Trip Start Oct 05, 2009
325Trip End Oct 31, 2013
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St Lucia Island
Cloudy and warm
The island covers an area of 614 square kilometers and has a population of 180,000 and is a popular tourist destination.
Sheila and Kath had booked a tour to "Nature Trail in the Pitons" and we set off from port with 6 others on a long winding bus trip across the island.
St Lucia is part of the British Commonwealth, gaining independence 30+ years ago. Apparently the island changed hands between the British and the French fourteen times over 150 years and you see the influence of both nations.
We were told that there are 5 women to every man and the usual explanation was that the men were either in goal or dead; sounds like a violent situation but we of course only heard the story.
There is 25% unemployment and the main industries are tourism, with bananas bringing in some foreign exchange. A lot of the island looks poor and there are buildings in poor repair; some cyclone damage has never been repaired but the island features some world renowned resorts attracting wealthy tourists.
Our destination was the Tet Paul Trail, a local community project showing tourists fruit and vegetable cultivating and some historic houses and techniques. The piece de resistance of course was the view of the majestic Pitons in the distance and glimpses of the beaches at Soufriere.
Seeing a cashew tree was pretty impressive, as was the sight of a large cocoa pod dangling from the cocao tree. We bought some cocoa sticks made of ground pods along with spice nuts to make our own cocoa tea. Can't wait!
Our guides supplied fresh mango juice and some local fruit from the project which was much appreciated.
Our impressions of the island, yes it was just a 6 hour day, so it is just a tiny impression: the island is intensely green rainforest, lovely beaches and volcanic mountains and we did see the islands volcano spitting steam in the distance. The people were friendly but we only met the sellers and tourist guides.
It was a slightly cloudy day but we enjoyed our sight- seeing trip, expensive at $55 per person and felt we had got a tiny bit of St Lucia’s ambience.
Back on board it was time for a quick lunch, and then, onto the front helipad of the ship by special orders from the captain, to watch the ship sail out of the harbour.
We were a little late pulling out because another cruise liner was pulling out ahead of us and we watched a cargo ship unloading its containers but it was a good experience.
Guess what? It was time for dinner so the dining room was our next stop. Each evening there are 4 courses with 5 choices within each course and the food as expected is good. Tonight we splurged with a glass of Barossa Valley shiraz- Ross Wines "Lights Out'' - it was good and went well with our lamb cutlets. Most nights we enjoyed our own wine in our cabin!
Another big musical show called 'Sirens’ entertained us for an hour but we decided to miss the Caribbean Tropical Party by the pool and hit the sack!