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Date: 23 Jan 2015 22:36:41
Title: Marigot Bay, St Lucia

We were summoned by a not very loud shout from the American’s boat, it really is parked that close, and duly puttered over the full 15 metres to their boat, clambered (inelegantly as usual on my behalf) aboard.  They had prepared a veritable feast.  There were chips (crisps) with dips, crackers (savoury biscuits not the ones we pull at Christmas), cheese, salami, ranch dressing (a creamy confection) and fresh chopped bell peppers and carrots (which stubbornly remain the same whichever side of the ocean you live).  Our meagre contribution of sandy peanuts and plantain crisps was very meagre but at least we were able to provide limes and tonic water for the remarkably potent gin and tonics.  Bob Two and his wife Jodie missed the party because they had escaped to the rather nice looking B&B behind the Rainforest Hideaway for a night without having to sleep in a coffin.  We had a very happy time with Scott and Deborah, Jenny, Kim.  The conversation was in full flow and never dried up. We didn’t want to outstay our welcome so took our leave and spluttered the mifteen fetres back to Windy, full of gin and bonhomie.  We were too full to eat anything more so settled with jush one lasht gin to bring the evening to a boozy snoring in the saloon close.
This morning we decided to have a slap up brunch not only to use up the bacon and eggs but also, it was just what the doctor ordered, to chase away any last vestiges of the gin.  While munching our way through an enormous plateful (there were a lot of eggs to use up) we plotted our day and decided to visit the Mamiku gardens.  Ernest was duly summoned to meet us at midday giving us time to go and check in, always allowing plenty of time for this tediously long task.  The Immigration people were on good form and there was much joshing about while they were showing cricket on the TV and not the incredible Japanese kung fu film that I had so enjoyed last time.  I had to pass the time instead chatting to a very nice Spanish couple and making enquiries about Trinidad and Tobago for research purposes.   That leg of the process completed we went next door to Customs.  No one was in so we had to wait outside.  We passed the time chatting to a dreadlocked chap who told us the sorry tale of how his very smart boat had been stolen (uninsured of course) on Tuesday and that he had searched for it throughout St Lucia and St Vincent to no avail.  Somewhere in the story he said that he was 38.  I had had a good nose at his ID card, thinking that he looked very much younger than his photo and indeed very unlike the picture at all and noted that the date of birth given thereon was 1966.  We will never know the truth or otherwise of this strange anomaly.
Our timing and anticipation of delays was rewarded by meeting Ernest in the car park on the dot of midday.  Having enjoyed his last banana plantation tour, and Bob having missed it, we had a repeat run.  Perhaps Bob will now become a banana farmer having seen how it is such a sustainable crop to grow. 
Mamiku Gardens were lovely.  It is just so interesting how very different each and every tropical garden we visit can be.  This one was full of natural plants, principally foliage and all the plants with a marker so that we could look up what they were in the guide.  The gardens included a historic site of a burned out estate house which had been torched by brigands (slaves freed by the revolution fuelled French) who made a very good job of beating a cohort of Buffs  who had taken it over as an army station when the French were ousted from St Lucia by the Brits.  Much of the garden was peaceful, cool woodland walks with a few rather oddly out of place formal areas such as, rather strangely, a circle of lawn with a sundial .  We could have almost been in England!
On our return from our tour we popped into the Rainforest Hideaway, we were passing honestly (a tale as tall as the 38 year old man).  It happened to have a table free this evening which now has our name on it.  I have been using up all the fruit that has accumulated from passing vendors that we feel sorry for (including a chap on a paddleboard who sold me a gold plated coconut (I assume it was gold plated, it was very expensive) the water of which has been added to the mix) and concocted a fruit potion for a rum punch before we go out.  No gin tonight, can’t think why.

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