Plymouth The capitol of Montserrat was a city named Plymouth. In 1997 it was evacuated as the volcano that towered over the city woke up and did some volcano stuff and then covered it in lava-y ash-y rock-y stuff.
It wasn’t a super sudden explosion like you see in the movie-shows; they had ample warning and evacuated people out (nineteen people died, but one guy said they were mainly those “I’m not leaving my house ever” crazy type people (that said, rest their souls)).
Now, the town of Plymouth is closed off as is most of the south end of the island.
We hired a guy with a boat. The boat captain turned out to be the former chief of police and his daughter (and grand-daughter) came along on the ride. His daughter hadn’t been back to island since the evacuation so she was seeing the town for the first time.
They pointed out where their house was and other points of interest from the time they lived there.
From the sea, you first come across the hills that are covered with handsome vacation homes. Except these homes have boarded up windows and haven’t been lived in since the mid-1990’s. There is some disrepair, but they are surrounded by grass and trees and many of them look like they could be brought back to life.
Then you come to the flatter area of town; it’s the slope that runs from the volcano down to the sea. It’s all a grey/brown color. There are tops of buildings poking out from under many feet of mud and rocks and lava-stuff. The rivers of ash just burned most structures, but there are are still some tops of buildings that are standing. In this section of town, there isn’t any color - just the ashy color.
It’s crazy. Crazy. Crazy.
Volcanoes: they are the powerful.
There was an airport here:
We had a great time. The house we stayed in was perfect. There are goats and chickens everywhere to look at. We drank a lot of ginger beer with rum. We met Mr. Watts. He owns the ice cream shop on the island and drives a truck around and sells goodies out of the back of it. That’s how we met him. In town, his ice cream shop sells homemade ginger beer (oh my), delicious passion fruit juice, beer, ice cream, and tasty meat pies. Viva Mr. Watts.
Did I mention how friendly people are?
A small kitten came by to visit every night around dinner. He (or she) liked rice and sausage. I can’t imagine sausage is good for a kitten, but he seemed quite enthusiastic about it.
Montserrat Wrap-up Don’t go
If you require any of the following things on your vacation, you would not like Montserrat:
- Cruise ships
- Souvenir shops
- Miles of sandy beaches
- Using credit cards
- Theme restaurants
On the other hand, if you like amazingly friendly locals, gorgeous scenery, small and usually very private beaches, and a slow paced life then you may have a lovely time.