“Every little thing she does is magic.” – The Police
After two amazing weeks in Montserrat you understand why George Martin fell in love with the island and decided to build the ultimate recording studio. For more than a decade, AIR Montserrat played host to classic recording sessions by a who’s who of rock, including Dire Straits, The Police, Sir Paul McCartney, Sir Elton John, Duran Duran, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Ultravox, The Rolling Stones, Lou Reed, Black Sabbath and Eric Clapton. In 1989 hurricane Hugo devastated the island and the studio was forced to close. In 1997 the Soufriere Hills Volcano destroyed most of Plymouth and the population of the island went from 15,000 to 5,000 as many were forced to leave.
A quiet island where hiking, beaches, snorkeling, spear fishing (well not me) for the evasive Lion Fish, and enjoying local restaurants & the night life filled my days & nights. Olveston House was purchased by Sir George Martin in the 1980’s. For many years, Olveston House hosted renowned artists who came to Montserrat to record at AIR Studios.
At night, locals come out to enjoy street food vendors and local bars. The islands rich cultural history was in full force at the Cudjoe Head Festival, that takes place every July. The village of Cudjoe Head was named in the 18th Century after a slave by the name of Cudjoe who ran away from his master. The festival celebrates the end of slavery on the island.
In the evening the new Montserrat Yacht Club is the perfect spot to watch the sun set.
The exclusion zone near has recently been lifted near Plymouth. Worth a trip to get a bird’s eye view of the grey buried capital. Stop by the Montserrat Volcano Observatory to learn more about the volcanic phenomena. It is worth taking a helicopter tour of the island to see the beauty from above.
Monserrat is tapping into its natural resources. The island is exploring geothermal energy which will help lower costs for businesses to thrive again on the island. Entrepreneurship is evident as hydroponic growing techniques are becoming a popular way to supply fresh salads, herbs and other greens to the people of Montserrat.
Hiking was a daily morning activity, one of my favorites was hiking through the rain forest to the dry waterfall. Heliconia in bloom everywhere, keep your eyes open for lemons and coca pods. Heaven for me.
Stop by the local Hilltop coffee shop to catch up on the latest election chat, turtle talk and the learn more about the Montserrat Reef project. The aim of the project to support tourism, protect the marine environment and enhance local fisheries. If you want to dive or snorkel, or just enjoy a relaxing day out – Andrew & Emmy of Scuba Montserrat will show you everything you need to know. A nesting leatherback hasn’t been in Montserrat in awhile, but they were nesting on Woodlands Beach.
photo: Scuba Montserrat
My favorite sign posted for up coming elections. Vote PDM – Peoples Democratic Movement.
Truly a magical place.