Out and about in St Lucia

Saturday 29th January 2011

 

Goodness, time just flies by and I think I haven’t done the blog for a couple of days, only to find it’s actually a couple of weeks!!

 

We spent 10 days in the marina in Rodney Bay, getting jobs done, sorting the boat out down below and just relaxing and socialising.  Vision made an excellent job of cleaning and polishing the topsides, and turned out to be a very likeable and helpful chap.  So much so, that we decided, together with Rob & Sarah, to hire him to drive us around and show us the island.

 

This turned out to be a very enjoyable, if sometimes a little sobering, day.  The island is very green and beautiful, with tropical rainforest at its centre.  We tried to follow a road into the rainforest to visit a waterfall, but were scuppered by a palm tree which had come down across the road. 

 

          

Lush and green                                                                                          Palm tree fallen across the track - on foot only from here!

 

We drove along the coastal roads and made many stops at viewpoints, where we were often met by hawkers selling jewellery.  A turtle necklace caught my eye at one stop and by the time I’d finished bargaining for it we were off again and I’d missed the view!  We stopped for lunch beside the Deux Pitons – conical pieces of land which rise out of the sea, and watched hummingbirds hovering to drink nectar from the flowers.  It rained on and off all day – usually when we stopped for a photo opportunity – but when it is warm between the showers you soon dry out and don’t mind too much.

 

           

Marigot Bay - in the rain!                                                                                The Pitons

 

           

Petit Piton across Soufriere Bay                                                                    Can't remember the name of this lovely flower in the botanical gardens

 

           

Can't go in this river - too much sulphur from the volcano                                Diamond Falls

 

The sobering aspects of the day were the places that had been affected by Hurricane Thomas last autumn.  Vision showed us a mud slide where a house had been completely washed away – a friend and his family had been inside at the time and neither the house nor the family have ever been found.  We saw where rivers had burst their banks and the devastation the water had caused, and bridges and roads that had been damaged or completely washed away.  In places there is still no running water and people are collecting filtered water that is being pumped to standpipes from rivers full of debris and mud.   Sobering indeed.

 

           

The road was completely washed away                                                            Clean water being pumped and filtered using generator power

 

Sarah & I went across the inner lagoon to the shopping mall which has two good supermarkets, to stock up on fresh food – we both still have a boatload of non-perishable stuff to use up or store away for future passages.  We also wandered around the other shops which mainly sell souvenirs or designer clothes, but didn’t see anything worth buying...until we came across the Haagen Das shop!  We were able to report back to Steve & Rob that the cake and ice cream were delicious!