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West Indies

Adventurous island hopping on little rickety boats

date of entry 25/03/2008
mileage 628,011


capital The Valley

area 96 km²

population 15.423

official language English

St.Kitts & Nevis

capital Basseterre

area 269 km²

population 50.314

GDP 527 M. US-Dollar

official language English


capital Roseau

area 746 km²

population 72.514

GDP 311 M. US-Dollar

official language English

St. Lucia

capital Castries

area 616,3 km²

population 165.595

GDP 1,801 Bill. US-Dollar

official language English

St.Vincent & Granadines

capital Kingstown

area 389 km²

population 117.200

GDP 559 M. US-Dollar

official language English


capital Bridgetown

area 430 km²

population ca. 278.000

GDP 3.739 M. US-Dollar

official language English


capital St. George’s

area 344 km²

population 107.850

GDP 590 M. US-Dollar

official language English

Trinidad & Tobago

capital Port of Spain

area 5.128 km²

population 1.328.019

GDP 19.861 M. US-Dollar

official language English

Most people visit the Caribbean to escape their everyday routines, but island hopping was sometimes an extremely stressful experience for Gunther and Christine. There are no ferries between the islands, so Otto had to be transported on small, often fragile-looking boats. Because most people arrive by air or on cruises, foreign cars are rarely brought in to these small countries, and there is a huge amount of red tape involved.
  • Gunther admired this indoor market in Port of Spain, which had an unusual new roof.
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  • Gunther and Christine were often too busy to enjoy the blue sea and spectacular white beaches of places like Anguilla because their arrivals and departures took so much organising. After a great deal of to-ing and fro-ing in Anguilla, they bumped into the son of the chief minister, who issued an entry permit.
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  • Some Caribbean islands are surprisingly dry at certain times of year, hence the cactuses
    2  of  16
  • Gunther says there were very few ferries between the islands, so he had to ship Otto from one place to another on small boats.
    3  of  16
  • Basseterre, the capital of St Kitts and Nevis. Foreign vehicles are an unusual sight on Caribbean islands, since most people arrive by ship or plane.
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  • The Miss Kennia took Otto from St Kitts and Nevis to Montserrat. Gunther and Christine stayed close to the vehicle during the 17-hour crossing. "We were worried we might fall overboard," Gunther says.
    5  of  16
  • Roseau, Dominica: Fast food meets Afro-Caribbean markets. "We were always encountering contrasts like these," Gunther recalls.
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  • Despite all the organising, loading and shipping, the couple still had time to enjoy the beach.
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  • The islands are plagued by hurricanes: here, a tree has toppled over and crushed a vehicle.
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  • Bananas being packed and sorted on a plantation
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  • St Lucia’s Victorian architecture is a reminder of the British colonial period. It was touch and go whether Otto would be allowed into the country. The matter was even discussed at a weekly cabinet meeting, which voted in his favour.
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  • This tree is anchored to the ground by aerial roots.
    11  of  16
  • In Barbados, Otto was the guest of honour at a golf tournament organised by Mercedes-Benz.
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  • A vision of paradise: St. George’s, Grenada
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  • Once again Otto was perched on a small boat, this time on his way to Trinidad and Tobago.
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  • Nutmeg is one of the island’s main exports.
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  • Video: The Caribbean islands: unexpectedly nerve-wracking