Caribbean Day 3: Soufriere

I had internet for a few minutes this morning, enough to send out a couple of messages, crucially to the place I’d like to stay the next two nights in Marigot Bay. Then the power went down before I could contact the ferry company to try to buy my ticket to Martinique and Dominica. I’m not too worried though, with what I’ve seen of the island being empty, I can’t believe there won’t be some seats on the ferry.

Gary wasn’t completely broken; he was able to walk around fine. I’m actually a little sore myself in my control muscles, the hike was good cross training for the century I’m trying to manage in a few months. I had a great night’s sleep because of the hike. Gary was a bit bothered by all of the noise from the critters, but I slept right through it all.

We ran into the couple at our hotel in time for breakfast and continued on from yesterday waiting for the power to come back on so we could call our guy for the day’s activities. Things are running a bit behind schedule. By 11 we elected to use the expensive minutes on Gary’s phone to call our guide Gadson and get things rolling for the day. At 1pm we finally had our guide though it wasn’t Gadson, but a friend of his named Ricardo who worried me with his blood shot eyes. We were off though, and on with our day’s plans.

First up was off to snorkeling at Jalouise Beach, a resort beach. It was absolutely gorgeous and the resort was a bit too nice. I can see people just spending their entire time there and not really experiencing St. Lucia. The grounds were immaculate, and the each room was its own villa scattered across the hills between the Pitons. Our cab driver had said it on our way to Soufriere, but if you’re going to come to St. Lucia and just stay in a resort, why not just stay in Florida, it would be much cheaper. I think this was Gary’s first time snorkeling! He had trouble until he figured out his nose was supposed to be IN the mask. I’m proud I introduced this to him, though I wish I hadn’t assumed he knew what he was doing, he was probably a bit nervous and I didn’t give enough instruction. I also got to play around with my new waterproof point and shoot camera which was fun. I got some decent photos for a first time out I guess. The snorkeling wasn’t all that spectacular, but it’s a volcanic island, that’s pretty fresh so the diving isn’t going to ever be that all amazing. Still it was lots of fun. They had Hobbie cats there and I’d love to have gotten to sail one, but the wind was down and the price a bit high. It was relaxing and felt so like home to me, bringing back nice memories of my childhood. If I had to pick one thing I miss from our cruising the south pacific as a kid, it would be snorkeling. Having rented from the hotel we could go

Our next stop was at the Piton waterfall which flows with hot water. It was really pleasant, lounging around in manmade waterfall pools of hot spring water. Our “guide” for this little side excursion went by the name Bushman, who lead us all of a couple minutes down a path. Gary and I lounged around for nearly an hour enjoying the waterfall fed hot tub, letting the sore muscles and my poor sore knee recuperate. When we were done we walked back up the path and Bushman was there waiting with Mangos and a coconut he said were for us. I thought he was looking to amp up his tip, and when he asked if we wanted to drink the coconut or take it back to our hotel I didn’t think much of it and said we might as well drink it now. He knocked the top off and we enjoyed the coconut, and once we had finished he said he wanted $20 US for it. What?! Gary tries to negotiate him down, but this is a con! We’re not negotiating. We walk back up and talk to our actual guide and yells at Bushman and eventually Gary concedes to pay him a slightly higher tip, about $4. I’m still quite annoyed with that. For the most part the people here have been nice, and though the prices have been high, they aren’t individually conning the tourists, I feel like some value was reached and most people are happy to pay it and that’s that. It’s not underhanded, though it is annoying. But every once in a while I swear we run into a sleazebag. I’m already not the type to trust anyone I’m traveling with.

With a bad taste but some coconut in my mouth we headed off to the last stop, the “drive in volcano” which is really as it turns out just an area of bubbling hot springs. Yawn. Not worth the $8 at all. Gary was amused though. I’m sorry St. Lucia, I’m going to let you finish, but Iceland had the best bubbling hot springs of ALL TIME!

We headed back though content with our day, and plenty relaxed. Doing the hike the day before was a great decision. The internet was back when we arrived, and Tyrone was there to chat with. I was nearly able to confirm tomorrow night, but at least know as of right now it’s not occupied before the internet went out again and it was time for dinner. I also got to chat with Jennifer a bit on AIM which made me happy.

We happened to time our dinner with Maggie and Tyrone and made sure they weren’t looking for a romantic evening for the two of them, as it turns out they wanted the company after spending the first few days here alone. So we moved our silverware together onto a table for 4 and had an excellent meal chatting, drinking “vin blanc”(all the label said), and enjoying a pretty solid meal for the St. Lucian price. Maggie and Tyrone’s company has been a bit of a highlight over the last couple of days. It was a good day all in all, and now it’s time to hit the sack. I’m hoping our next place has solid internet and all of these journal entries that are backing up can get published. I know my family and maybe a couple of friends are looking forward to reading these and probably want to know what’s been going on.


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