Sunday, 21 June 2015

St Lucia in the Caribbean

Rodney Bay, St Lucia ©Solange Hando

St Lucia is a true Caribbean dream with beaches so vast they appear almost deserted mingling with pretty coves like the upmarket Marigot Bay and sleepy fishing villages such as Anse la Raye.

Rodney Bay is the main tourist hub and only a short drive from Castries, the capital, where jazz and modern art share the highlight with duty-free emeralds, diamonds, batik and palm-leaf hats in the local market.

Safari in St Lucia ©Solange Hando

Then, when you want a change from shopping or the beach, you can enjoy an inland adventure, maybe with a spot of trekking for good measure, a dip in a waterfall and an exciting ride through the hills, past lush banana plantations.

Look out for the Botanical Gardens and their multicoloured waterfall and the world's largest drive-in crater spewing out sulphurous fumes.

The Pitons, St Lucia's Iconic Landmarks ©Solange Hando

Just below, near the aptly-named town of Soufrière, the Gros and Petit Pitons rise straight from the sea, attracting ramblers and hikers but not an easy climb for the unprepared, especially the smaller of the two peaks which is the harder to tackle.

The views are superb but it's best to keep to the paths for deep in the bushes might lurk a fer de lance, said to be the most venomous snake in the world.

View from Pigeon Island in St Lucia ©Solange Hando

When you get back down, exhausted but exhilarated, the sea beckons and the good news is, you get two for the price of one as pictured above: the dark blue Atlantic Ocean (left), often wild and windy, and across a mere strip of white sands, the calm translucent waters of the Caribbean Sea. 

What more could you ask for at the end of the day?
A spectacular sunset?
That can be arranged, most of the time...

Sunset on Rodney Bay ©Solange Hando

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