Thursday, February 6
Manina and I were in charge activities on St. Lucia. We had booked a speedboat with Exodus charters who would take us down the west coast of St. Lucia. We had done a similar trip when we had visited this lovely isle before several years ago when Manina’s brother Derek got married, and we hoped it would be just as fun this time.
Unfortunately, when we disembarked from the Jewel of the Seas we were greeted to St. Lucia by a torrential downpour. We all ran into the nearest shelter, but were already soaked through. We found our chartered boat nearby and climbed in, hoping to get out of the rain. Captain Jeremy manned the wheel and Rasta Dave was our tour guide.
We headed south, each of us huddled up and cold. But, the closer we got to the town of Soufriere the more the rain eased up—it was going to be a nice day.
We stopped by a few attractions before making it to the dock in Soufriere: a cleft in a cliff that was full of bats, a cliff-jumping young man who got very well compensated for his daring feat.
We got into a taxi and headed up into the mountains. We had the option to either take a scientific tour of the volcano or hang out in the volcanic mud baths. Rasta Dave promised the magic mud would make you look 15 years younger, so the girls made a quick decision. To the mud baths we went.
Our next stop was a nearby waterfall, Piton Falls. We had to hike a little way through the jungle to get to our destination, but Rasta Dave pointed out all the cool flora and fauna native to St. Lucia. When we got to the falls, the water was still warm as it poured over us and into these natural mineral pools. The water was clear and refreshing and helped to wash off some of the mud from our earlier stop.
Our next stop was back in the city of Soufriere for a buffet creole lunch. They had rice, beans, chicken, macaroni and cheese, tuna, and a salad. All of it was pretty good, and all had a bit of a kick, all being local creole dishes. We were on the banks of the river, the majestic Pitons looming in the background.
Rasta Dave then walked us to a souvenir shop, where Manina finally got a chance to buy some fun stuff for the kids. She was relieved to find something for all the kids since our shopping in Martinique the previous day had been less than productive.
We walked back to the boat with Captain Jeremy who took us a little further south down to Sugar Beach. I snorkeled for a bit, but the water was pretty murky from the rain earlier in the day. So, after a quick dip I went back up onto the beach.
One of the coolest things about St. Lucia is that all of the beaches are public property. So while Sugar Beach Resort is usually reserved for the rich and famous, we could enjoy the same sand and surf as long as we didn’t touch resort beach chairs or umbrellas. So, we put down our towels and enjoyed beach. Rasta Dave hung out with us for a while, telling us stories and pointed out the haunts of movie stars and yachts of rich folks.
After about an hour on Sugar Beach we got back on the boat and Captain Jeremy drove us up to Marigot Bay. We cruised around the bay looking at cool boats, restaurants, with Rasta Dave telling us, “Marigot Bay is the place they filmed Doctor Doolittle. Not the Eddie Murphy Doctor Doolittle, but your mama’s Doctor Doolittle.”
Our last stop was a cool arch he called the Tunnel of Love. This was also used in a famous movie, The Pirates of the Caribbean, but in a much darker way. In one of the opening scenes of the first movie Captain Jack Sparrow looks up to see several skeletons hanging from this same arch.
A couple of us jumped in and swam over to where a young man was showing us good spots to jump. On the climb up, I managed to miss some nasty sea urchins lurking just underneath the surface, unlike Mike and Ben, who weren’t as lucky. It was pretty high up, much higher than the cliff jump in Antigua, but the water was clear and I could easily spot the trouble areas. I jumped out and away from those spots, and didn’t even hit the bottom. No trouble at all.
Manina swam out to join me and we took a picture of us kissing underneath the Tunnel of Love, mainly so we could send it back home and make Katelyn and Megan squirm—they had made the mistake of telling us how gross they think those kinds of pictures are.
Back in Castries it started raining again as we walked back to the Jewel of the Seas. We boarded for the last time. Like the night of St. Croix, we got dressed up in our fancy clothes for another formal evening. Manina looked gorgeous. Again.
The evening was pretty uneventful. Everyone hung out in the Bergeron’s suite for a bit, we went to go get hot chocolate, and then went upstairs to go dancing. We only stayed for a few minutes, but Penny danced for a few minutes with the Crazy Dancing Argentine, which probably made his cruise. I could devote a whole post to that guy, but his name tells you all you need to know.
We spent a few minutes in the hot tub before retiring for the night, ready to have a nice relaxing day at sea for our final day of the cruise.
Our day in St. Lucia hadn’t started off very well, but it ended up being a giant success. We had a fabulous day.