St. Lucia (Loo-sha)
*one of the lushest of the Caribbean islands, with thick tropical rain forests and mountainous terrain (but not quite as rugged as St. Vincent.)
*its main landmark are the two volcanic rock pyramids called the Pitons (about 2,500 ft.)
*rule changed 14 times between France and Britain before England won it in 1814!
*1942 – a German U-boat sank 2 British ships in the capital city (Castries) harbor
*1979 – won its independence from England
*seems more French – its patois, Creole cuisine and names of places
*also NOT named by Columbus (outside his routes during his 4 visits to the New World)
*70% of the island's economy depends upon exporting bananas; agriculture is the mainstay
*has the only “drive-in” volcano in the world; last erupted in 1766.
On our 6 ¼ hr. tour: we saw:
*some of Castries (busy; run-down streets) before going uphill to a viewpoint above the city
*our driver did an amazing job on the steep, narrow winding mountainous roads with dozens of “hairpin bends”!
*At our restroom stop in the quaint fishing village of Anse la Raye, a fellow insisted on leading us to the restrooms and then hung around Ivan until Ivan gave up and tipped him $1
*Another guy asked if we wanted our picture taken with a boa constrictor. Bet you can guess my answer to that!
*The oldest town of Soufriere (1746) was badly damaged from a 2010 hurricane. Pretty setting for the town, nestled below Gros Piton and Petit Piton.
*Had a short tour of Sulphur Springs – the name for the stinky drive-in/walk-in volcanic area. After having been to Yellowstone this wasn't much at all but – it's all they've got!
*Morne Coubaril Estate – my favorite stop.
A guide pointed out flowers and trees; showed how the cocoa bean becomes chocolate; shared a sample of coconut water and meat, and freshly squeezed sugarcane juice (very
sweet), and then we had a snack of small sandwiches and some rum punch (yuck!)
a photo stop at an overlook of beautiful Marigot Bay where I tasted banana relish (now that was tasty!) Learned the old movie with Rex Harrison in Dr. Doolittle was filmed here.
Today was a long and good day but we were very weary from the long drive. A wonder some of the folks didn't get seasick from the bus ride as it was constantly rocking back and forth around the curves!