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In the spring of 2004, we visited St. Lucia as part of a 7-day Caribbean cruise. We liked the island and promised each other that we'd come back to spend a little more time there and see more of the sights.

  1. Arrival and first day
  2. Island tour -- south to Soufrière
  3. Random resort shots
  4. Snorkel cruise
  5. Random resort shots #2
  6. Taking in Castries
  7. Final days and departure
  8. Recommendations and links
 

Arrival and first day

We got to St. Lucia without any travel hassles. I had done my research and found that most flights at UVF land from west to east, so I picked out seats on the left of the plane, to ensure that we got a good view of Les Pitons as we approached the airport. Getting thru the airport baggage claim, customs was easy compared to pushing our way thru the gauntlet of baggage handlers & taxi drivers, out to 'Meeting Place' where our pre-arranged drive with St. Lucia Taxi & Tours was waiting for us.

The road up the east coast was in very good share, but there weren't a lot of spots where there was space to pull off the road for a view. So one of the best parts of the trip was our stop just outside Dennery Bay, and having our first [but definitely not our last] cold Piton -- locally brewed beer.

We arrived late on a Tuesday afternoon. On Wednesday the resort had their weekly beach party, which included a bonfire, lots of food, and entertainment in the form a stilted dancers and a fire display on the beach.








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Island tour -- south to Soufrière

We had schedule an island tour. It started by going back thru Castries [and experience morning rush hour traffic] and continuing down the west coast road past several fishing villages to Soufrière. The west coast road was in much worse shape that the one from the airport, with a lot more twists and turns.





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Random resort shots

Not to say that we were eating all the time, it's just that we both have a a penchant for taking food pictures.

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Snorkel cruise

Our snorkel cruise was on the Calypso Cat the resort's boat. We board right on the beach and then took approximately a 45 minutes ride to the area between Les Pitons. Our first snorkeling site was Anse des Piton Marine Reserve. In was cloudy on the way down, and our first view of the Les Pitons showed them shrouded in clouds. The fish were plentiful, although there also a few little jelly fish. Our second snorkel site was at Anse Chastanet Marine Reserve. Not as many fish here, but I was very happy find a flounder. There were plenty of tube sponges as well. On the trip back, the crew broke out sandwiches, beer, and wine. We were all ready for a little nourishment. On the trip back to the resort, the boat hugged the coast giving us a great view of the mostly undeveloped shoreline.






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Random resort shots #2

And a few more food shots scattered here, just in case you hadn't seen enough!


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Taking in Castries

Castries is the capital city of St. Lucia. It is just a few miles south of the resort, but a little too far to walk. Rather than hiring a regular taxi, we opted to use the local mini-bus service and ride into two for $1. Peace Corps experience put to good use, once again. We got to 'enjoy' the morning rush hour traffic then did our own walking tour of the city, stopping to see several cultural sites and the Cathedral Bascilica of the Immaculate Conception. St. Lucia alternated between French and English control during colonial times. The cathedral definitely shows a strong French influence.

And what stop in a big city would be complete without a visit to the local market. Sonia had an opportunity to hone her bargaining skills while I explored the more esoteric areas of the market and took pictures.




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Final days and departure

We'd learn long ago that part of any vacation is just sitting back, relaxing, and realizing that the world will continue on it's merry way quite well without your active participation. We did a lot of relaxing, reading, and drinking [got to keep up your fluids !] alternating between the beach and one of the three main pools.




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Recommendations and links

Here are several links of places we enjoyed.

  1. St. James Morgan Bay Resort -- our 'home' for the week
  2. St. Lucia Taxi and Tours -- great service for airport transfers and custom island tours
  3. Tet Paul Nature Trail -- help support the local community and see great views of Les Pitons

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