Sebastian has returned to us as our last guest in the Mediterranean and our first guest in the Caribbean. He has brought his beautiful wife, Cathi with him this time and they have been a joy to have.
Busily soaking up the sun in between showers of tropical rain, these two are looking quite bronzed now. We headed south towards St. Lucia hoping to reach the Tobago Cays. Sebastian’s response to the first crossing made it clear that we’d better spend our time in St. Lucia. The poor bloke was quite ill. It ended up being a good choice anyway.
This island seems to have worked out the balance between tourism and conserving the environment. The standard of living seems quite high and I felt that the locals were giving fair prices for us, even though we were obviously tourists. Something that hasn’t happened on the other islands. The fruit and veggies here have been really fresh – straight from the garden and very reasonably priced. Eating what is in season means we might have a limited choice for a while but it is worth it for getting such good quality. We have all delighted in the enormous ruby grapefruit for 1 EC each. (1USD = 2.67 EC).
The beaches on St. Lucia are some of the nicest we have found in the Caribbean and the natural attractions have kept us busy. There’s plenty of good snorkelling in the bays and lots of thermal activity amongst beautiful rainforest. The location of a recent mass mugging of some cruise ship day trippers, the Diamond Botanical Gardens, proved to be an interesting and cool environment to spend a morning.
We also bathed in their hot baths and walked to the Diamond Waterfall which is fed by a hot spring. The rainbow coloured rocks infused with different minerals created a stunning visual effect.
The plants in the garden were nearly all in bloom and the whole park was full of little hummingbirds.
We caught a local bus to the sulphur springs. This place looked a bit like Desolation Valley on Dominica with the steam rising from colourful pools of water but with the addition of boiling mud pools to the side.
I was the only one who wanted to get all muddy. The whole southern town of Soufriere is sitting in an active volcano but it hasn’t erupted for over 40 000 years so either it’s due soon or it could happen in another 40 000 years time.
Proudly guarding the entrance to the bay are the Pitons – the island’s famous landmarks. Snorkelling at the base of these small craggy hills was wonderful. Plenty of corals – some bright purple and lots of reef fish. We sighted some interesting jellyfish too. Thomas is sporting some wounds from unavoidable contact with the beasts.
An adventurous tour through the rainforest canopy via ziplines was a highlight of our time there. Zooming over rivers and tree lined gorges was a great way to see some of the internal part of the island.
A humorous guide was on the bus trip there. The zip lines were a lot of fun and the workers were extremely safety conscious.
Plenty of relaxing on the boat and on the beaches in between our exploration appealed to our visitors and they quickly fitted into the rhythm of cruising life.We have just returned to Martinique to drop Cathi and Sebastian off so they can spend a few days in luxury, and air conditioning, before they fly home. It is sad to see them go as they’ve been great company and they’ve enjoyed their holiday as much as we’ve enjoyed having them.
So we’ll stock up again and then head south to get out of the hurricane region. We’re hoping to catch up with a bit of entertainment at the jazz festival on St. Lucia and explore St Vincent and Grenada as we head towards Trinidad. We’re not sure what we’re up to over the balmy summer but we’ll see when we get there. Just the two of us…la, la, la, la, la, la