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A few weeks ago, my husband and I decided to take the kids and ourselves away from this extreme drought we’ve been experiencing. For a change in scenery we chose to spend 1 week in St Lucia, an island we had not yet been to.

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After 1 stop in St Kitts and 1 layover in Antigua, we finally arrived in the early evening at Vigie airport the smaller of the 2 airports on the island.

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Right away, we loved what we saw, green, lush vegetation, Flamboyants in full bloom everywhere, coloring the landscape like spatters of orange paint on a green canvas, a big difference from the brown hills and drought  we had been living for the past few months in St Maarten.

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We arrived at the accommodation we rented via VRBO in Rodney Bay, a 2 bedroom apartment by the lagoon edge it was breezy and cool, such a relief from the scorching heat we had been feeling back home.

Petit Piton  Sometimes the grass IS greener on the other side... literally! Petit Piton
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The next day we explored the Rodney Bay area on foot, it’s basically like our Maho, it comes alive at night and all the conveniences are right there.

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We then took a taxi to Pigeon Island where we hiked up to the fort and saw the old british navy ruins, they used it as a post to defend St Lucia from Pirates and the French. We found it interesting that the French and the British fought over and shared the Island for nearly two hundred years before the British finally claimed it as their own.

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It was a clear day so we could actually see Martinique to the North.

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We had lunch at the only restaurant on Pigeon Island called ” Jambe de Bois”  ( Peg Leg) named after a French Pirate who set up camp there in the 16th century. He would attack Spanish ships passing by from there and the 150 year old West Indian building had been kept looking like it did 150 years ago, it was fascinating and the lasagna was heavenly.

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Jambe de bois restaurant  Sometimes the grass IS greener on the other side... literally! Jambe de bois restaurant IMG_4654  Sometimes the grass IS greener on the other side... literally! IMG 4654

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Next on the agenda was the highlight of our trip, a boat trip that would take us down the west coast of the island to the world famous Pitons, 2 pinnacles soaring out of the ocean, they formed during the eruption of the now dormant volcano. The Pitons are classified as a Unesco world heritage site.
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The ride down was beautiful, there were caves, deserted beaches, lush green vegetation hanging off the rocks into the ocean, no sign of drought here (even if we were told otherwise by the locals), what a breath of fresh air it was to see so much abundance of life and color. The Pitons themselves were majestic, so tall and green, even better in person than on all the photos we had seen of them in the past.

deserted beach Sometimes the grass IS greener on the other side... deserted beach  Sometimes the grass IS greener on the other side... literally! deserted beach IMG_4645_1 Sometimes the grass IS greener on the other side... IMG 4645 1  Sometimes the grass IS greener on the other side... literally! IMG 4645 1

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We then headed into the small town of Soufriere, took a taxi through the rainforest and had lunch at a restaurant which has it’s own cacao estate. The volcanic soil is so rich in this area that many crops grow easily, one of which is the cacao tree, chocolate is mainly made from grinding cacao pod seeds. Sadly the estate’s chocolate making facilities were closed on that day so we weren’t able to witness the process but each dish we were served had some form of cacao incorporated into it. It was interesting and tasty and the view on Petit Piton was breathtaking.

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Pressed for time we then decided to skip the sulphur springs of the dormant volcano and opted to get showered by the Touraille waterfall instead.

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Touraille waterfall Sometimes the grass IS greener on the other side... Touraille waterfall  Sometimes the grass IS greener on the other side... literally! Touraille waterfall
 
After another taxi ride and a  very short walk, we came upon the fall, the water was cold and refreshing, it was our 4 year old daughter’s first time seeing a waterfall this tall and her first time swimming under one, she loved it.
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It was getting late so we all got into the van which brought us back down to the port where we jumped on the boat and zoomed back north to Rodney Bay. Pitons on the bucket list.. CHECKED!

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The two last days of our trip were spent doing the aerial tram tour deep in the rainforest and driving around, giving us a chance to explore the island for ourselves. It was raining when we got on board the aerial tram’s gondola (picture a hanging basket) which took us up and through the rainforest canopy,  we were given ponchos to wear and the ride was going to happen… rain or no rain.

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Our 15 month old  Son was not too thrilled about this but honestly we were just happy to see and feel it rain. The ride went on and in between his annoyed cries we were able to decipher a bird call here and there but the biggest and loudest animal in the rainforest that morning was our son! I felt sorry for the poor people who were sat with us but they didn’t seem to mind at all… We did see 2 different kinds of hummingbirds and learned about the different species of trees in front of us and in some cases, what they were used for medicinally or otherwise…  

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What struck me was how different it was to see the rainforest from this high up, it was a whole new perspective to be going through he trees,  sometimes even over them. A real bird’s eye view.

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Ground up seeds and pods Sometimes the grass IS greener on the other side... Ground up seeds and pods  Sometimes the grass IS greener on the other side... literally! Ground up seeds and pods  cacao seeds Sometimes the grass IS greener on the other side... cacao seeds  Sometimes the grass IS greener on the other side... literally! cacao seeds

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Finally, the last day,  we decided to find a cacao plantation in hopes of being able to get a tour of the chocolate manufacturing process…It turns out it was mostly a banana plantation, St Lucia’s #1 export followed by its rum.

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Driving there, we got lost, then, after stopping for directions, we kept driving until we hit a dirt road then we  kept driving until we couldn’t drive anymore.

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IMG_4786 Sometimes the grass IS greener on the other side... IMG 4786  Sometimes the grass IS greener on the other side... literally! IMG 4786

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We were in the middle of nowhere, along the way we saw all sort of vegetable crops, huge banana tree fields,  and  more interestingly,  the ruins of an old  sugar cane watermill. The sheer size of the wheel was amazing, the ruins were  next to a dry stream bed, presumably the water would have been rerouted to turn the wheel that would then turn the smaller wheel and press the sugar cane, which was St Lucia’s #1 crop in the 18th century.

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IMG_4782 Sometimes the grass IS greener on the other side... IMG 4782  Sometimes the grass IS greener on the other side... literally! IMG 4782

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As we drove deeper into the Marquis valley it became apparent  this was once a huge plantation site, with a main house at the top of the hill and bigger ruins down the hill, perhaps old workers quarters, or stables or storage quarters..A big Banyan tree had grown on top of one of the ruins almost camouflaging them completely.

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While other former plantations now called estates on the island have been repurposed into guesthouses, and the ruins preserved,  this one seemed to have been left to its own devices with exception of the fields still being exploited…

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All in all we had a wonderful time in St Lucia, the island offered history, beautiful sights, lush greenery, some rain, cool winds, new experiences and a complete change of scenery, just what we had been looking for.

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