• dennis-hideaway.com • bequiabeach.com • cottonhouse.net • discoversvg.com • theultimatetravelcompany.co.uk
that night’s stop, Union Island. Total cost, including lunch: $98 each. Cash.
Union was nice, too, a kite-surfer’s paradise (a bit windy, that is). It’s a veritable metropolis compared to Mayreau; it even has an ATM. But again the vibe was pleasingly local, young and old chillaxing under the almond tree in the cool of the evening. A steel band practised (badly) as my conch stew took an age to arrive at Lambi’s bar.
It was only just light — and still only Wednesday — as we wheeled our cases back on to Jaden Sun for the 7am, 90-minute leg to Bequia. A lot has been written about Bequia and the best adjectives are exhausted. So I’ll just rather prosaically say it’s great. Don’t miss Princess Margaret Beach, where she probably took a drink, and where we watched a class of adorable primary school kids having a swimming lesson. And treat yourself to a lobster pizza from Mac’s. We stayed at the swish Bequia Beach Hotel, where the barbecue-night band did bravely take on Lady in Red. Despite that, we stayed a second night.
Getting to our final stop was always going to be the tricky part. Because our last stop was the millionaires’ theme park of Mustique, where holidaymakers have included Kate and Wills and Bowie and Jagger (who I like to imagine singing Dancing in the Street together on the karaoke at Basil’s Bar). Mustique doesn’t do ferries. It does private jets, maybe the odd helicopter charter. They have let Jeremy Clarkson on, though, so I figured it was worth a punt.
In the end, I had to throw just shy of $425 in the direction of Captain Wayne Gooding. During the rough, hour-long crossing in his fishing boat, Wayne — a fiftysomething white Grenadinian of Scottish descent — showed us photos of his greatest catches, including a 453kg marlin that took him 3½ hours to reel in. Periodically, the engine would cut out, at which point Wayne would reach down and yank seaweed, an increasing Caribbean scourge, from the propeller.
Nights at Mustique’s Cotton House start at about $800 B&B. It is, as you’d hope for that money, gorgeous. The general looks of confusion as we bobbed up via a very un-VIP fishing boat were priceless. Another sight that greeted us was also worth the premium. Because there she was, in her bikini, hunched on a lounger in front of the hotel’s beach bar, slurping a pina colada and smoking a fag. It was princess Kate. No, not that one. I mean, of course, Miss Moss.
I was too scared to talk to her. Always the same problem with pretty girls. I’d prepared my “What if I bump into Bowie?” script, but I had nothing ready for Mossy. I could have said, by way of an ice-breaker, “You took a plane here? Oh, we just took a little fishing boat.”
I like to think she’d have been impressed.
Martin Hemming was a guest of The Ultimate Travel Company.
THE SUNDAY TIMES