St Lucia

Rejuvenate (v) to make (someone) feel or look young, healthy, or energetic again. –Merriam Webster

(View of Rodney Bay and Reduit Beach from Pigeon Island)
St Lucia, simply beautiful. Or simply rejuvenating. Between lounging around at the beach and venturing around the island with my other half, I took this time off very seriously by relaxing to the fullest. I am fortunate to have family living in St Lucia now so I have even more of a reason to visit. A year and a half ago my mom opened up a bed and breakfast in Rodney Bay, a town a few miles north of the capital Castries. Last year I stayed for a month during my Christmas holiday from school and my third trip to the island was this past March during my spring break. I couldn’t stay a month this time but I still managed to get off enough time from work to enjoy the sunshine before heading back to frozen Chicago.

(St Lucian Santa Claus at Reduit Beach; photo credit: my mom because I was lounging)
This was my boyfriend’s first trip to the Caribbean and St Lucia so I hoped to show him everything the island had to offer. He grew up in Oahu, Hawaii so life on a tropical island comes naturally for him and already the first day he was a beach bum. The first few days we stayed near my mom’s place, enjoying Reduit beach during the day and the bars and restaurants of Rodney Bay at night.

Both of us are active and love to hike so we drove (they drive on the left side of the road in SL, so that’s always an adventure for those used to driving on the right) to Pigeon Island. We hiked around the island and tried to snorkel by the coral but the current was strong and kicking up sand so we couldn’t see much. Instead we headed back to Rodney Bay where the most popular beach on the island is. Reduit beach is the most visited beach on the island, mainly due to the fact that cruise ships taxi their people from Castries and dump them on Reduit beach. To my surprise, at the busiest beach on the island we were able to find dozens of shells and even a few conch shells. Last year I had spent a month laying on that beach and I had no idea that I could find so many beautiful shells just a few feet under water.

(Snorkeling at Reduit Beach)
(Collection of shells from Reduit Beach)
Hiking around Pigeon Island was just a warm up for our hike up the Gros Piton. The national symbol of St Lucia are its two mountainous volcanic plugs found on the southwestern side of the island between two towns, Soufriere and Choiseul. The Gros Piton is 786 meters (2,579 feet) high and can be hiked up with a tour guide. The Petit Piton is 739 meters (2,424 feet) but due to its rocky and steep incline it can only be climbed using robes and for those more advanced. Both of the Pitons are a world heritage site and are long overdue to erupt. The hike takes an average of four hours up and down but I average below three hours. This was my third time hiking up and it is still one of my favorite hikes.

Between the two pitons is Sugar Beach resort, a five start hotel with the best snorkeling spot. After three hours of hiking we were starving and decided to head down to Sugar Beach for lunch. Sitting in the shade and looking out across the Caribbean water we enjoyed our lunch and drinks before grabbing our snorkel gear. Hiking over 2,500 feet above sea level to diving ten feet below sea level was both adventurous and exhausting. 

(Sugar Beach Resort; photo credit: my mom because I was snorkeling)
(Snorkeling at between the two pitons at Sugar Beach; photo credit: bf)
I love to eat and have also started to love cooking. During my trip last year I went to the Castries market and found a stand that sells different kinds of herbs and spices. Now every time I visit I have to stop in the market and see what new spices I can find. The market is also one of the best places to buy local made art, fruits and vegetables and souvenir t shirts. After stocking up on new spices and my favorite, Caribbean pepper spice we made our way a few miles south to Marigot Bay beach for another day of relaxing on the beach.

(View looking up from my towel at Marigot Bay Beach)
(Leaving Marigot Bay via water taxi)
(Hiking with my mom along the Atlantic side)
My tropical adventure was the perfect end to an incredible and life changing year. Over the past year I have grown as person and have taken on new challenges, graduated from university and found a job I enjoy. None of it would have been possible without the support of two amazing people (you know who you are). 2015 definitely exceeded my expectations, I can't wait to see what 2016 has in store. 

A special thank you to the staff at the White House Inn (my mom's bed and breakfast) for the lovely hospitality and always friendly atmosphere. You can check out the Inn at Sunlovers.co

x The Adventurer

(At Marigot Bay; photo credit: bf)

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x the Adventurer