Saturday, December 8, 2012

Rediscovering St. Lucia

Traveling, traveling, traveling. After fifteen years on the road, it's easy to take the lifestyle for granted. And often Marlo and I do, which is a shame. But not last was time to rediscover St. Lucia!!

St. Lucia - the Greenest Mountainous Island on the Planet

Well, I don't know if that statement is true, but I've BEEN to Ireland, and they are pretty close to neck-and-neck. As we pulled into Castries harbor, you could see that palm trees, flowers of every kind, and creepers were all climbing all over each other from front street all the way up to the sky.
Now, this was an island that was part of the itinerary of the very first ship I traveled on, so I had explored it before; however, it'd been a good decade since my open-water dive at Marigot Bay beneath the Pitons, so Marlo and I thought it'd be good to get reacquainted with this tropical paradise.

People of the French Caribbean

St. Lucia has a fascinating history. Mainly fought over by the British and French crowns, they both had bases on the island - Britian in Castries, and the French in Soufriere.
You can even hear the French accent in the speech of the locals, reminding one of the island's past.

Over Hills and Dales...and More Hills

One thing about getting anywhere on the island - it will be like a roller coaster from any point "A" to any other point "B". The terrain is quite extreme. This volcanic island has thrown up spires upon spires. Sure, it has the makings for spectacular views, but also for slightly nauseating car-rides. It was a good thing that our tour was only by car on the OUTBOUND leg (we took a boat back to Castries after reaching the Pitons).

The Diamond Falls Botanical Gardens

Wow, what can I say? This place had it all! Volcanic springs/baths, flowers in profusion, spice plants, waterfalls...even cocoa pods! I couldn't help thinking about Willy Wonka in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (sadly, the worse version), where Johhny Depp's character goes into the jungle to find this strange and delicious pod.

Pitons...the Twin Sentinels

Imagine, if you will, the Matterhorn, with its sharp "arret" at the top. Now imagine it plunging, at roughly the same angle, down 750 meters to the water. It's truly a sight everyone should see in their lifetime. Marlo and I were lucky enough to be on a ship that would sail out of Castries, then head for the Pitons and spin 720 degrees, giving everyone on board a great view. I guess they don't do that anymore. I suppose that it cuts into excursion revenue. Lucky we found another way to see it again!

Well, that's about it. The photos included here should cover everything my modest volcabulary could not. Enjoy!

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