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This was the latest leg of my, tour of the Caribbean Islands, and one of the things I was looking for on the TA forum prior to our visit, was specific and detailed information on the trips to do when at TK & St Lucia. So as inspiration to others, herewith the info I was looking for.
Arrival - 2 hours on Sat eve, from the BA flight in a rainstorm.
Return- 1.5 hours on Wed afternoon, including picture opportunities, and trinket buying.
Therefore it could be done in under an hour, but only if Michael Schumacher was driving, and you enjoy playing Russian Roulette with the traffic.
Another point on travel, is that, as we were travelling Business Class, I thought we could get away with turning up an hour before departure. We were lucky then, that our return trip was half an hour quicker than scheduled, as they start the boarding 60 mins before departure, and finished shortly thereafter. You should definitely aim to be at check-in with plenty of time.
From some of the reviews, I was half expecting a jungle trail, which we would have to cut our way through with machetes.
However, whilst it is not a 6 lane highway, it is fully concreted, but with some biggish pot holes, which the hotel do have a constant ongoing repair programme to fix. My belief is that only a low slung sports car would have a problem with this road, and if you do go for the jeep option, you'll sail up and down in about 5 minutes.
We did book a table at the Rainforests Hideaway. TK now do a regular shuttle a couple of times a week, or will arrange individual Water Taxis at US$70 per couple. It's ten minutes by boat or 25mins by land taxi, but unless you are "extremely" susceptible to motion sickness, the boat transfers is the only way to go. The whole experience of leaving TK in the dark, seeing the resort lit up behind you, was very ethereal. The quick blast around to Marigot Bay (it's only a couple of miles as the Parrot Fish swims), gives a brief view of that part of the Island, and entering Marigot itself, with all the lights of the surrounding resorts reflecting off the water, is the very best way to start your meal, and you have not even arrived yet !! Mine-Host, Jean Renee, an extremely obliging gentleman, who happily conversed on the TA forum with me before the visit, and had arranged a table on the point for us. However, we arrived with another couple and asked if the two twos could be made into four. Now even at a large restaurant, right in the middle of service, this can be a problem. Yet with a casual wave of his hand Jean Renee conjured up a table for 4, on the point, and continued to provide a magical dinning experience for the rest of our evening. This meal trip should be on every TK residents "Must Do" list. We eventually left at 23:30, and the return water taxi, across a black sea, under the gleaming stars, is definitely a tick in the box of one of lifetimes memorable experiences.
Private Land Sea Tour with "Serenity", for two, although it has a similar basic itinerary to the many other versions available, being a bit of a control freak myself, I wanted to ensure it was just right, and that we would not be lost in the Cruise Crowds at some of the more popular spots. I must have exchanged dozens of e-mails with John at Serenity, honing down the details of our tour, to which he was able to accommodate precisely, or explain, that he could provide something better. We were picked up early in the morning and driven from TK, with several sight-seeing stops included, to the North of the Island, where we started the 'Sea' bit. We then cruised past Pigeon Island, viewed most of the West coast resorts, went through the Tunnel of Love, visited the Bat Cave, Marigot Bay, snorked on "Golden Reef" with sleeping Turtles, arriving eventually at Soufriere. Here we jumped on a taxi to see waterfalls, rainforest trails, the volcano, including a roll in the mud with Mrs Bunny-Man and rinse off in a red-hot bath. Lunch was included (as well as drinks all day on the boat), at the Beacon Restaurant, with fantastic views of the Pitons across the Soufriere valley.
Back on the speed-boat "Typhoon", we stopped at "Trou Diablo" for more snorkelling across a beautiful reef. Finally with Mrs BM in one hand, and an ice cold Piton in the other we cruised back to TK, 8 hours beginning to end. It was an idyllic day just the two of us, but these boats can take several couples if you want to share the cost. To be honest John at Serenity had it all covered without my over-organising, but it was kind of him to let me fuss about, and let me tell him his job.
We charted a 43' Yacht from Mystic Man, for a much more relaxed days cruising. We found two other couples through the TA forum, to share this cruise,. We shoved off at 9:30 from the TK dock, and cruised for a couple of hours to Jalousie where we snorked, and then had the included lunch on the boat in the shadow of the magnificent Pitons. These special mountains provided a picturesque back drop to the whole of the holiday. On the way back we drift snorkelled over the Pinnacles, and by now, even the slightly deep-water shy wife, was happy to jump into 150ft of Blue/Black water to drift over these amazing mini reefs. We also swam for over an hour at Anse Chastanet with it's protected Marine reserve, which has to be several football pitches in size, and has different habitats within its area, where we saw fish, from tiny cleaners to 5' Barracuda, and everything between. With another hour or so cruise back to the TK dock, this was another 7 hours of fantastic viewing of the beautiful Island of St Lucia.
One of my priorities on this break was to do as much snorkelling as possible, as we did not have time to do a proper dive. I'd spent a lot of time trying to discover whether the stated 'Best' Snorkelling spots , Anse Cochon, Anse Chastenet, Jalousie beach, are the only spots available, or whether other, more Dive specific sites, are also good for snorkelling. I am pleased to report that not only is it possible, but I would positively encourage anyone to try these other locations, as they are not frequented by the Party Cats and other tours, and therefore more populous in coral and fish. In our four days we snorkelled at: - Golden Reef, Virgin Cove, Lesleen M, Anse Cochon, Rosemond Trench, Anse Chastanet, Fairyland, Trou Diable, Keyhole Pinnacles, Piton Wall & Jalousie beach, with Anse Chastanet, being the best of the bunch.) Top Tip: Splash out on a water-proof housing for your digital camera - 10 times better than the water-proof 35mm snap cameras, and after a couple of holidays you'll have broken even.