The travel diaries, St. Lucia part 2

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If you ever plan a trip to St. Lucia, you absolutely have to spend the day at Pigeon Island. It is a park on a hill that used to be a fort at one time. You will find yourself surrounded by ancient relics in the most beautiful place in the world.

If you are staying at a Sandals resort do not buy the excursion there. Simply get yourself to the Sandals Grand St. Lucian resort. Then walk across the parking lot until you get to the enterance. You will see someone in what looks like a toll booth. If I remember right, we paid less than $10 per couple to get in.

I took the first picture from the top of the hill facing the Sandals resort. The resort itself is on the middle left hand side of the picture with the red roofs. This resort has a very impressive beach as well which we enjoyed. It also seems like a popular sailing destination.

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It was wonderful to travel with friends for many reasons. One of the best reasons was that we were able to get so many pictures together as a couple which we didn’t get in other locations. We both purchased expensive cameras to capture every minute of the best trip I have ever been on.

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This is a picture of Lisa and I sitting on top of a building within the fort.

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The view on top of the fort.

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The picture above is my favorite picture of Paul and I that was ever taken. We were able to explore the park at our leisure. It wasn’t crowded inside. The best part was that we could walk within the crumbling structures. It wasn’t cordoned off in any way. There weren’t any signs that cautioned danger. It was something that I know would be frowned upon if not downright illegal in the U.S.

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It was falling apart. It was dangerous. It was fun.

We were so in love with St. Lucia that we didn’t want to leave.

 

The travel diaries, St. Lucia part 1

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For our 15th wedding anniversary, Paul and I took a trip to the caribbean island of St. Lucia. It is the most beautiful place that I have ever been. I decided to break this into 2 parts simply because I had a hard time narrowing down the pictures that I wanted to post. Our friends Tom and Lisa also accompanied us on this trip.

We stayed at the Sandals Halcyon resort, one of three Sandals resorts on the island. My favorite resort, however, is the Sandals Grand St. Lucian. It was very large and had by far the best beach. The location was absolutely lovely (more on that tomorrow). Unfortunately, we had a room very close to the bar. It was where all of the hustle and bustle was and was loud at night. I would recommend asking for a quiet room. The beach was very small at the resort and flooded with vendors. I must have bought at least 3 bracelets before the trip was through. There was a dirty man that sold aloe vera on the beach too, rubbing it on the backs of guests for a small fee.

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While we were there, we booked a excursion with Joes Knows to see the Pitons and a volcano tour. We went with our friends and a couple of other people we didn’t know. The tour guides were top notch. They brought out the rum punch first thing. They cranked the party music and we were off. Our first stop was the Pitons. Above is a picture of us with the Pitons in the background. The tour guides said that the water is as deep as the mountains are high. We went snorkeling in the water near the Pitons. The water was very clear to see the tropical fish.

Then we stopped close to a bat cave. It was more of a crevice full of squeaking bats. We saw a resort that didn’t have any outer walls taking the open concept to new extremes. It was a very expensive place to stay. We saw celebrity homes. When we got closer to shore we saw young teens diving off of a cliff like they were performing for us. The tour guides said to not give them money even though they begged because they were school drop outs.

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There really was not that much to see at the volcano as I thought there would be. It was just a big mass of yellow steaming sulfer. Then we walked down the stairs and waited in a short line by a muddy river. We were instructed to paint each other with the mud from the river for pictures. After we finished, we sat with our friends in a dirty mud bath that was hotter than a hot tub. It was very relaxing. I would suggest wearing an older suit that you can throw out afterwards. The sulfer smell lingers in your suit for awhile.

After the calming hot mud bath, we toured a waterfall. We plunged into the cool refreshing waist deep water. Then took an ice cold shower in the waterfall. The hot mud bath and cold refreshing waterfall was therapeutic, similar to a day spent at the spa.

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On the way back to the resort, we stopped at a location where the Pirates of the Caribbean was filmed. I want to say it was called Lady Slipper. If you look closely you can see a high heel shoe in the rock formation. The guides said we could take a break and jump into the water. So that is what we did. The water was remarkably clear giving us the ability to see everything.

The water is so deep in St. Lucia that it is a great location for large vessels. We saw many sailboats and even a large cruise ship in the harbor. It was in St. Lucia that Paul sailed his first sailboat, a little Hobie Cat.

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Back at the resort, one night Paul decided to go to bed early. I always wanted to check jumping into a pool in formal attire off of my bucket list. So that is exactly what Lisa and I did. Tom took pictures, then we came up with a plan to have me talk it up and them to pretend that it didn’t happen until we saw the pictures at home.

There were many things to do at the resort. One evening we were entertained by a local steel drum band. I enjoyed the Piton beer and a special blender drink that I had a hard time replicating at home. We met some wild Canadians that didn’t seem to know what to do in sunlight and warm weather. The guy carried around a boombox on his shoulder that constantly played Fat Bottom Girls.

At night, we sat around the fire. The funny thing was that we met a lot of new people that were all Wisconsinites. We sat around commiserating about the winter weather that we had to return to. It was strange to be somewhere foreign but feel completely at home surrounded by people from our culture. There was also a large group of cats that roamed freely around the resort. Rumor has it that a Wisconsinite saw a large rat like creature in the trees that the cats ate. Who knows? All I know was that I liked seeing them there. After seeing what looked like a cat of mine that passed away, I thought it was cat paradise.

It sure was paradise for me.