1998 St. Lucia

Sunday 28th June

Andrew and I flew to Saint Lucia to spend my birthday in the sun, after a long flight and a very long drive through the rain forests to the other end of the island we checked in to the hotel at Rodney Bay. We were exhausted, but the nearest beach was only a couple of minutes walk. The sea was warm and the weather was wonderful, a Piton local beer for Andrew and a cocktail for me at Spinnakers beach cafe for me was deserved, and the right way to start our holiday!

Monday 29th June

After fresh fruit and coffee we called a taxi to go and explore Castries, the capital of St. Lucia. There were beautiful trees in the central square, I was told they are called Saman trees. We wandered around the shops and markets and found lunch in a pretty little lilac building.

Headed back to Rodney Bay and had a walk along the beach then sat at Spinnakers cafe again for a fresh cherry juice and chatted to the Genie man about the bowl he was making out of woven banana plant leaves. We bought the bowl when he finished making it.

Tuesday 30th June

We’d booked a day trip on the catamaran Tango Too for my birthday, and had a splendid day out.

The views of the Piton mountains from the sea are lovely, they are densely forrested and look so green.

Our first stop was at Soufriere which used to be the capital, where we visited the lovely Diamond Botanic Gardens, full of fabulously exotic plants in such rich colours.

We then walked up to the Diamond Falls a lovely cascade in the rain forests, apparently the lowest of six falls in the range.

Onward then to the Sulphur Springs two miles away, this area was the remnant of a volcanic crater and was protected by the St. Lucia National Trust. The road went to the edge of the volcanic activity from where we walked with a guide to see pools of boiling mud and clouds of steam that shoot fifty feet in the air. Small streams of water flowed over the rocks streaking them with colours due to the sulphur, iron, copper, magnesium, and zinc. Fresh rain water collected in the boiling crater where it was heated and saturated with minerals, then it ran down the mountainside in six waterfalls - the lowest being the aforementioned Diamond Falls. This place is quite amazing and smells of rotten eggs of course due to the sulphur, the heat radiated straight at us there.

We were taken next to a plantation where we were shown the sugar beet being ground and coconuts being harvested, a man split some open for us to try fresh, delicious. We stayed for lunch at the plantation before setting off to Marigot Bay to snorkel for the afternoon. The marina there is very famous and Marigot Bay is full of pretty little shops and cafes. The staff on Tango Too made us some wonderful rum punch, and carried water and Piton beer too.

We went to the Limes restaurant in Rodney Bay for dinner, a brilliant place, perfect steaks and lovely wine to go with it, a fabulous birthday.

Wednesday 1st July

We were up really early as we’d booked a flight over to Tobago Keys for the day in a little eight passenger plane. The flight was great fun, we could see all of St. Lucia spread out below us, then all the beautiful islands and the turquoise seas and wonderful beaches.

We landed and were driven to the sea where we boarded a catamaran Hurricane Tree to go island hopping and snorkeling around the Grenadine islands including the Tobago Keys and Palm island.

We were given lunch on board including the best prawns we’d ever tasted.

This was such an incredible day, everything was amazing – the warm sea, the beautiful fish, gorgeous beaches, friendly people and a brilliant flight back too, one of the best days I’ve ever had!

Thursday 2nd July

We had our usual breakfast of coffee and fresh fruit, the pineapple and tiny bananas here taste amazing and are fresh off the trees every morning.

We decided that we’d visit Pigeon Island National Park so went to catch the local ferry over, it’s two canoes strapped together with a canopy on top. We wandered around the pretty little island then climbed up to the fort at the top. Eventually caught the ferry back and relaxed on the beach.

Friday 3rd July

Andrew hired a jeep for the day so that we could see a bit more of St. Lucia. We drove over to Soufriere and walked around the shops and market, then went for lunch at the Old Courthouse there, on to Anse de la Ray and through the rain forests where we followed a sign to the Rocky Road Waterfall and parked up to follow the sound of the water till we found it. It was a very beautiful area and the fall had steps which Andrew climbed up. An old man was sitting nearby and offered us some fresh pineapple straight off the tree. We stayed there just watching the falls for a while, then en route to the car the heavens opened and within seconds we were both soaked through. Back at the jeep the torrent was over and a lovely rainbow appeared over the mountains our clothes started steaming in the heat. On the way back we found a little art shop where I bought a lovely silk sarong tie dyed in blues and greens. Went to dinner later, all the restaurants around here are good, Andrew is addicted to the pepper pot stews.

Saturday 4th July

We spent a really lazy day locally, swam in the sea & watched the fish swimming, sun bathed and generally took it easy.

I had my hair braided on the beach by a local lady, it feels wonderful and the beads bob on the surface of the water when I’m swimming.

We saw the Genie man again today and bought me a sun hat that he made from banana leaves, a lovely memento of this idyllic holiday.

Sunday 5th July

Our last day in St. Lucia already, we went for a last walk on the beach, had a last lime daiquiri at Spinnakers and said goodbye to the Genie man.

Andrew had arranged a helicopter ride back to the airport, it was my first helicopter trip and I was so excited, what a lovely end to this magical holiday. The pilot took us over the whole island and pointed out all the beauty spots it was amazing seeing the whole island from the air.

This has been the most relaxing and wonderful holiday I’ve ever had, thank you Andrew and more please, I could get used to this!