Why you should walk barefoot on a Caribbean beach: an acrostic wonder of wanders

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Why you should walk barefoot on a Caribbean beach: an acrostic wonder of wanders

Walk barefoot on Pinneys Beach, walk barefoot on the longest beach on the island of Nevis, a four-mile blanket edge stitched with silken sand, loose strands of froth running between your toes.

Avoid the track most taken, avoid the considerable conference groups at the Four Seasons, avoid the day-trippers clattering out of cruise ships on St Kitts; avoid the Happy Hour, two-for-one, everything included dealers who aren’t budging from the familiar – in favour of the noiseless northern reaches where it’s only you and the egrets at Cades Bay.

Look out for the single paddleboarder, who looks like he’s signed up to a sea-wind dating site where you swipe right into the waves; for the pulsing reds and yellows of the fishermen’s boats propped next to corrugated shacks, for Nevis Peak levitating in the sky.

Kick your bare footprints before they’re drawn away by the current, before they vanish; before the heat of the day has crept out of the air, before the sand flies start nibbling at your ankles.

Indulge in the Golden Hour before sunset, when the light is redder and softer, reflecting silver scribbles on the sea; when coiffured clouds hang like wigs in a diva’s dressing room.

No one walks here; well, pretty much no one – and the few that do walk here are likely to be barefoot, too; they’re likely to feel at one with the egrets, the stray island dog wagging with hope, the solo paddleboarder still swiping right – their disappearing footprints fading like grey and pink bruises smudged across the sky.

Go past the barefoot couple sipping frosted Carib setting down condensation circle prints on the beach bar table, go past the ungainly frigate birds plopping like heavy sacks onto the breakers, go past the shower-capped Mamas bathing in the surf, go past the orange pulsing ball that will dip fast, fast, fast beneath the skyline (no lingering here), keep walking barefoot and keep walking all the way home.

Cheryl Markosky

Writer in residence Writer in residence 2022/23

Cheryl Markosky wanted to be a lighthouse keeper, but it was tricky in the Rockies. So, she became a TV producer and journalist. Canadian-born, she now splits her time between England and the Caribbean. Cheryl’s work can be found in EllipsisZine, New Fla...


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