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SAINT LUCIA    DIARY  2

Photos   Map & Plan   Diary 1  2

From the west and south in Diary 1, it is time to explore the north and the capital.
8/4 2019. The morning start with a heavy shower, and I'm not in a hurry to get out in it. It is supposed to be the dry season, but this year, it do rain frequently. At nine, it clears up, and I head north towards Pigeon Island. I pass through the capital; Castries, but the traffic is light.

Here are a few more huge buildings, a cruise ship and much more, but that will be tomorrow. Pigeon Island is a peninsular on which the English had a fortress. The neck is a huge leisure port, then a nice beach. I enters the fortress area, and follow the waterline around the peninsular. Well, till it hit inland, and head steep up.

It is a dry area with yellow grass, partly dormant bushes and a few Cereus and another cacti. I follow a narrow path the the outer peak, holding the canon platform. The views are great - and that is about it.
I walk to the bigger peak by a slippery path, and see the views from there. A short loop in the lower parts reveals some ruins and a rocky beach.

From here, I try my luck at the few roads in the northern part of the island. It turns out; this is where the rich people live. Huge houses, plenty of fences and walls and little free nature - if any. The very north is closed of with guard and all.

I think I finally find some nature, and follow a rough wheel track towards the coast. Then it turns into a private lot, and the nine heavy dogs are making a lot of noise. I'm still 200 metres from the water, separated by dense thorny bushery. And the numerous Bromeliads are not interesting enough for that!

I find a road named "Public access road", a but further south, and give it a try. It actually ends out at the nice Cotton Beach, which is almost a full moon bay. At low tide, there are not much opening into this old volcano crater. Here are horseback riding, kite surfing and six fat sunbathers along with a little cafe. I do a walk along the water, and end out at some shallow cliffs, looking at sea-life. I get a cup of coffee, when I return, and watch the kite-surfer, who might be pro.

I follow the eastern coast a bit more, but keep ending up a huge, posh and fenced houses.  I try my luck at the northern end of the east coast at La Borne. One area is surely not posh! Small, rotting wooden huts, shitty gravel road and great views to a green canyon.

After a kilometre, I don't dear driving further, as I have no insurance on the car. Only three kilometres to walk, on a rocky, steep track. It is a lovely canyon I follow, and here are only a few goat farmers.
I end out at some fishermen at a little cove. The beach is filled with seaweed, and the mangrove is quite smelly. I try to spot some interesting plants on the steep rock-sides on each side, but besides from Agaves, I see none.

The walk back, steep upwards and with the sun in my face, does not feel shorter! I stop by a supermarket on the way home, and reach home just before five. Not the most exiting day, but nice weather. Few photos, short diary, early bed.

Pigeon Island, the north, Cotton Beach, La Borne Valley

8. My original plan was to head back to Dennery, where the hill behind the fire-station looked so tempting. However, my host (a doctor at the hospital) tells me: It is where most of the highly poisonous snake Fer-de-Lance, are found. It is one of the few snakes I rather not meet.

Plan B it is then: Fort Charlotte at Morne Fortune, and the small fishing villages of the west along with the connecting rainforest. I start locating my new hotel in town, to drop my food and bag. Unfortunately, I fail to find anyone there.

I cross the city of Castries again, which is not really hard, and get to Fort Charlotte, which is now a school. Most buildings are in use, a few are ruins. I also see the governors home, although from a distance. From up here, there are a great view over the harbour area and the entire capital. In some of the old trees, I find some interesting epiphytic plants, which I believe are orchids.

I leave the big city, and head into the southern huge hill and small mountains. I stop several times to make photos of the views and some plants like the purple terrestrial orchid. As it is dry, I try Morne Tabac Rain Forest Trail once again. Apparently, it have not been used for quite some time, and without a machete, I'm not going to.

I am getting close to Soufriere, and swing in. I park in one end, and follow the beach to the other. Here are a few fishermen cleaning fish, but most don't do anything. It is actually a common sight everywhere in any Caribbean village; no one really do anything.

In the far end of town, I find a little track, leading up the cliffs. A first, I pass some goats, then a few posh villas on the several kilometre long road. I end close to the vertical wall of Gros Piton, and turn around. I have thought of making it back along the beach, but it is too long on those rocks.
I see a lot of hummingbirds, but rarely close. Here, I manages to get a great habitat photo (which is English for: From a way too big distance).

From here, I head around the Pitons, and into the countryside - or mountains rather, inland. Some of these fertile valley are rather intensively farmed. Either with huge banana plantations or small fields with all kind of fruits and vegetables. Here are also a few cows and bulls.

On the way back from the south, I find a waterfall; Toraille. I pay to see it - which was an error. Well, it is a pretty little one, but I guess I have seen my share by now. I pass around Soufriere, but swing into Canaries, which is even more charming in sunshine.

I walk from the river in one end, to the river in the other. And then I continue along the perfect beach to the high cliffs. I walk back through the village, and can't help my self: Photos must be taken. The hens in the streets, the colourful old wooden sheets and of cause the fishing boats.

Some more green hills, and I reach Anse La Raye, which might be smaller, but it is even more charming. Along the beach one way, back through town the other: And too many photos again. In all these towns, the hustlers recognises me, and just great me friendly.

To get the full pallet, I do a stop in the little but oh-so posh Marigot Bay. The restaurants are huge - and empty. The boats huge - and almost empty. The biggest one, like ferry-size, have only two grey-haired folks sitting at the 100 square meter sun deck - on the only chairs.
Next to them is a equal sized vessel, but it have a few submarines on deck, and probably more under deck.
I re-find the colourful, mangrove crabs, and get a better photo, although I can't find them in the sun.

I head back to Castries and find my new home. I get around 200 square meters with large living room, kitchen and three bedrooms. I do like the balcony with sea view and a chair, suspend from the sealing. I promise myself to enjoy it for at least half a hour. Back to gas the car and deliver it back at the airport.
I have to walk 1000 metres along the airstrip, but I can do it on the perfect beach, ten metres away. Then steep uphill to my new home.

I make a cup of tea, and sit in the nice chair for at least five minutes, before I start working. My vegetarian diet is broken, but I can't be bothered picking tiny ants out of the sugar. Fort Charlotte, Soufriere, Southern Greenery, Canaries, Anse La Raye and Marigot Bay

10. A few showers are passing in the morning, and I have plenty of time. However, they continues, and I head the one kilometre down to Castries. It is a tiny capital, and unfortunately, it have burned twice. That means I won't find as many old charming houses. I do see some on the way down the hillside, and most could do with a bit of caretaking.

The first I meet is the minibus station, right next to the central market. This large market is completely taken over by the souvenir sellers. Only in the surounding sidewalks, one can find vegetables and fruits, and not in large numbers.
Inside the market, most stands have the same imported items. Only one guy is actually carving his own figures. I have a longer chat with him, before I head out in the town.

Out here, it seems like most trades are done on the sidewalk, under parasols. Around the harbour, some large buildings and two cruise ships are found. A bit inland, I find the little city counsel house next to the central park.
The next park have a large lawn, a huge tree and the cathedral. Next to it is a beautiful Victorian building, housing the national library.

When I head outside the centre of town - around 100 metres from it, I find some old wooden houses. A few are real nice maintained, the rest could do with some - or a lot of care. Bach in the centre, I find a few glass and steel buildings and some modern shops. But here are none of the usual cruise-ship gold shops, Prada and alike at all.

One area have a lot of tiny bars, and I find one place selling tea. The local guys are playing Domino for money in many places. I do another loop around, in-between showers - and in showers, and find the river. It is slow but pretty clean. The rain keep coming every ten minutes or so, and at three, I have seen it all, and head home. Castries   Highlights from Saint Lucia

11. I have time for breakfast before my host Tom kindly drive me the 2600 metres to the airport, and I catch my flight at 10;10. Next stop is Saint Vincent & the Grenadines. I have enjoyed Saint Lucia, which actually was more pretty than I had expected. I have driven 422 kilometres, taken 1097 photos and spend around what I had expected:
 

EXPENSES DKK E.Carib$
Shared*  (part of a 92 day tour) 765 306
Flight here 1.107 443
Car + Local transport 1.601 641
Entrance 135 54
Hotel 1.090 436
Food 379 152
Other: Gear, souvenirs 114 46
TOTAL: 5.190 2.076
*) Error flights+London, return DK, insurance, vaccinations, guidebook, gear i.e.

Photos   Map & Plan   Diary 1  2