It was my longtime dream to be able to get there, to Saint Lucia, and see the Pitons.
But you have to be careful about your thoughts, because they might become reality. And there I was, in Castries, at last.
After strolling around town, visiting the marketplace and enjoying the fair happening in the main square where a DJ was playing all kinds of Caribbean music, my husband and I met with the rest of the people taking the tour across the island, through the mountains.
I have to say, the driver showed some incredible skills climbing those tight corners (we were riding on the left side of the road), while other buses coming fast from the other direction just seemed to try to brush us...
Not to mention the steep slopes we could see from the windows right below us...
But all went well. The tour guide kept us pretty busy listening to all the info about what we were seeing, plus cracked some funny jokes too. She was absolutely delightful.
We had a chance to see Marigot Bay from a great viewing spot, and visit a fishing village where we got a couple cold, tasty local beers and a few souvenirs.
At a certain point, the driver stopped the vehicle around a bend: right in front of our awed faces stood the Pitons!
We all got out to take pictures: there are just no words to describe the impressiveness and beauty those volcanoes disclose as you get closer. You just have to go see them for yourself...
We were taken on a short tour to the famed "soufriere" (sulfurous volcano) by a guide already there to take us see the steamy and bubbling mud pools from up close.
We were also taken to a working plantation, the Morne Coubaril Estate with a nice botanical garden where we toured around and were showed the buildings were the products were processed: fruits, vegetables, sugarcane, cocoa beans.
A man was splitting coconuts with a machete and having us taste the fresh pulp inside it: there was a huge pile of discarded shells behind him, possibly created in the process of having the tourists taste the nuts while learning about the colonial times.
A sweet donkey was walking the wheel to squeeze the juice out of the sugar canes, getting the stalks as a reward, once out of the grind-stone.
On site, there were what appeared to be the remnants of the slaves' housing and sleeping quarters for you to enter and visit. Bed-frames, pots, pens, utensils etc. still there from those times. We were offered a nice meal and rum-punch to end it all.
Yet, the view of the Pitons glowing in the sunset, with an almost full moon above them, as we were leaving via the sea, will stay in my memory as a picture perfect from my favorite Eastern Small Antilles.
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