Sunday, February 7, 2010

Castries, St Lucia

Our fourth port in St Lucia on Thursday was probably my favorite day on our trip.  I booked us a tour that I found on TripAdvisor called Cosol Tours.  I expected a mom and pop type tour company with maybe 10-15 patrons.  What I got was a mom and pop tour company that through word of mouth and great reviews has become huge!  There were at least 120 people on the tour from our ship alone taking up 10 large vans.

The owner Cosol communicated via email with all people requesting tours and his tours try to show you as many of the sites in St Lucia as possible in a day's time.  The tour was supposed to be 5-6 hours but ended up being 7.5!  We got back to the ship just 1 hour before setting sail again.  Our driver was Samuel from Africa so his buddies called him "The African" since there was also another driver named Samuel with the company.

Our first of many stops during the day is one of St Lucia's most famous vistas.  This stone arch was featured in the Pirates of the Caribbean movie.

We next stopped to view a banana plantation.  These blue bags are put on the bananas to prevent animals from eating them and from UV exposure.  They gave us banana directly from trees and they were so much better than any Del Monte and Chiquita banana I've ever had.  They are so much sweeter!

They took us to so many beautiful overlooks during the tour. 

One of St Lucia's most famous spots are the Piton's on the southwest coast of the island.  They are made during an eruption of a volcanic vent that was plugged.  The large one is the Gros Piton and the smaller one is the Petit Piton.

From there we went for breakfast at a house in the village of Soufriere.  Turns out that the house we went to was Cosol's and person that cooked a breakfast feast for all 120+ of us was his wife.  The food was super tasty and we got to try many native foods to St Lunia.

Next we went to an active volcano where you can literally drive into the crater.  Steam is constantly being vented and smells like rotten eggs.  I guess that is why they call it the sulfur springs. ;)

We then went to the most beautiful place on our entire trip, at least in my opinion.  We took a water taxi to a beach located between the two Pitons.  We spent an hour playing in the water, relaxing on the beach and doing a little snorkeling at a reef near the beach. 

The last attraction of the day was the Diamond Botanical Garden and waterfall.  Sw swam in the waterfall and then walked through the gardens.  We saw this neat flower shown below as well.


On the way back to the ship, Samuel stopped and picked us up a traditional St Lucian lunch of warm bread and cheese.  You think bread and cheese and it doesn't sound all that interesting but it was really tasty and can see why people like to eat it all the time!

Back on the ship, as we pulled out of port, we got treated to an amazing sunset after an amazing day in St Lucia.

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