Looking at, and loading up, some old images from the 1990s

Back in the 1990s my (now) husband Ed and I had several fabulous vacations to the private island of Mustique, which is one of the Grenadines, a chain of small Caribbean islands between Saint Vincent and Grenada. I had discovered that to stay at the Cotton House hotel on Mustique in mid-April (the shoulder season) was just about affordable. We could choose MAP, Modified American Plan, which included breakfast, afternoon tea and dinner. If you stayed a week you got one extra day free. We visited Mustique in 1991, 1992, 1993, skipped a year, and then went in 1995, and 1996. Back then I made photo albums using the color prints of the photos from the vacations. The photos eventually included one or two rolls of underwater shots from a disposable underwater camera, and one roll of shots from a disposable 3-D camera.

I had not looked at those albums for many years, but yesterday I got the albums out again because I knew there were some interesting nature pics that I could, and probably should, upload to iNat.

It was a lot of work to get the images and the relevant data uploaded. First photographing the old color prints using my cell phone and the iNat app, then working out and putting in the correct name for the location, then putting the map pin in the correct place, then deciding what the date would have been, and putting that in, and finally working out the name of the organism.

Mustique was always on the expensive side, even in 1991, but In 1996 we discovered that the cost of staying at the Cotton House hotel in 1997 was going to increase rather steeply, and it was going to include some extra amenities that we did not care about at all (a monogrammed bathrobe, a CD player in your room, and the cost of drinks would be included in day rate, except for wine with meals), so we asked the hotel manager, who was French, whether he could suggest some other destinations in the Caribbean that we might like.

One place he suggested was Montpelier Plantation Inn on the island of Nevis, which was where Princess Di took her sons, the two Princes, when they were young. When I wrote and got a brochure about that hotel, the brochure also included a listing for a hotel called Golden Rock, which was described as being the place to stay if you wanted to see the African Green Vervet monkeys, thousands of which live on Nevis. My husband Ed is crazy about monkeys, so we decided to make our spring Caribbean trip in 1997 be a trip to Nevis. And 25 years later we are still going to Nevis each year.

I had also created photo albums of our first few Nevis trips, so I decided to go through those photos too.

Posted on 25 January, 2024 15:54 by susanhewitt susanhewitt

Observations

Photos / Sounds

What

Domestic Cattle (Bos taurus)

Observer

susanhewitt

Date

April 19, 1997

Description

White cattle from Montserrat. They were evacuated from that island when the volcano there started erupting.

Photos / Sounds

What

St. Christopher Ameiva (Pholidoscelis erythrocephalus)

Observer

susanhewitt

Date

January 2024

Place

Missing Location

Photos / Sounds

What

Donkey (Equus asinus)

Observer

susanhewitt

Date

January 24, 2024 07:25 PM AST

Description

Feral juvenile.

Photos / Sounds

What

Domestic Cat (Felis catus)

Observer

susanhewitt

Date

April 19, 1997

Description

In the courtyard.

The little tuxedo cat, Domino, was a new addition.

He hunted the big ground lizards almost to extinction! His little arm could reach all the way down their burrows which were between the paving stones.

Photos / Sounds

What

Bananaquit (Coereba flaveola)

Observer

susanhewitt

Date

January 25, 2024 04:46 PM AST

Description

Breakfast time in the courtyard by the long house.

Photos / Sounds

What

Weeping Fig (Ficus benjamina)

Observer

susanhewitt

Date

January 25, 2024 04:52 PM AST

Description

Gorgeous fig tree in the courtyard of Montpellier.

Photos / Sounds

What

Domestic Dog (Canis familiaris)

Observer

susanhewitt

Date

January 25, 2024 04:52 PM AST

Description

Private house near the main road, with a boy and two dogs.

Photos / Sounds

What

Queen Conch (Aliger gigas)

Observer

susanhewitt

Date

January 25, 2024 04:52 PM AST

Description

Selling Queen Conch "sea shell" by the side of the road.

Photos / Sounds

What

Dicots (Class Magnoliopsida)

Observer

susanhewitt

Date

January 25, 2024 04:58 PM AST

Description

Lianas near the parking lot of Golden Rock.

Comments

This is so interesting. The Caribbean was so much more unspoiled back then, and I imagine that Mustique was even more so.

Posted by somewhereinthecar... 5 months ago

Hey Meredith,

Mustique, which had previously been completely undeveloped, was developed as a simple vacation destination for millionaires and billionaires back in the 1960s by the owner of the island, Lord Glenconner. He gave Princess Margaret a plot of land at the southern tip of the island, and then various celebrities bought plots of land and built houses on the island too.

When I was there, Mick Jagger and Tommy Hilfigger had houses quite near the hotel, at the north end of the island. I saw Mick once in the Great House of the hotel, and I met his youngest daughter and her nanny on the grounds of the hotel a few years after that.

Mustique is probably more or less the same as it was back then, but Nevis has changed a fair bit over the last 25 years, although it is still relatively unspoiled.

Posted by susanhewitt 5 months ago

Mustique was featured several times in “The Crown” as Princess Margaret’s second home. I’m not sure whether or not they actually filmed there. But I know that it has long been a quiet haven for rock stars, aristocrats and royalty.

Posted by somewhereinthecar... 5 months ago

Thanks for this backstory - was wondering if Mick Jagger and Richard Branson were gonna suddenly join iNat (or maybe they have??). Must be a fun stroll down memory lane, too.

Posted by dcoopercem 5 months ago

I think they did film some of "The Crown" on Mustique because I recognized the little airport and one or two other locations.

On one of our visits Ed and I were in the office of the Cotton House hotel, and I was looking at the guest books there. There were about 6 of them, and they were cheap little brown leatherette guest books. But I always like to see what comments people leave, if any.

One of the books happened to fall open at the beginning of the book, and I realized I was looking at a page that said, "ELIZABETH ' and then "II", all in very large block capital letters, written in ballpoint ink. It took me a while to work out what that could possibly mean! And then, when I turned to the next page its said, "PHILLIP" in slightly less large block capital letters.

Yes, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip had signed the guestbook! They were the first guests to stay at the hotel.

Posted by susanhewitt 5 months ago

@dcoopercem -- this is indeed an on-going stroll down memory lane, yes and very enjoyable for me. I wonder if any of the home-owners on Mustique have joined iNat -- I wish they would. Or if the owners of the dive shack joined, that might even be better still!

Posted by susanhewitt 5 months ago

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