Saint Lucia is a sovereign island country in the West Indies in the eastern Caribbean Sea on the boundary with the Atlantic Ocean. Part of the Lesser Antilles, it covers a land area of 617 km2 (238 square miles) and reported a population of 165,595 in the 2010 census.
There! That got all the geographic and demographic information out of the way!
You might remember how we got here. Hint: click on the link.
We are staying in an Airbnb on the south side of Rodney Bay, in an apartment on the second floor with a deck that looks out towards the sea. It has a full kitchen, two bedrooms, and is air conditioned but, actually, we spend very little time there, for Saint Lucia beckons us!
As you might expect, everything is green and growing in Saint Lucia. Sweet.
This is the view from our balcony. There is a small parking lot, then a path down to the ocean.
Okay, here is a gratuitous photograph of me walking to the beach from our Airbnb in my underboob top. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Yup, the beach at Rodney Bay is just a five-minute walk away.
Here’s a tip: do NOT wear an underboob top in Saint Lucia unescorted. Being left alone for even two minutes attracts the bored local boys like bees to honey.
The south end of Rodney Bay is almost deserted, since all the hotels are more centrally located.
It’s the Caribbean, so the water is warm and clear, perfect for swimming. A few boats are anchored off-shore and a few folks stroll by on the beach, but basically, we are alone. 😀
The sand is soft and warm. I note this because there are beaches where the sand is not soft and not warm, so, when it is, I like to indulge. Warm and soft is happy.
Rodney Bay is full of sea life such as fish (duh), sea horses, and octopuses, and we are about to see some of them.
Here I am, happily snorkeling, searching for the wonderful sea life of Rodney Bay in the Caribbean island of Saint Lucia. Okay, who am I kidding? It’s a photograph of my derrière.
To the south, Rodney Bay is virtually unspoiled, a Caribbean paradise. We are happy to be here.
I can’t help but be happy swimming in beautiful Saint Lucia.
If you want a view of Rodney Bay that doesn’t include T&A, this is the one you should look at. 🙄
The Weather in Saint Lucia
The weather in Saint Lucia is balmy and a bit humid, with breezes from the Atlantic. And, like any tropic island, it has its share of warm rain.
Okay, by now you’ve probably figured out that this is just an excuse to be in a wet tee-shirt. If you really want to learn about Saint Lucia, just skip to the next part. 😕
The wind from the east brings the clouds and the warm rain.
Like McDonalds, Domino’s Pizza is universal (we have seen it in Turkey). However, if you are going to travel to Saint Lucia (or Turkey), DO NOT EAT AMERICAN FAST FOOD.
Instead, find yourself a cafe off the beaten path, and enjoy some island cuisine while you wait for the rain to end.
The rain stops, the sun shines, and my husband uses it as yet another excuse to take yet another cheesecake photograph of me.
Okay, how about if we have a few adventures that do NOT include my body parts???
Near the town of Sulphur Springs is a stream and pool where, for a small fee, you can cover yourself with mud for whatever reason you want.
These folks have already been mud-ified and are now enjoying the warm, volcanic waters. So, how do we get muddy in the first place?
First, someone with a bucket must hike upstream past the “No Entry” sign, then scoop the mud from the stream bottom. Then the bucket of mud is carried back to the waiting clean people.
You can self-mud-icate, or someone can apply mud on you. I don’t know if there is a charge to hire such a person, but I’m guessing there isn’t. At least for the girls. 😀
You can carefully apply the mud, taking care to keep the mud from any orifices, or you can slather it on and spend the next few minutes with your eyes watering, snorting mud from your nose, and spitting small stones. Your choice….
The mud dries and, when you are ready, you can enter the pool and rinse off. There are also fresh water showers farther down the stream that have a tiny bit of water dripping out (as least when we are here) for a final rinse.
Nikos Sea and Sun Tours
I am walking to a small peninsula of land in Rodney Bay in St. Lucia where they have boats to charter. I want a sunset cruise for two. At the biggest company, I’m told they don’t do private, two-person sunset sails. They send me to another company, but that company does only trips lasting 3 or 4 days. That company sends me to a guy in a shop I can’t find. I ask a fellow walking past, and he tells me that I should enquire at the Port Authority Customs and Immigration office. I climb a long staircase and enter an official looking office area and speak to a fellow in uniform, and he tells me that the guy indeed does sunset sail trips for two, but he isn’t in that day. However, they know a guy and call him on the phone. He comes right up to speak to me. No, he does not offer sailing trips, but he knows someone who does.
And that’s how we came to be on a 50 foot Beneteau sail boat captained by Niko, a first mate, and a chef on Niko’s Sea and Sun Tours.
Gotta love da islands.
It’s a beautiful boat, and we are excited to being the adventure. We motor slowly through the small bay before setting sail.
And we off! There is a gentle wind from the Atlantic (as usual), the sun is shining (as usual), and we are having a great time.
It’s not long before we are a few kilometers offshore, sailing into the wind, with no other boats anywhere near us. Perfect.
A man can be a man on a ship, and the women are glad of it. 😎
We hoped there would be a snack or two, but we are wrong. It is a feast. The chef cooks authentic island food, and the beer never stops flowing. Meanwhile, the crew tend to the lines and the sails.
Okay, here’s a little secret: our articles follow no particular timeline and, in fact, this is our wedding anniversary. 🙂 😛 😀
We sail past the northern tip of Saint Lucia before the Captain Nikos reverses course and we run with the wind back towards Rodney Bay.
It’s a beautiful day, a beautiful evening, a wonderful crew, and the perfect place to be.
After a few hours, we are back in the bay, and Nikos has backed the boat into the slip and secured it. We sit with them for perhaps fifteen minutes, talking of life, the island, and adventure, and then say our goodbyes, knowing the memories of this wedding anniversary are ours forever.
What else might we find in Saint Lucia?
So we head south along the coast highway (that also is the mountain highway) to see if we can find the Pitons, taking a pause to enjoy the vista of this colorful village.
As long as you stay on the road, you can’t miss the Pitons. Indeed, they are magnificent.
The Diamond Botanical Gardens, Mineral Baths, and Waterfall
According to signage: The Sulphur springs from which the town of Soufrière got its name are a weak spot in the crust of an enormous collapsed crater, the result of volcanic upheaval of gigantic proportions that took place some 410,000 years ago. Similar hot springs feed the mineral baths on the Diamond Estate built originally in 1784 for the troops of King Louis XVI of France so that they could benefit from the therapeutic waters. It is claimed that Empress Joséphine bathed in the original baths. In 1993 on the death of Mr. Andre du Boulay the former owner, his daughter Joan Devaux designed, restored, and planted these Gardens that you can enjoy today.
So, here we are at the Diamond Botanical Gardens, Mineral Baths, and Waterfall. And, being a botanical garden, there are plenty of plants.
You may recall that we encountered Heliconia in Hawaii. Well, this is a subspecies called Heliconia caribaea.
This is Heliconia acuminata, also called the False Bird-of-paradise.
Heliconia colantea, aka Lobster Claws, hang graceful in the forest.
A species of Hyacinth seems to glow bright pink against a background of green.
This appears to be a species of Asclepias, also called Milkweed. Most species are toxic, so we keep our distance.
Other signage tells us about Castor Oil Trees: This innocent looking tree bears one of the most deadly poisons known to man, “Ricin“. This toxin is made from the castor bean. Twice as deadly as cobra venom, two-tenths of a milligram is a lethal dose. However, once the oil from the bean is boiled and processed, it becomes the harmless “Castor Oil” known to most of us.
You may be wondering, “What about vanilla?” “Vanilla vine, also a member of the orchid family, climbs up the trucks of the cocoa trees or the fern (the natural hosts) leaving only its valuable aromatic pods when each flower is carefully pollinated by hand, preferable before 11am in the morning, otherwise, the flowers fall by night time.” (sic)
But all is not Heliconia, poisons, and vanilla; in fact, the gardens are a wonderful, cool place to relax and enjoy the beauty of nature.
We follow a path next to the small river and arrive at the base of the waterfalls. There is a small, shallow pool with grayish water. We decide not to partake in the mineral goodness. 🙄
Jardin Cacao Restaurant and Bar
While we are out and about, we stop at the Jardin Cacao Restaurant and Bar at Fond Doux Plantation for a bite to eat.
We don’t know what the menu has to offer, and we don’t care. We really just want to soak in the beauty of this place.
A Saint Lucia anole does its best to blend in with the artificial coloring of the post.
Isn’t Saint Lucia wonderful?
Chic Restaurant at the Royal
As long as we are on the subject of restaurants, let’s visit the Chic Restaurant at the Royal.
We are here in the evening, just before sunset, and we have a table next to the beach. Perfect, as always.
As the sky darkens, the restaurant illuminates the beach, giving us a most enjoyable view of the setting sun.
A cold glass of Chardonnay is the perfect way to begin a meal. Yum.
We see some flashes of light as a photoshoot takes place on the beach. (Sorry the photograph is so blurry, but it’s dark outside.)
Chardonnay to begin the dinner, and plenty of chocolate to finish it. Maybe not quite Island food, but I’m not going to complain. 😀
And that brings us to the end of our Saint Lucia vacation.
Yes, it’s one last gratuitous cheesecake photograph of me in my sidebood top. <Sigh>
We hope you’ve enjoyed sharing our wacky adventure in Saint Lucia! Kisses!!