Royal Caribbean Adventure of the Seas Day 6 – St. Kitts & Mt. Liamuiga

Climb the mountain not to plant your flag, but to embrace the challenge, enjoy the air and behold the view. Climb it so that you can see the world, not so the world can see you.

David McCullough Jr.

The DH and I saw the Mt. Liamuiga hike months ago when we began looking at excursions. We knew we wanted to do an excursion by ourselves and this one appealed to us. I don’t know if it was because the pictures from the top were mesmerizing, the thought that we were skilled hikers, or a combination of both. My MIL decided to go on a plantation tour, while my parents and brother opted to explore the downtown area with Stinky and Blinky.

The Carib Indians – the original inhabitants of St. Kitts – named the mountain after its fertile, volcanic soil. The six-hour tour {insert Gilligan’s Island music here} promised to take us 3,000 feet above sea level, through a rain forest, for panoramic views of the St. Kitts and neighboring islands. Despite the warning that it was a very strenuous hike, we couldn’t wait!

Our check in was at 8:15 am. After a 40 minute bus ride across the island, we arrived at the base of the mountain. We started with approximately 50 people; able-bodied men, women, and children 10 and older. They asked us to sort ourselves by ability. The DH and I went to the middle. It wouldn’t be long before people started dropping like flies.

The hike began easily enough. At the forty-five minute mark, is when we began to understand the very strenuous hike warning. The surroundings were so lovely though. And our guide told us to keep an eye out for monkeys. We never saw any, but heard quite a few.

Just around the half-way mark to the top, the DH and I seriously thought about quitting. I couldn’t help but think how disappointing that would be. We were so thick in the rain forest, we couldn’t even see the sky, more or less any hint of a view.

By now, several of the people in the back of the group quit. We met others from other tour groups on their way back to the bus, having given up the dream. But we were encouraged by others who made it to the top already and were on the descent. The DH and I constantly encouraged each other. We were the new caboose and were trailing badly behind the others. One of the guides patiently hung back with us for safety.

About 30 minutes from the top, we had to cross very rugged terrain on the edge of a cliff. This was a real test for me. With expert guidance, and crawling on all fours, we made it over. We’d long given up on pictures at this point, focusing solely on one more step.

After an eternity, we finally made it to the top. I commented that it was so misty but was quickly corrected. That wasn’t mist around us, we were in the clouds. The very same clouds we saw from the ship that morning, before starting the hike. For a moment, I forgot about every bump, bruise, and ache and took it all in. We’re certain for as long as we live, the DH and I will remember that moment forever.

When we started our descent, all euphoria was gone. LOL! You’d think the hike back down would be easier and faster, but oh no. Everything hurt! It wasn’t long before we came to the dangerous cliff side. It was even more terrifying from this angle. Our guide quickly took command of the situation and in an authoritarian voice instructed us to focus on one step at a time.

The DH slipped on muddy soil several times going up. It was my turn to slip going down. And right before we emerged from the jungle, a wild hog ran right in front of me. I don’t know who screamed louder; me or him. Bless his heart, he turned around and ran from me as fast as he could.

We finally made it back to the base and on the bus. We were the last two to arrive. It was indeed strenuous, but we didn’t give up. Had we not been fully spent, I’m sure the DH and I would have high-fived each other. Forty minutes later, we were back at port. Our six hour tour ended up taking seven but everyone got back well before the ships’ deadlines.

Walking back to the ship, I desperately wanted to run into a souvenir store for a Christmas ornament. But we were so filthy I’m sure we would have been thrown out. I even heard a gentlemen ask his wife, “I wonder where those two came from.” Ha!

Instead, we dragged ourselves back to the cabin, took two very long showers, and met our gang at the buffet (of course) for a very late lunch/first dinner.

The rest of the evening is a blur. I think we were too tired to make a show and missed Can’t Stop the Rock. I do remember having second dinner in the main dining room because I couldn’t wait to tell our waiter about our hike.

Pretty sure that ended Day 6. What a day! Thankfully we had two sea days (Days 7 & 8) after to recover. That recap next!

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