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Review: Carnival Valor sailing of September 29, 2013 (part six)

Sign describing the Wingfield Estate sugar factory ruins.
Sign describing the Wingfield Estate sugar factory ruins.Stephen Mencik

Carnival Valor sailing of September 29, 2013


Continued from part five.

Carnival Valor docked in St. Thomas
Carnival Valor docked in St. ThomasStephen Mencik

Friday's port of call was St. Kitts. We decided to do a tour called "Rum in St. Kitts, Taste the History". This tour is offered by Shoretrips. The tour started by driving through downtown Basseterre City. Among the sites we passed by were Berkeley Memorial, Independence Square (which was once was a slave market) and the Catholic Cathedral. The Berkeley Memorial is in the center of what is known as the Circus, an open square in the center of town. The memorial is a clock and drinking fountain, with the clock having faces on all four sides, one facing each of the main streets leading to the Circus.

The first actual stop of the tour was at Wingfield Estate. This estate was once a working sugar factory. You can walk through the ruins to see how and where the sugar cane was processed. Next door is the Caribelle Batik. This is where they make clothing using the ancient methods of resisting dye with wax. Normally this is not part of the tour, but since we had been there on a previous visit, and we were the only people on this tour, we convinced our driver to let us stop at the gift shop there for a few minutes.

The next stop was the Clay Villa Plantation. We were given a guided tour of the gardens and parts of the plantation house by the owner of the plantation. He was very thorough in describing the many plants in the gardens, and the artifacts that make up a St. Kitts museum in the house. At Clay Villa, they also rescue wildlife, and we saw some of the animals that were being cared for. Finally, we went to a small bar area where we were given the chance to taste several of the rums that are produced on St. Kitts.

After Clay Villa, we drove back to the ship passing by the ruins of sugar factory and past the rum bottling facility. For more information about St. Kitts, see this article from several years ago, which was based on a previous trip that we made to St. Kitts.

Our last and final port of call was St. Maarten, which will be in part seven.