Day 4 of the cruise was the best day BY FAR! I had been looking forward to visiting St. Lucia since I first saw the photos of the Pitons on Google Earth when we first booked the cruise. I couldn’t wait to see those gorgeous mountains come into view backed by the Caribbean Sea. I knew it would be a moment of the cruise that I would never forget.
When we were talking about the next day’s activities the night before at dinner, Ashleigh mentioned that she and James and her mom would like to go with us if there was room with the tour group. Luckily, Cosol Tours had extra room for the day and they were all able to come with us. It was an awesome experience.
The first thing we saw when we started the tour was the Holland America HMS Noordam. This ship just happens to be the ship that Josh and I are spending our honeymoon on in May. I knew that it would be in port with us, so I made sure to get some photos of it. It looks like a nice (but significantly smaller) ship and we’re excited to sail on her.
This was one of the first sights that we stopped to photograph. It’s a natural bridge along the shoreline of St. Lucia near the town of Casteries. It was beautiful!
Our tour guide then took us to a banana plantation along the side of the road. We were able to sample fresh bananas (which are nothing like you get at the grocery store here in the states). They were very sweet and tasted amazing. This is what baby bananas look like.
A banana tree only produces one bunch of bananas in its lifetime. The tree takes 6 months to grow from planting to producing the bananas. When the tree produces it’s bunch, the bananas are harvested and then the tree is cut down to make room for new trees. The bags in the photo below replace pesticides. If the plantation owners cover the bananas with plastic bags, the bugs can not infest the bananas. It was pretty cool to see.
The cliffs of St. Lucia were pretty amazing.
This random guy was standing along the side of the road waiting for people to stop and pay him to hold his snake. It was a boa constrictor and we weren’t about to open the door of the van.
The views in St. Lucia were gorgeous. Early in the tour, Cosol took us to a private home and had a buffet set up for us. The food was incredible. There were fish cakes, coconut bread, banana bread, fried bread and tons of other kinds of food. This is only one of the tables that he had set up for us. There was a whole second table for us to sample from and there was plenty of food for us to fill up. He also had rum punch, local Piton Beer, and water throughout the whole tour.
Here is our first view of the Pitons and it was everything that I expected it to be. . . absolutely breathtaking.
Before we got to the Pitons, we drove into the drive-in volcano. The smell of sulphur was pretty strong and it was definitely an interesting experience being in the crater of an active volcano. We were told that if this volcano happened to erupt, the entire area that we had been traveling through that day would be obliterated.
We were also fortunate enough to be able to visit another waterfall. It was beautiful and Josh even dipped in for a few minutes. It was pretty cold though, so no one swam long.
As we got closer to the Pitons, I got some better photos. The beach between the Pitons is only accessible via water taxi because the Jalousie Plantation owns all of the land surrounding the beach. While beaches in St. Lucia are all public by law, the only way for people who do not happen to be staying at the resort to get to the beach is via water taxi. Getting to the beach was quite an experience and I will never forget it. It was one of the most amazing trips ever and I would do it all over again in a heart beat. Unfortunately, when we arrived at the beach, my dad fell out of the boat when he was trying to get out and ended up getting soaked before we even got to the sand. He wasn’t very happy about his experience, but I think he enjoyed the view never the less.
After we arrived at the beach, I decided to take my dad’s snorkeling gear and try out the wildlife preserve on one end of the beach. It was beautiful, but I didn’t last long because there was a defect in the snorkel and I was inhaling salt water, which is not a pleasant experience at all.
This school of fish was coming right for me. For those of you who’ve seen Finding Nemo, these fish all look like Dory. This video was shot by Josh on our way from the beach back to the tour vans after we were done with beach time. It was awesome. Unfortunately, my camera’s SD card ran out of memory as he shot the video, so we didn’t get all of the video that we wanted to. 🙁
These photos show the size of the Pitons up close, but there is absolutely no way to describe what a mountain shooting straight out of the ocean looks like. It was absolutely amazing!
Here I am right after boarding the water taxi to go back to the vans. You can see the private section that belongs to the resort in the background. I don’t think we’d ever be able to spend one night at this resort, but it looked incredible.
Here we all are riding on the water taxi back to the vans. Can you believe the color of the water?