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The Beauty of St Lucia

April 21, 2012
If you are not familiar with the blog of cruise ship worker Roy (the Marvelous) you will want to subscribe to his blog. His humorous posts from ports around the world sure keep me entertained! Here is an example of his work from:
http://roymarvelous.com/2012/04/st-lucia-8-hours-caribbean/

One of the quirks of working on a cruise ship and having a life of perpetual travel is that we easily take the places we visit for granted. St Lucia is one of those places. The first impression when arriving at the harbor of Castries, is that it’s a bit of a shit-hole. All there seems going for it is the free wifi at the port terminal. Indeed, judging by the hordes of crew members with their laptops, scattered over the floor of the terminal as if they were refugees from a land without internet, this would seem to be true. Of course, St Lucia has much to offer. The thing about islands such as St Lucia, is that you really need to get away from the capital to see what’s there. You may be able to do this cheaper via local buses or taxi but being on a limited timeframe, I decided to take a tour. I’ve never been a big huge fan of tours until coming on cruise ships. And the reality is, tour guides make the experience so much more enriching than by simply going to a place by yourself. My favorite way however, is always to meet up with local Couchsurfers. I managed to do that once in St Lucia, for a visit to Pigeon Island. Once you get out of the downtown area, it’s obvious that St Lucia is very lush and green. The land is rich with volcanic soil and fruit trees seem to grow everywhere. It’s like being in Avatar but without the blue people. I liked how there fruit stands setup in random places, selling mangoes, bananas, coconuts and other local fruit. Apparently, they have 52 varieties of mangoes on the island. I didn’t even know 52 varieties of mangoes existed! I’ve decided that my favorite fruit are mangoes. My next favorite thing here is the cacao which they sell as “chocolate sticks” (which happen to look quite phallyic). It’s solidified cocoa before adding milk and sugar, and it is used as cooking chocolate. It also makes a healthy snack, if you like bittersweet chocolate and don’t mind people staring at you as if you are performing a rude act in public. One thing that annoyed me was the men who congregated at scenic points around the island, offering folded leaves to tourists “for good luck”. I would like to know how this good luck is quantified because clearly, these men seem to be lacking some themselves. It reminds me of a similar scam perpetrated by Hare Krishnas and gypsies around the world, where they give you flowers or such as a token of friendship and then ask you for a donation. I find it perplexing that anyone would consider that this business model was sustainable or scalable. Anyway, after visiting St Lucia more than a dozen times I finally got to see the Pitons with my own eyes. “Piton” is not only a delicious local brew but also the name of the famous twin cone-shaped volcanic peaks south of Soufriere, the old capital. It really is a breathtaking view, and a one of the most beautiful sights in the Caribbean.

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