The world's smallest twin-island nation holds very special memories for it was in St Kitts in 1995 that my mates Dave Sheehan and Martin Duffy (aka Dave & Duff) and I were asked to carry the drinks for Mark Taylor and his men on Day 3 of the game at Warner Park. It was here that Dave fielded one over for Australia replacing Tim May, after which we were invited to their hotel manager's rum punch party, dinner, and tales both tall and true.
This was followed with a night at the casino to share tables with Steve Waugh, Michael Slater, Glenn McGrath and co and to truly create the habit that spawned 200 Test Matches through 25 years of travel across all test nations Australia has competed. A more low-key memory was calling mum & dad from the phone hanging on a palm tree on Frigate Bay Beach, to wish them Happy Easter. St Kitts has long lived in my heart, and any opportunity to return to the 'Beguiling Beauty' of St Kitts will always be welcome in my travel calendar.
There is no guarantee Australia will play in St Kitts and any suggestion is pure wishful thinking, and to create this example Experience. The St Kitts Music Festival will be staged June 23-26, so, sadly, there should be little chance of the cricket clashing with this annual highlight, or even the famous Nevis Mango & Food Festival the following week!
That said, it would not be the first time 'nationwide' events have clashed. The 2019 Wimbledon Men's Final, British Formula One Grand Prix, and the Cricket World Cup Final were all staged on Sunday, July 14 proving that sporting administrators, at least the British (but they voted to Leave the EU so you can't expect too much common sense), do not communicate well with each other.
Moving on, and in, landing in St Kitts (SKB) you are smack in the capital, Basseterre. Robert Bradley International Airport is wedged between Warner Park Stadium and Monkey Hill at the foothill of Mount Liamuiga, the ancient volcano around which Kittitians live, while Nevisians live around Mount Nevis. These spectacular peaks have 'ring roads' making great day journeys around each island. You can drive the 55km around Mount Liamuiga or use a combination of road and the last remaining rail service in the Eastern Caribbean; albeit a sugar-train converted to St Kitts' Scenic Railway allowing you to see why St Kitts was originally called Liamuiga, 'fertile island'.
Our road trip will travel up the west coast to UNESCO's Brimstone Hill Fortress, the largest ever built in the Caribbean. Being the smallest nation in North America could be why St Kitts swapped hands more often than any other island; the English, British, French, and Spanish playing 'Caribbean Roulette' over the last 5 centuries; an easy target I suppose! After this, we will visit the exotic black sand beach of Dieppe Bay for lunch and the afternoon at Arthur's on St Kitts' northern-most point, before rolling back down to Frigate Bay.
Getting from SKB is as easy as getting a taxi for US$16 for the 10 mins journey to Frigate Bay where our classic hotel holds the mantle as the only hotel on Frigate Bay! The quick and simple taxi journey from the airport is why we don't include airport transfers. Incidentally, the country has fixed-price taxi fares from everywhere to anywhere, so you will never be 'taken for a ride'. Once in Frigate Bay, you are in the epi-centre of Kittitian entertainment; 'the strip' along the beachfront lined with bars, cafes, rum shacks, and restaurants will keep you well-fed and watered throughout your time on this awesome little island.
If we play here, in between games, along with the road trip, we will 'day trip on the water' down the west coast, through 'The Narrows' and around Nevis, and stop for lunching, swimming, drinking and liming, before sunset over the Caribbean in Frigate Bay. If we do not play here, we will come for a 4-day adventure just as we will Barbados (or Antigua) if we don't play there. It is too good a place to miss.