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November 15, 2015 / oneworld82

Honeymoon, Part VI – Scenic St Lucia is truly Heaven on Earth!

We debarked at Castries, the capital city, and we boarded our tour that would bring us to the town of Soufriere, from where we’d take a catamaran all the way back to Castries.

Our tour guide, a friendly and informative local woman, explained in details what we were seeing along the way, and was very happy to answer all of our questions.

We started the tour driving through Castries. The city has a few notable features – especially the Catholic cathedral and Parliament building, but overall looks more like an overgrown village than anything else. It’s quite interesting to think that this is the seat of power of a nation, and that embassies seat here.

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Driving out of town we stopped on a hilly road to catch a spectacular panorama of Castries and its harbor. Panoramas are definitely a defining feature of the island, as winding roads climb up and down volcanic mountains granting beautiful views of valleys, forest, and the sea.

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St Lucia is the most amazing of all the islands we visited, in part because of its lush rainforest that covers literally 90% of the island. And as mountains go all the way to the sea, you have sandy coves surrounded by tropical rainforest everywhere – you can imagine how spectacular this is. We stopped by some local vendors, and for $1 we bought some super-sweet tamarind balls – a local treat.

We drove through banana plantations and mountain passes until we arrived at the town of Anse-La-Ray, a sleepy village of a few thousands perfectly nestled in a rare valley between green mountains. Here the beach is neither touristy nor particularly pretty, but it was a nice spot to spend a few minutes to observe fishermen working on the catch of the day, and to see all the boats on the shore – a sign that life is still business as usual (and as it was years ago) here.

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After buying the cutest doll at a local (tourist) market, we headed up the hills and mountains once more, until we reached the town of Soufriere. Soufriere is the second biggest town on the island, and it probably has 5000 souls calling this place home. An interesting feature of the town: its botanical gardens – where we stopped for about half a hour to learn more about local flora and where we saw some beautiful falls. Interesting fact: the gardens are part of a private residence, that the owner lets tourist visit for a nominal fee. Not bad as a backyard.

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After the gardens we drove to the local pier, and we boarded the catamaran for our journey back to Castries. Lunch was served aboard – a tasty mix of local favorites including breadfruit and taro. Overall, everything was good.

The Pitons are the most striking natural feature of Soufriere. This pair of steep volcanos – so steep and close to each other to look like straight out of a sci-fi movie set – is a sight to behold, from both land and sea. Truly awe-inspiring.

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And stunning is most of the island’s coast back to Castries. Forest and coves dot the hills falling deep into the sea, creating some amazing beaches, where we stopped for so,e balmy swims. Luxury hotels are perched on the hills surrounding the various coves – they reminded me of mountain goats skillfully standing on steep mountain sides.

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After thirty more minutes we reached Castries and our ship. We enjoyed our time in St Lucia a lot, as we got a good flavor of how this stunning country is like. If I have to pick one island among all the ones visited where I would go back, that’s surely St Lucia.

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