Rodney Bay was a great stopover. We had a tour of the Island with Michanne and Vision. We saw small fishing villages on the way towards the volcano. Attended a rum tasting at one of the factories, and then the kids got to dress up in Carnival costumes which they loved and still talk about! We had an excellent local lunch in Soufriere, taking all of the local sides, such as “fig salad”, “Macaroni bake” and others that I don't even know what to call them:) The BBQ chicken and pork was excellent. Local juice was on offer( grapefruit that day) and beers could be purchased inside at the bar where an older lady, built like a tank, was taking the orders, and then barking them at the small, younger man who seemed to be a bit on the mentally slow side. He then scurried around getting the actual work done. The food was very reasonably priced and the locals were lining up to get their lunch, at least 20 people came and got take away while we were getting our meal. We then went to a waterfall, which was a bit of a bust as a recent storm had caused boulders to fall into it making it very shallow under the falls and not really suitable for swimming, to the disappointment of the children. The good part was that there was a lovely botanical garden there and we got to see lots of tropical plants and flowers that we hadn't had a chance to see before. The we headed for the volcano. They call it a drive through volcano. I had visions that we would drive into a tunnel and see a pit full of boiling lava, kind of something from the Lord of the Rings…..but that wasn't the case. However, it was impressive in its own way. The sulphur smell at times was intense, almost overwhelming. There were multiple large pools of boiling mud, and a stream of water adjacent to the volcano that was hot! In parts it was 35 degrees celsius and in others even hotter. You could swim in the natural pool. Lower down, there was an area where they had made large concrete pools to lounge in the hot water and everyone covered themselves in the volcanic mud, and then soaked it off in sulphurous spring! It was an amazing experience and I am so glad we did it. Bottom line, St Lucia is absolutely full of tropical fruit tress, coconut, papaya, mango, breadfruit etc that seem to be growing wild all over the place. It is amazingly lush. We stopped on the way back at a local baker that Michanne said was the best on the island. Got some rolls that were round on one end and tapered on the other like a drumstick. They were amazing! I think it is a St Lucia local way to shape bread.
After our few days in Rodney Bay, we headed Marigot Bay and took a mooring in the lagoon, for three days. We didn't do that much, other than hang out at the pool at the Capabella resort, where we could lounge in the shade in day beds etc. Catherine’s mask went missing there. Funny, that this would be a place where something would “take a walk”. Of all the talk of theft and violence, we havent seen any of it in the local areas we visited. I dont think it is that common, or worse than at home. It might even be less of an issue. You just have to be sensible. We don’t really go out much at night, and that probably helps. Had a quick catch up with El Mundo who had just arrived, and then we headed back to Rodney Bay, anchoring on the side nearer the Sandals Resort. We to the beach and saw people surfing the waves on the Atlantic side of the spit of land. Very cool. I could watch them all day. People were recovered from the weekend, as it was Independence for St Lucia, which explained the loud music until the wee hours the night before. Got some duty free fuel, and headed to Martinique.