Our Home in Saint Lucia: Villa Beach Cottages








We stayed at this lovely place a few miles outside of Castries, the capital city.  The location was stunningly beautiful and the personnel extremely able and helpful.  One can check out its website at http://villabeachcottages.com/.  The staff were extremely helpful in arranging private tours anywhere we wanted to visit on the island. The long beach was a friendly place.

Traveling by Boat to the Pitons


Instead of a two-hour drive to the Pitons, our hotel staff helped us hire a boat and a crew to take us there in about 45 minutes.  The crew stayed while Holly enjoyed the beach and I hiked up Gros Piton, seen from the boat in the last picture above.  In the previous pictures, Petit Piton appears higher than Gros Piton, but it is not.  It is, however, considerably more difficult to climb.

Climbing the Gros Piton




In many ways the hike down was much more difficult than the hike up: a wet, rocky trail inviting slips and slides.  The boat ride back to our hotel was mostly in pouring rain with the roof tarp blown off, and we were quite chilled by the time we got there.  In contrast, two days later we returned to the Soufriere area and had lunch at the elegant Ladera Resort, with spectacular vistas, food, and wine.  Quite a contrast!



Botanical Gardens and a Drive-In Volcano Mudbath








One wall of this ancient volcano in Saint Lucia collapsed years ago, making possible the world’s only “Drive-In Volcano.  We tried out the hot mud bath and had a blast.

Pigeon Island and Castries




The British and the French fought over possession of St. Lucia for 140 years between 1674 and 1814, with each exercising dominance for seven times.  Pigeon Island was a critical surveillance and control point, with extensive military fortifications on its two peaks.  We hiked in the morning and then settled down on the lovely beach.

Castries is Saint Lucia’s capital city, and we spent time at the food and craft market, as well as the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, with its lovely murals reflecting both African and Caribbean influences.