The Deep South and the Caribbean

Caribbean trip
Caribbean trip

Last night I was lucky to join around 60 mainly locals at the Grand Chameleon on Long Road; local musician Kirk Lorange and friends were playing the blues. 

They were having so much fun it was like an insiders view to a private party, improvising on their guitars and chatting with us as they enjoyed their evening as much as we did. 

The music immediately took me to the Deep South. New Orleans, Memphis and also bars in New York City and London. Music transports you in unexpected ways with memories flooding back.

A few years ago we were on a road trip in the southern United States. Flying into delightful Charleston South Carolina, I felt transported to yester year. 

The historical centre feels off the set of Gone with the Wind, the gracious houses with wide shady verandas lining the streets, the Confederate museum housed relics from a era still alive in locals thoughts, and the local favourite dinner of shrimp and grits (prawns and polenta to us Aussies!). 

Heading south to Savannah Georgia the southern hospitality was evident everywhere. Treelined cobblestone streets and manicured parks speak of an affluent past, we walked for hours discovering back streets and local restaurants, there was even a parade down the main street with twirling batons, marching bands, highly decorated floats , candy floss and hot dogs in abundance and fireworks in the  evening – the entire city lined the streets to join in the fun.

Heading south west we arrived in New Orleans, I had long wanted to visit and nearly a week there gave us ample time to soak up the amazing atmosphere. 

This historical city has very different districts so whether you decide to stay in the French Quarter, Downtown or the Garden neighbourhood you will inevitably explore them all. 

The local community run walking tours showing the highlights and their lilting soft tones set the feeling for the gentle southern rhythm of life. 

Do venture out of the city to the great planation Antebellum houses – this gives you a sense of life as it was and how it has transformed to modern day. The evenings are filled with delicious local cuisine and music streaming from every hole in the wall. Home to blues and jazz, this is a mecca for music lovers.

After a couple of weeks on the road we headed for a few days ‘drop and flop’. 

Where better than the Caribbean … steel drums and reggae, rum punch and jerk chicken, golden beaches and wide friendly smiles greeted us. Having spent quite a bit of time in the areas years ago it is hard to settle on one island as your holiday destination, the islands are diverse and offer different cultural elements. 

We chose to sail on a small ship for a week visiting historically Dutch St Maarten, French St Barthelemy, British Grenada and the peaks of Antigua. Memorable was the deserted Princess Diana beach in Barbuda – apart from us, there was one other family on this silicon sand pristine beach and yes apparently a favourite of Diana, the late Princess of Wales. 

Explore the Caribbean leisurely. We would be delighted to help design your perfect holiday and give you advice which islands are wonderful and which to skip! 

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