St. Lucia

Arriving in St. Lucia; Dennery, resort and Friday night Jump Up in Gros Islet.

My dream destination for as long as I could remember was St. Lucia.  I was always in love with the island, the Pitons, the rain forests, the beauty.  We finally decided to break out of our Mexico routine and head on down to gorgeous St. Lucia.

Flights to St. Lucia are not as plentiful as elsewhere.  We choose Delta, flew down on a Tuesday and spent a week.  One plane a day leaves from Atlanta and we arrived around 2 pm at Hewanorra International Airport.  An acquaintance of ours that lives there arraigned for her driver to pick us up at the airport. Nicky met us up with cold drinks and a friendly face.  He chatted with us for the hour ride to the resort.

We stopped in the town of Dennery for a pit stop and to admire the view.

The views were stunning. Don’t judge the attire, it was 15 degrees when we left Pittsburgh!

While there, Nicky asked us if we liked rum punch.  Of course, we said yes.  Located on the lookout point is a bar called Nikki’s Bar.  They had a barrel of rum punch that was filled with some sort of sticks, twigs, and scorpions.  We were hesitant, but when in Rome… The punch had more than a kick and a dixie cup full was all we needed.  It actually was delicious but so strong!

We continued our ride to the resort.  The island is full of banana trees and we drove past thousands of them.

During the ride, we learned a lot about the island.  Bananas are their biggest crop, they do have a prison and their biggest crime is fraud. The people are friendly and do not live in poverty.  The school systems are pretty advanced, each region is broken up into districts and each district wears a different uniform. The biggest thing we noticed is that there were people walking and running everywhere. We were told that they are very into fitness and make it a point every day to find time to work out.

The roads are torturous and winding around the mountains. They are steep and they drive on the right.  We were glad we had a driver.  We arrived at our resort already in love with the island.  I am leaving the resort unnamed.  We had several issues and it is now permanently closed, so it no longer matters. There were some positives though.  The location of the resort was heaven. It was located in a stunning cove with a pristine beach. We were very pleased with that.

Our beach view the afternoon/evening we arrived. Beautiful beach and warm water.

The next three days we dove with Dive Saint Lucia.  More about that later. On Friday nights in Gros Islet the entire town shuts down for their weekly Jump Up. They way Nicky described it to us was that it gives the locals and the tourists a place to unwind and relieve the stress of the week. Nicky drove us there and we were to call him when we were ready to leave.

Our first stop was to eat.  They have an area set up where they are cooking massive amounts of fresh fish at lightening speeds.  We waiting in line for about 30 minutes and it was worth it! We opted for barracuda and swordfish with a few sides.  We found an empty corner of a picnic table and began to eat. Wow was the fish delicious!!  Minutes later it started to pour and without panic, everyone picked up and crammed inside the tiny outdoor bar with a room for some cover.  I don’t even think people stopped eating.  It rained for a few minutes and stopped.  Everyone went back outside to their seats and continued eating as though nothing had happened. It was wonderful to see people get along that well.

We ate and decided to explore. People had stands set up with souvenirs and of course, rum punch. We tried a bunch and not one was bad.  We found a bar with outdoor seating, Frydays and grabbed a seat. The owner immediately greeted us with, you guessed it, rum punch as a welcome cocktail.  We ordered a few drinks and people watched.  Kids were running up and down the main street, locals, and tourists.  People were laughing and were genuinely happy.  Everyone that walked down the street said hello. I have honestly never been to a place with nicer people.

We left there about midnight with a parting gift of rum punch (seriously, if you hate rum you’re out of luck down here) and Nicky drove us back to the resort. That night the resort had a steel drum band that was out of this world.  They played until maybe 2 am, it was wonderful.

Please see my next post on our day exploring the island and more!

~M

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