St. Lucia

 

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 Friday July 4th was our last day at Disney.  We had a rediculously early flight out of Florida to St. Lucia (via San Juan).  I think we had to get up at like 4:00 that morning to catch the Disney provided bus to the airport.  Of course we were REALLY early for our flight.  I did, however, catch my first sunrise in quite a while (I got a picture of it even).  I'm not sure it was worth the sunrise, but it did get us to St. Lucia early enough to enjoy some of the day.

We thought that we were going to fly into the southern airport Hewanorra International (which is the larger one) near Vieux Fort.  From there it's over an hour's drive to the northern part of the island where we were staying near Castries.  On the one hand it would have been nice to see the island, on the other hand it was supposed to be a long drive on some scary roads.  We got a pleasant surprise in that we actually flew into Georges F. L. Charles (Vigie) Airport.  This aiport is only a few miles from the Windjammer Resort.  This airport was the tiniest airport I've ever seen.  It had one runway which seemed more like a road than a runway.  Then, the "terminal" from entrance to exit was about 100 feet long.  One of the guys we met later in the week said that he actually walked past the baggage area and almost out the door.  It turned out that the departing area was a little larger with a store and a restaurant, but it was certainly an amusing first impression of St. Lucia.

From the airport we took a taxi to the Windjammer Resort.  Oh, and in case you're ever there, they expect a tip for carrying your bags five feet from the door to the taxi.  I was determined that that wouldn't happen on the way out, but while I wasn't looking a guy picked up our bags to give them to the people behind the counter.  I tried...

For a while we could have sworn that the taxi driver was taking us off to kill us.  Even so close to Castries (the capital) there's a lot of areas that seem hardly inhabited.  We drove through an area that I wouldn't feel comfortable walking through at night (which is true of pretty much the whole island actually) to get to the resort.  When we'd just about given up hope, we saw a small sign pointing the way.

I'll talk more about the Windjammer and the other things we did in their respective pages, but here's a summary of our experience in St. Lucia.

Upside

Beauty: It really is a beautiful island - as long as you're not looking in the direction of any buildings (Everything off the resort was Ugly).  The rainforest, the coastline and the flora in general are all amazing.

Activities: There are many many outdoor activities available.  There is water sports, hiking/biking, boating, diving, snorkling among others I'm sure.  If you're active and want to be in a tropical area, this is a good place to go!

Relaxing: St. Lucia was intended to be the relaxing part of our honeymoon, and it was!  Particularly at a place like Windjammer Landing, you can just hang out on the beach or by the pool all day every day.

People: While not as friendly as Bermuda, the people were still very friendly.

Windjammer Landing: We both liked the resort a lot.  We were a little disappointed in the beginning, but they have good facilities and many available activities as well as a daily schedule of things going on.  It's also in a great spot and with an ocean view from every room, how can you complain?

Jammer's: This is one of the other restaurants at Windjammer Landing.  It's the more casual one and had many treats from home.  After a few days, Melissa was craving a cheeseburger, and there one was!  Also, on the last day there I discovered they had a dish with curry in it.  I'd been craving curry for weeks.  It turns out that it's one of the common local dishes - chicken (or other) in a curry sauce wrapped in a tortilla like thing.

Rain Forest Hike: Apart from the rain and the ride back (in an open jeep - in the rain), this was really fun.  It was a bit disappointing when our guide (JR) told us after our one-hour hike that any native could have done it in fifteen minutes, not to mention when he whipped out his ringing cell-phone.  It kind of killed the "middle of the jungle" feeling!

Volcano: I'm putting this in the positives because I thought it was cool, but I guarantee you that 99% of you would be disappointed by it.  There's so little left of what was once a volcano and it's so hyped up, that you can't help but be a little disappointed.  I thought it was cool.

Botanical gardens: While the much-hyped waterfall here was a let down, the gardens themselves are beautiful.  The funny thing is that it doesn't look like it's tended much at all and in fact, many places on the island are like that just naturally!

Downside

Bermuda:   We were spoiled having been to Bermuda many times between us.  Ok, so we were spoiled just from that, but that's not what I mean!  We expected St. Lucia to be more like Bermuda than it was, and this tainted our experience for a couple of days before we came to terms with it.  It's not as clean, it's not as friendly, it's not as safe, and it's not a walking island.

The sun: It's stronger than you'd expect.  Remember, you're near the equator!  We both got sunburn the first time we spent even a half hour in direct sun.

Dragonfly restaurant at Windjammer Landing: This is supposed to be the premiere restaurant (of the three).  While it was physically nice, the food was not so good.  We're convinced that the chef was more interested in trying to be different than he was in making good food.

Weather: We went during the rainy season and it rained every day at some point (of course, the same was true of Florida).  It was also hazy most days, and we didn't manage to see a single sunset as the clouds formed up around that time every night!

Marigot Bay: I'm not sure why everyone talks about this place.  Maybe if you're sailing and need a place to stop for the night it's a great place, but for us it was pretty boring.

Being herded: Be careful if you take an organized tour.  We took one that sailed down the coast to Soufriere and hit the botanical gardens, the sulfur springs (volcano) and a plantation for lunch.  While each of those things was enjoyable, you barely got any time to wander.  If you can swing it, I'd recommend doing these things on your own.

Last Updated: Friday October 03, 2003 at 10:27:38 PM