Showers in Soufriere
14 January 2014 – at anchor, Soufriere
Arrival in Soufriere Bay was late yesterday evening, about an hour before sundown. Departure from Marigot was delayed by the fuel dock being taken over by “Ritchie J’s Cruiser” a big catamaran that was taking out a party to party, but stayed put for rather over 2 hours whilst everything was set. The marina team (Martin and Ched) were apologetic and didn’t charge for two tanks of water.
The hype about Soufriere is that security is an issue and we were both apprehensive. As we passed Anse Chastenet, we were approached by a boat boy. Greg volunteered to take us to a buoy for 20EC. Roger had read the pilot book carefully and asked whether it was an SMMA buoy ( the Soufriere Marine Management Association) who charge separately. The con is to ask for payment, and then the boatowner has to pay again, It was pouring with rain and we were pleased to have him take us to a buoy in Malgretout – we wouldn’t have known where to look and the pick up wasn’t straightforward. Here is the view from the anchorage – Malgretout beach is just beneath the Petit Piton, and astern is Soufriere village.
The scenery is amazing. The SMMA buoys, which cost 40 ECD for two nights (about £10) are within 50 yards of the shore and you can snorkel from the boat. The diving is great and we’ve been advised to talk to Chester at the Hummingbird Resort. The downside is that there is swell so it’s not particularly comfortable. Greg helped us to move to a mooring off the Bat caves on the other side of the bay this morning but the swell here is just as bad
This morning we went ashore. The boat boys on the dinghy dock were pretty persistent so Roger talked to the security guards and moved the dinghy under there beady eye. At the SMMA office there was a shout “Magnetic Attraction!” – Jackie, the Ranger who had booked us in recognised us and came over to see how he could help. Then walking up the street Greg came over to shake hands. Everyone tries so hard to welcome you.
We walked up to the Diamond Falls – a botanical garden with a thermal spa. What a find! The entry was 30ECD but the tropical plants were exquisite.
The thermal springs were developed before the French Revolution by Louis XVI and the owners have reconstructed three of the original bathhouses. The colour of the waters varies from day to day depending on the composition if the waterfall.
From there we walked up (via lunch!) to La Toraille Falls, where there’s a natural shower – access 8 ECD each. Compared to the Diamond Falls much more primitive – and much more fun!
Roger was iffy but I had my cozzie and leapt in. Once the first person had made the plunge, a party of eastern Europeans leapt in too (one of the gentlemen who joined me in the pool insisted on having a picture of us shaking hands afterwards!) and Roger followed once I had come out to guard the bags. Invigorating! If with gritted teeth!
As we walked down the hill to Soufriere, a man with a pickup truck offered us a lift. He turned out to be David Duboulais, who owns the Ruby and Still Plantations and the Still Beach Resort. His Aunt designed and manages the Diamond Falls gardens. He has introduced us to Thomas, who will take us round the Plantation tomorrow.
It’s been a good day!