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Friendly small apartment house in Charlotteville (listing)
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Claire Finka

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Post by Claire Finka »

Charlotteville is one of those places that you want to keep quiet about in case too many others spoil it.

I was worried about staying there on my own, but on my arrival at my ground floor apartment at Top River Pearl a friendly voice called down from the upper communal deck and I was soon swinging in a hammock, making new friends, drink in hand.

My apartment was much smarter than I had expected, a spacious bedroom, well equipped - if small - kitchen area off and more than adequate bathroom. Although it was the end of the dry season the room was cool most of the time and the floor fan was more than adequate in the evening heat. I loved my balcony with excellent views over the village, but not too far from the centre or the beach. I know some people have mentioned the numerous chickens and attendant cockerels but they never bothered me in the slightest, I slept soundly through and did not need the provided mosquito net.

When booking Rainer answered all my queries promptly and on arrival everyone was very helpful and friendly.The one disappointment was that going out of season meant the coffee shop was not open a great deal and the menu was limited. In fact my one disappointment about Charlotteville was the lack of fresh food in the shops or variety in restaurants. I found out too late that Gails was not closed, only open in the evening and was well spoken off. Anyway I was able to feast on mangos picked from the ground, and lost some weight for the first time on holiday.

Local people were very friendly and although I had the odd offer, as a single woman I felt perfectly safe.

Top River Pearl is the right end of the village to walk to Pirates Bay, excellent in the early morning for a spot of bird watching en route and then I often had this stunning beach to myself. The snorkelling is good and the water totally calm. Others arrived later and a small shack opened offering cold drinks and loungers if you needed one.

Other beaches were explored with Nigel who will take you out in his boat, with a good chance of seeing the dolphins that were often in the bay, and with Peter Trotman the new manager of the kayak centre. Peter will also take you on tours of the local rain forest. Going off season meant I often had a guide to myself which felt a total luxury. It was also turtle laying time and I had the wonderful experience of watching a turtle laying eggs with local expert Heather on a quiet deserted nearby beach - but be prepared to stay up all night!

If you love nature and want to chill out this is the place to be.
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