Tuesday, August 21, 2012

St Lucia 2012

Wend and I in the 'British Pub at Sandals Grand, St Lucia August '12



Wend and I awaiting to eat our delicious dessert in the Bayside Restaurant where we also had most of our breakfast's.


Mistakenly we decided to do the 'zip line' trip. Don't take this the wrong way, thoroughly recommended just you have to be a little fitter than us wold be our recommendation before you try but still a great experience.
Prepped and ready - or so we thought - love the hairnets but imperative unless you would like a bold spot or two.
Wend does a great job after finding out there are '12' slides which include one that allows you to reach 60 mph plus and another that is over 120' above the ground

Here she goes after completing #8 of 12, the highest of the 12 and a great job considering she is absolutely scared of heights and the start of this on requires you to walk straight off of the 120' plus high tree based platform.
I follow suit.

No problems at all at the time!

Coming in to land all is good.  After #12 and the fastest all is good until the next day.  An old back injury from 1992, i.e. a torn lower back muscle reveals itself twenty damn years later - oh the memories - this keeps me in a very poor state of mobility - we have to fly back in two days, have two days at home and then four in NYC.  Last year it was my knee and this year my back - what a pratt - well painkillers, sprays and lots of Guinness are on order and let's see what happens!

Our wonderful chauffeur Sonferra and the BMW 750iL we had the pleasure of ridding in for a day - much recommended.

Our wonderful chauffeur and his bosses Hayabusa  who actually rode past us during out return leg back to the resort - he rides it too - believe me.

The Sandals tower at night

Yes the World continues to rotate but maybe a little faster this evening!

A nice touch by the Sandals people prior to bedtime - it's the little things that make things special.

A cruise ship docked at Castries, the capital of St Lucia, while the passengers collect souvenirs.

Castries adjacent to the Governor's mansion.

Overlooking the port at Castries - notice the pyramid shaped building to the stern of the ship.

The Governor's Residence at Casteries. Her Excellency Dame Pearlette Louisy, is the St Lucian Head of State and the Queen's representative. The mansion's corner stone is dated 15 October 1894 and the grounds are 15 acres sitting on Morne Fortune.

Wend with the capital city of Castries below and behind.
The town of Anse la Raye which means 'bay of rays'

The church in Anse la Raye

Sea Food Fridays, Saturdays.......Sundays.....Thursdays!
Views of Soufriere where we stopped for a delightful lunch during our day trip on the Island.
Soufriere was St Lucia's first capital until it burnt down. Thereafter it relinquished it's role to Castries a little further north which has also burnt down three times but never lost it's primary role.

The Pitons

Soufriere with the Pitons behind.

Our vehicle is parked adjacent to the restaurant we had our lunch at and the rainforest completes the background. The town of Soufriere down below.

The Saint Lucian volcano just outside of Soufriere which the town is actually built upon. The crater is 7 acres and with the Sulphur Springs are part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site  

The UNESCO site.
The UNESCO site which can be seen from the plaque below was accredited due to meeting two Criterion, I having outstanding examples representing major stages of the earth's history and III, superlative natural phenomena or areas of exceptional beauty and aesthetic importance. 

Apparently the Pitons, consisting of Petit Piton and Gros Piton, are also known for Trinity - with the 'small' peak seen above and below on the side of Petit Piton being the baby Jesus.

Worth a visit and not far from Soufriere the Diamond Botanical Gardens, Waterfall and Mineral Baths. As can be seen above the original bath was built in 1784 and that 'Not tonight Josephine' frequented these parts being a raised in an adjacent plantation.  Another interesting fact was that the waterwheel that was constructed for the mill eventually provided electricity to the town at apparently very modest cost. The wheel has been recently refurbished.
Pleasant walks with numerous tropical plants lining the routes, signed well to advise what they are and interesting specifics.

Wend looks at a big red thing - yes despite the fact we wondered around these wonderful gardens we are not botanists - David Bellamy has no fears.

Through the gardens that supplies the waterfall is the appropriately named Diamond River that starts some 2 miles away at the volcano and contains traces of sulfur, copper and manganese which can change the color of the river depending on which element is more dominant.   

A small lizard appears on bamboo which is extremely prevalent in St Lucia.

A very scarce species in St Lucia, rarely spotted, thank  God - the "Toothless Pappadopulosauraus" with mate.

The Diamond Waterfalls.

Interesting - wonder how many 'trumpets' have been misplaced over the years despite the sign!
Prior to dinner at the "Barefoot at the Beach' Restaurant.

The bust of Charles Eugene Gabriel De Croix, Marquis de Castries 1727 - 1800 in Constitution Square Castries.

Wend in front of the Marquis during our day visiting the markets in the capital - a worthwhile trip only 20 minutes from Sandals Grand.

Pigeon Island which is National St Lucian landmark was a great place to visit, a day long adventure and only $5 each.  The Island, which was truly an island until the 70's when a causeway was built to join it to the mainland is full of history and was a very important strategic area 300 years ago to ensure who had this island controlled their crucial sugar producing fortunes. 

Fort Rodney from Signal Hill.
The island of Martinque (24 miles away) where the French enemy would launch, unsuccessfully due to Pigeon Island, attacks to attempt to takeover St Lucia.

Our resort, Sandals, Grand, one of three Sandals on St Lucia.
Our resort from Signal Hill, the highest point on Pigeon Island - note the annual St Lucian Jazz Festival is held here with artists such as George Benson.

Sandals, Grande, St Lucia.

The gentleman below was a local market trader we bought some wing chimes from.  He writes his own mantras such as the one above his store in the market that his mother and grandmother before worked at - Jah Man!

General shots of the resort at Sandals.

A local selling mango's and coconuts from his 'flagged' boat blowing his conch to advise the bathers of his imminent arrival and to keep out his way in-case he hits them due to his high speed.

Sandals watersports facilities with Pigeon Island behind.

Gordon's restaurant, Sandals, with Fort Rodney behind.

One of the Sandals snorkeling/SCUBA boats.

Moi in the Sea with friend.

The flags of the guest's countries at Sandals.

Wend on the top of Signal Hill - quite a strenuous walk.

Wend and I on top of Signal Hill.

Rodney Fort from Signal Hill
One of two Nobel Prize winners born on St Lucia - both in the same year!  Sir Arthur here is buried in the grounds of the college named after him which can be seen below.

Memorial to the 27th Inniskilling Rgt who captured Morne Fortune in May 1796 from the French.

The college at Morne Fortune named after the Nobel Prize Winner William Arthur Lewis.

A cemetery on Morne Fortune that has some noble interns!

The grave of the 2nd Native Governor (73 - 74) Sir Ira Marcus Simkons, 1917 - 74

Major General James Alexander Farquharson, Governor of St Lucia, 1831 until his death in 1834.

Margot Bay which was a strategic location for Admiral Rodney's ships that would hid in the Bay, hidden from view of the French ships who would sail past then Rodney would sail out behind them and surprise attack.

The Musket Redoubt between Fort Rodney and Signal Point on Pigeon Island.

The path up to Fort Rodney.

Wend reads about Fort Rodney with a photo of the board below.

Cacti on Pigeon Island adjacent to Fort Rodney.
Wend with a cannon in front and Signal Point
Signal Point from Fort Rodney

Rain Clouds in the distance.

Para-sailers approach from the south - a little different then the French in Admiral Rodney's day.
Our beach and accommodations as seen from Rodney
A George Regina cannon at Fort Rodney.
A rain shower is en route - lasts fro 5 to 10 minutes then gone!
Rain Shower approaches.

Snorkelers do their thing in Gros Islet Bay 
Looking down from Fort Rodney
A typical rain shower approaches.

I relax between drinks