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Friday, 29 April 2016

ST LUCIA is a live volcano surrounded by rainforest and beach


St Lucia is a Caribbean dream! The rain forests are a a beautiful green backcloth. The gardens a blaze of colour. When we arrived at the cruise terminal there was no shortage of people offering bus tours, water tours etc. There is a big difference in the pricing. We went to the tourist information for a map and some guidance as to what was a fair price. There were all the usual arts and crafts on sale in the terminal as well as some hand painted silk dresses, which were pricey but gorgeous!

 We wanted to visit the volcano. We palled up with another couple of tourists who were looking for the same thing and managed to negotiate a very reasonable price. 30 dollars with stops along the way. Our driver was very friendly and informative. We got out of the coach to get stunning views of the white sandy beaches and the sparkling blue sea.
We also stopped to get a view of the Pitons and take some photos. The Pitons are the most famous landmark in St Lucia. Called Gros Piton and Petit Piton, they are said to be spines of lava that were thrust up from the craters of two volcanoes. They are magnificent. They have come to symbolise the wild beauty of St Lucia. Apparently the smaller one The Petit Piton is supposed to be the hardest to climb, but I wouldn't fancy my chances on either of them! Our next stop was the Diamond Botanical gardens. Because of the amount of rainfall, the plants and vegetation are lush. There is a small, pretty waterfall and some hot baths which are meant to have healing properties if you suffer from back pain, rheumatism or arthiritus. Next, I was very excited to arrive at the live Volcano, behind Soufriere.  The stench of rotten eggs was overpowering but that is apparently good because if you can't smell anything it means that the volcano is about to erupt! You must be careful. Apparently a few years ago one of the guides fell in to the hot lava and lost his legs. They are very strict now about where you can and cannot walk. Understandably so! At the bottom of the volcano you can bathe in the mud baths supposedly the fountain of youth. If you want to do this it would be a good idea to take a costume that is old and that you don't mind getting ruined. The mud is very thick and smelly. I was tempted but I didn't go in. Then afterwards I wished I had as the two ladies that came with us said that their skin felt wonderful, and actually they didn't smell. There are showers that you can use after you have finished.The day in St Lucia went so quickly. It was so interesting, so much to see. I would have loved to stop at some of the pretty fishing villages and we had planned to get off the bus at the centre of the city in Derek Walcott Square, where there is a beautiful Roman Catholic Cathedral but we ran out of time as we were enjoying ourselves too much at the volcano and we didn't want to miss the ship!!

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