Now we’re back on “English” soil, and driving on the ‘wrong’ side of the road. So ordering at restaurants and buying at the grocery store is easier, but the driving is more challenging. Steve did quite well, as you can imagine.
This was our view from the balcony at our apartment - this is Marigot Bay, a natural deep water inlet to escape hurricanes or invading French ships (apparently this bay hid an entire English fleet at one time). On our drive down the west coast, we frequently saw:
…until we reached the Pitons and the town of Soufriere.
These are the famous landmarks of St. Lucia, and are volcanic spires jutting out from the surrounding sea that is 2,000 ft. deep around them. We had decided not to go diving on this trip, so you’ll be spared yet more fish pictures. ;)
“We” decided not to climb Gros Piton, since we had just climbed La Soufriere on Guadeloupe, and my back was acting up. Instead, we went to a nature trail that was on a ridge between the Pitons, and had fabulous views with little effort.
We also went snorkeling another day, at Anse Chastanet, which is a public beach to the high water mark, but otherwise is for the use of 2 exclusive resorts that are way out of our price range (think $600 - 1500 per night). We enjoyed being the poor cousins enjoying the really good snorkeling, while the “other half” lay on their lounges and drank tiki drinks.
Another day trip had us heading to the north end of the island and hiking up little hills to a lookout point with great views of St. Lucia, as well as Martinique, just 24 miles to the north.
This was Pigeon Island, and besides being turned into a local park, it also had remains of an English fort.
Steve had a surprisingly good time on a birding hike, where we got up before 0600, and spent 3 hours in a rainforest trying to see different bird species. St. Lucia has 5 endemic species (meaning they are found no where else in the world) - St. Lucian parrot, oriole, black finch, warbler and peewee. We saw 2 parrots flying over a ravine, and I captured a blurry image of an oriole:
We saw 4 out of the 5, missing the peewee, and saw a cool fresh water crab in the creek running through the property -
Also while out driving, we passed many plots of banana trees, with blue plastic over most of the bunches:
This was to keep them unblemished from weather and insects, for export. It was interesting to learn that after a banana tree fruits, it dies, and then another plant comes up next to it from runners under the dirt. The flower is the large red “pod” underneath the bunch, that initially grows straight up, until the weight of the developing fruit causes it to bend over. The fruits then grow up towards the sun.
You know the roads are challenging when you see signs like this (pardon the blur, Steve was driving fast):
One other stop we made was at a botanical garden that was very beautifully laid out and peaceful (except when loud speaking guides passed with tour groups). Diamond Waterfall is colored because of the minerals dissolved in the water from the surrounding hot springs.
My morning coffee buddy on the balcony is here to bid you goodbye, until I next post from Martinique.