My friend laughed and she said, “I can’t believe you’re actually here.” Neither could I, to be honest. My trip to St Lucia was impulsive and shortly planned, other than the fact that I was getting a free accommodation (which was great). However, when I did, I went for a month and a half – a gift to myself for completing university. I glanced to the passenger seat and the other person that was flying out later that day, took another mouthful of chicken roti, stuffing his face with as much as he could.
“This thing is so good you know,” he munched down another big bite as the car swerved and turned into more curving roads. St Lucia’s roads were a lot of curves and swerves – if you suffer from road sickness, I’d suggest you make all preparations to fight the nausea.
My trip was unexpected, especially because I travelled to an Island surrounded with water. Truth is I’ve never really liked the ocean. The water scares me. The vast expanse of its reach is unsettling and fear inducing. To me, I prefer the boarders of a swimming pool; it’s far more calming, somehow. I see the boarders as a way to keep me safe, and they usually do. However, St Lucia had no boarders, no restraints. The boarders were the sea itself, but I went anyway.
We stayed in Soufriere, a small coastal town to the west of the Island. Once upon a time, it belonged to the French. Soufriere is by far one of the best places to visit and stay in St Lucia. It may not be the most glamorous or tourist friendly, like the island’s capital, Castries, but it makes up for it through the many things it has to offer. Soufriere’s scenery is beautiful from wherever you look, from your house, hotel or even the streets, if you look high enough, it’s sure to amaze you.
For us however, our neighbours were cows, who were kind enough to wake us up every morning, as the sun rose at the five or 6 am. Well, our neighbour had the cows.
Petit Piton and Botanical garden
I fought my way up the Petit Piton, as my legs yelled out from pain, crawling behind our guide that jumped up the mountain like some mountain spider that had probably climbed it a thousand times. Before starting, I assumed I was fit, I thought I was in good shape. Oh, boy was I wrong. The climb was only about 25 minutes, but I wanted to stop after the first 10. There was no way I was going to attempt to climb the Gros Piton. No way!
Instead, we took a tour through the lovely botanical garden, which had many species of flowers and produce. Then we ate.
Boat rides and Jungle Juice
As we stepped on the yacht, we were a given a cup filled with an orange yellow juice-like substance.
“What is it?” One of the passengers asked. The host glanced back at the DJ and turned back to us with smirk.
“Jungle juice,” he said, giggling a little.
“Jungle juice?” I echoed back, hesitantly accepting my own and looking in the harmless –looking cup. Jungle juice did not conjure up and sense of calm or stability, which is what I thought I needed at the time. No, I needed it, we all did, after nearly finishing an 80% white rum bottle (which the locals thought we were going to use to clean a wound) the night before and returning to the house at 5AM. The day before that, we had cocktails on the beach. Moreover, days before that we had a series of cocktails with our meal at the botanical garden. So yes, stability was probably was we needed, a detox of some kind, not the jungle.
However, I accepted it anyway and took a quick sip to gauge the level of alcohol in the drink. It was nice. Sweet. I smiled as I took a long sip. In the past, I should’ve known and learnt my lesson that the nicest concussions are usually the most dangerous.
After two or three servings of said juice, I simply lost count and myself to the music and waves of the sea. We went past dancing seals and peeping dolphins, that only came up to get attention. By the end of that yacht ride (about 2 hours), not many people were able to walk the same way they walked on – it was hilarious.
After a few days of calm, including visits to the local natural volcanic sulphur springs and visits to the capital, Castries, we visited one of the most beautiful views in the whole of St Lucia (in my opinion), the Jade mountain. Depending on which side of the resort, at the mountain, you get a full 360° of the whole of Soufriere
By the time we visited Rodney Bay, we had already Pigeon Island, visited different beaches, and other local and tourist locations. However, we had about a week left, so we decided to go up to Rodney bay for a few days, before we had to return home.
Rodney bay, is probably as you’ll expect it, a bay with many, many boats, and bars by the sea. The street party was an experience, to say the least. There were other things going at the same time as the party and slightly afterwards. So many things to do the make the party going, from party after parties, to restricted houses to special events. On the last night, we made sure to make use of every hour, from the dawn to dusk. It struck us unexpectedly that our time was ending. We had made unexpected friends and experienced a lot, in such a short time. It was a milestone in our lives.
Saying goodbye and good day
To keep the party going after being the last group in the club at 5AM, we headed to the beach. When we arrived, we were the first there, other than a handful of others – mostly workers. The white sand went on for miles and appeared golden in the morning sun. Two of our group rented a canoe and went far into the Caribbean Sea; another two played music through their phones and danced under the morning sun. Another laid on the sun bed, with shades on and relaxed.
I looked out to the seemingly endless expanse of the ocean that I once feared, absorbing it all. A smile curved on my lips knowingly, because it was no longer fear that I felt. Not long ago, I dropped in the ocean from a jet ski, and had tried to swim back to shore, with no luck. We had taken a boat ride through a cave, a natural passage in the sea, with water so clear, the fishes appeared to glow.
We were all there, together. Together, we had fought, laughed, danced, cried, and most importantly, we exchanged lasting memories. Like the sea, we were singular, but felt infinite.
This past weekend has been an exciting and busy one. I moved houses and was able to get a discount with booking.com, by following this link; all readers will be able to get a £15 discount off any booking (working to increase this for readers).
NOTE: as of 22nd, The Enigmatic Blackbird has become an official affiliate of Booking.com