We just returned from 10 days in St. Lucia. My husband found Fabian's Island Tours online and saw some great reviews, so we decided to give them a try. So glad we did! Curtis was our driver and was so gracious and charming and knowledgeable. He catered to our every need! He picked us up at the airport and delivered us to our hotel on the first day, after providing us with a taste of the best sea moss on the island.
On day two he took us on an island tour where we got to sample so many local treats! We were able to sample fresh coconut water drunk directly from the coconut - plus the jelly from the inside. He stopped at his favorite bakery and gave us a loaf of creole bread, hot out of the oven. We went to the drive in volcano, where he delivered us to the best guide. I believe her name was Michelle (apologies if I got it wrong). She was very polite and knowledgeable about the island. She spoke with a lovely island accent, and her tone and cadence were so pleasant to listen to. I know that she must convey the same information over and over to folks as each new group come in to see the sulfer springs, and yet you would have thought that she was telling us our own special version of the story. She didn't speed through, or talk in a monotone. She actually spoke to us, clearly and slowly, so we could understand her. We could have spent all day listening to her! On the way out of the volcano, thanks to Curtis, we were sampling the local fried fish. Very, very tasty.
As we drove around, he knew that I wanted to taste St. Lucia's famous kassav bread - and took us to the best place to get it. We picked up several varieties! (not sure if the cherry or the chocolate was my favorite!!!)
All along the way he pointed out items of interest and told us about the local culture. One of my favorite sights was the arch. When we pulled over on the side of the road, I looked out onto the beautiful Caribbean sea... Curtis asked what I saw, and I said, "oh, what a lovely arch"... He asked me again, and I realized that the arch resembled a woman's shoe! Being a shoe girl, I thought it was very cool. That's the thing about Curtis, he leaves no detail to chance. Such a small thing, but all of those things added up to a very special experience.
On our next excursion with Curtis we went to Pigeon Island, Rodney Bay, Reduit Beach and Marigot Bay. As we drove from place to place, Curtis would point out the place we had just been to, so that we could have another perspective. We saw forts that have now been converted into schools, and jails used by the French centuries ago. All along the way, Curtis made sure to take pictures of us together. It's really nice to have pictures of both of us together, rather than having all your pictures being of just the "wife" or just the "husband". When we looked at the pictures later each evening, we agreed that they were beautiful. Curtis knew just how to get a great picture of not only us, but of the scenery - it was as if we were photo-shopped onto beautiful, St. Lucian postcards.
Along the way, we stopped at the local banana plantation, where we got to see bananas "being born". Curtis explained the history of the plantation and how the bananas are cultivated and marketed. Upon getting the opportunity to taste the "rejected" bananas, we agreed that they were the best we'd ever tasted. When we found that St. Lucia exports only its "perfect" bananas to the UK, we wanted to go there just to check out how much "better" these "perfect" St. Lucian bananas could be! :-)
We also went to the Diamond Botanical Gardens, where again, Curtis ensured that we had a wonderful guide. Alexander, "the walking internet", knew about every plant in the gardens! We even got to see both "snake men"... I read about one in the Foder's book on St. Lucia, but of course, in our travels, Curtis managed to pass another snakeman! Two for the price of one! :-)
It's not possible to say enough good things about Curtis and Fabian Tours. As I was making arrangements from the states to have Fabian's Tours pick us up at the airport, I corresponded with Fabian numerous times. I was touched at how thorough he was. As I posed questions, he not only answered me clearly and presisely, but he provided extra information that I would not have thought to ask. Unfortunately, today, so many folks are "in a hurry", but Fabian really took the time to ensure that I was prepared when I arrived in St. Lucia. I told him the kinds of things we were interested in, and asked for suggestions as to what would make sense logically (geographically) to see. He said that we could do whatever we'd like, and that he'd customize the trip to our liking. He was not kidding.
We also felt the prices very reasonable. We had a good portion of Curtis' day, and we felt that given his time committment, the gas, the treats he picked up along the way for us, and all of the great information he provided, it was a great deal.
If you're going to St. Lucia and would like to get around the island (or if you just need a ride to and from the airport), please call Fabian's Island Tours. You will not regret it. :-)
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