St. Lucia Interior

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Because we stayed for most of hurricane season, we decided to explore some of St. Lucia's interior.
We took a drive up into the mountains and south along the coast road.  At a convenient location, we stopped to admire the view back down over Rodney Bay.  Where's the Bay?
Here, let me use a tricky telephoto shot.
Our driver was Vision Lewis and I would recommend him very highly.  We had asked him to show us local fruits and vegetables.  Every few minutes, he would screech to a stop, jump out and if possible pick us a sample.  Before the day was done, we had a 20 lb. sack of fruits.
We were to find out that Vision is quite an extraordinary person.  He is a hard working man, a devout Rastafarian and as honest as they come.  We hired him to polish our boat and refinish our teak.  He was punctual and professional in his execution.  We were very pleased!
Bread fruit tree.
Sour apple tree.
Papaya tree.
This is the countryside near Castries.
Castries - more detail.
Castries - ball park.
Settlements along the coast south of Castries.
Crossing over the mountain provides a view of the interior.
Interesting house on stilts high on the mountain pass.
Marigot Harbor, one of the most picturesque places in all of St. Lucia.  Typically, some money hungry minions from the marina covered the entire anchorage with you-pay-for-it mooring balls.  Of course, it was all done in the name of conservation. Bah - a pox on their families!
If you want to piss them off, just tuck around the corner south of Marigot and have this pristine anchorage all to yourself.
Here was a banana plantation that had been  decimated by
hurricane Dean.
Back side of Anse La Raye.
Coast side of Anse La Raye.  We came back here for their famous Friday night beach Fish Fry.
This pretty young lady was managing a gift shop overlooking Asne La Ray.  Needless to say, we bought stuff.
The land here is lush with vegetation and when you walk into the bush the canopy cuts off the sunlight.
We took a walk up this river bed to one of the more accessible waterfalls.
That's the falls around the corner and about a quarter mile distant.
Vision sat down here and I thought he was taking a moment to meditate, but he was actually watching another guide traverse the falls.  The other guide was professionally outfitted with ropes and all manner of mountain climbing gear.
Suddenly, Vision stood up and headed up the falls.  At the base, he turned, waved at us and proceeded to climb the sheer face with bare feet and no climbing aids.
The other guide, who was descending, stopped in surprise at the sight  of Vision scaling the falls.  Vision passed the man, turned around at the top and descended again while this fellow watched in amazement.
The other guide shook his head, not believing what he had just witnessed.  Later, Vision confided that he had been climbing that waterfall since he was a child.  Experience does count!
If I remember correctly, this is Anse des Canaries.
One of the big tourist attractions, "The Pitons."
The town at the base is Soufrière.  Unfortunately, it has become an infamous tourist trap and a group of malcontents are causing problems for visitors and locals.
Friends on El Shaddai stopped in here and went for some lunch.  It was Sunday and people filled the main dock.  Vandals broke the throttle handle, pulled the drain plug and poured suntan lotion over the interior.  No one did a thing to stop them.
Hummingbird Beach Resort has a particularly nice restaurant on the property.  We dropped in for lunch and found that the food was fabulous and priced right.
In the bar, we saw this batik hanging; we didn't ask the price.
This is the view from Hummingbird's dining lounge.  I could have gone down to the pool and spent the rest of the day.  Nope - it was off and traveling again.
Another big attraction in Soufrière is the Diamond Botanical Gardens.  This is professionally staffed and you get a guide assigned to you to explain everything.
If you want to see gorgeous flowers, click the The Garden.
This table was setup to show what was growing that is indigenous to St. Lucia, but I had noticed a cheeky little bird doing his best to cart off the exhibits.
That's the master thief dashing out of view now.
This is part of the mineral baths being excavated and restored.  Originally built by the French around 1784, they are in pretty good condition.
The falls behind us are unusual in that as the season changes the mineral content from the Soufrière volcano varies.  The face of the rocks change colour according to the season.
Next we were off to the volcano and of course, we had another guide.
This is a pretty quiet volcano.
Because of the high sulfur content, you can smell the volcano miles before you actually see it.
Occasional belch and steaming burp - that's it.
We circle around toward Castries again and stopped to admire this streaming falls.  Unlike many of the falls, this was spring pure and if we had wanted, we could have bathed here.
Government House overlooking Castries.
Castries harbour near Vigie Point.
Castries harbour looking north east.
Castries shipping terminal.