the Kingdom of the Netherlands and I hiked it!

Breakfast at Scouts Place

I had a light breakfast at Scouts Place and borrowed a walking stick and bought a 2 liter bottle of water. I started up the hill at 8:15. Recently I had some sort of horrid flu whilst in Ecuador so still felt clammy and feverish. Still I was undaunted by my malady and headed up. The grade is quite steep and the cement steps are slippery from moisture and moss. When I reached the House on the Path and then the Eco Lodge I was quite winded. I took a break to listen to the tree frogs and the birds.

House on the Path

Along the way I saw some Saba Anole Lizards, Thrashers, I think a Purple Throated Hummingbird and Red Bellied Racer Snake. I also saw a fat rat, a black bull and a sad donkey tangled up near the Eco Lodge. Can someone check in on this fellow?

Near Eco Lodge

The flora and fauna was massive and beautiful. When I sat and rested I found the sounds of the rainforest calming and delightful. It was truly an amazing place.

I wish I could have shown the entire leaf..all over the Elfin Forest

The trail is pretty steep and the moisture and moss make for slippery conditions. There were three shelters thanks to Cable and Wireless for rest. I was all alone on the trail until 9:30 when I came upon 4 medical students heading down. They were covered in mud. I was advised to stick to the right trail at the top. They told me I was more than half way there.

The final 3rd of the trail was grueling. I felt lightheaded and was soaked in sweat. The walking stick was essential. I had already consumed a liter of water. I forged ahead.

The Summit

At the top I stayed to the right passing the cell towers. The clouds were intense but I did get a 30 second glimpse of the village below. I prayed and meditated up top and enjoy feeling so close to the sky and nature. It was pure joy.

Descending was tricky. The cement was slick and my legs were like rubber feeling a little shakey. I came upon about 30 hikers all around 20 ish and most medical students. A few were zipping up the hill and most heaving with winded breath.

At the bottom I met James Johnson at the Trail House and had a nice chat. I earned a certificate of completion and had a long rest. I arrived at 11 AM, it took about 3 hours with many stops on the way up and no stops down.

Hiking Trail Center run by James Johnson

Island Hopping: Saba

August 9, 2010

Living in the Caribbean makes island hopping a fun way to see different geographic and cultural areas. I have had dive clients ask me for new destinations. I am pleased to offer Saba. It is an easy flight from Bonaire to Sint Maarten then a quick 15 min. hop over via Winair.

The runway is freaky (shortest commercial runway in the world, 400 meter) and the island amazing. Passengers originating from the US will find cheap easy connections to Sint Maarten. Europeans can fly Air France or KLM.

The approach

I spent two days in Saba traveling solo. I met some great people and two lovely hikes. The island reminded me a little of the Abacaos, Bermuda and Nantucket. The houses are charming and the flora and fauna amazing.


I stayed at Scouts Place, a dive property I have sent some divers and will no doubt send more. I had a casual little apartment with amazing views. I had some trepidation not having AC but at night the island is very cool and comfy. Tree frogs sang me to sleep. Tinke the office assistant was amazing. It is a casual low key kind of place in Windwardside, a little village on this 5 sq. mile island. My intentions were to hike and chill.

Glen Holm Director of Tourism in Saba at Scouts Place

flowers near Scouts Place

My first meal was at Tropics which is associated with Julians Hotel. I was in awe of the views and the lovely gardens. Upon arrival the reception was a little chilly as the Dutch chef just sort of gazed at me and the waitress was not so welcoming at first. Later she revealed herself to be most kind and helpful. The menu had no fish (I don’t eat meat) and was quite Americanized. I chose nachos. The Ting and the lovely setting with views made the lunch fabulous. Also I was in search of Saba Spice and the waitress went out of her way to help me find some. Much appreciation. I cannot get Ting in Bonaire so tend to OD on it in the Eastern Caribbean.


Juliana's Hotel

Dinner was at Eden. The setting is magical with little white lights adorning the tree, tree frogs serenading diners and a fat cutie pie cat who did not disturb but came to greet me. The waitress was great and the owner Nina wonderful. Again no fresh fish only important Bass, Salmon and flash frozen tuna. I had Italian Risotto and a cold Pinot Grigio. I cannot imagine a prettier spot to dine at night.

Eden Restaurant

I did not try dessert but the banana creme brulee sounded intriguing. If you seek a quiet romantic dinner, Eden is the spot.

Eden Restaurant

I had a drink at Saba Treasures. Walk past this place..the bartender was the most unfriendly person I ever met. It had a weird vibe. I took my Ting and sat alone outside.

Breakfast was at Scouts Place. I ordered the Caribbean breakfast (saltfish, Johnny cakes, bush tea). I settled in at a table with an amazing view of Mt. Scenery and the lovely German waitress apologized they were out of salt fish (?). I had some fresh pineapple and a fat chewy Johnny Cake before I set out for the mountain. This is a must do location for breakfast or lunch. Friday nights is a big Kareoke program.

Windwardside House

Lunch was at Queens Garden. The property is gorgeous with lovely views. I inspected the rooms and will post a review on soon. I chose Saban lobster. They caught the poor thrashing fellow before my eyes in a tank. It was about 2 pounds and was delish but I felt a wee bit bad (alright a lot bad). It came with standard fries and lovely veggies.

62.50 USD lobster lunch

The waitstaff were great. I will share it was the most expensive lobster of my life, 62.50 USD for the lobster alone. With tax and tip and a Ting and wine my bill was 90 USD! I was astounded.

Queens Garden Saba

Check out my blog on Mount Scenery coming soon. I love Saba!