Ok, so little disclaimer I have not moved to the Caribbean, I am still in Paris doing an internship!
However last week I was lucky enough to go on a travel experience of a life time. I went on a trip to Saint Lucia!
This was my first ever trip to the Caribbean and to be completely honest I was a little weary of this vacation!
I mean who’s ever really raved about Saint Lucia? To be quite frank, I didn’t even know where it was a few months ago but staying true to the adventurer within me I decided to take a leap and discover an unknown territory.
Touching down in Saint Lucia was a unique experience. After an exhausting nine-hour flight from London Gatwick airport we arrived at the tiny (and I mean extremely small) Island of Saint Lucia. Located in the Eastern Caribbean sea, this country is home to only 175000 people, and that’s during the peak season!
As we walk out of the plane we are welcomed by a tall and lean man with dreadlocks down to his waist.
“Goo’ mornin’ miss, welcome to Saint Lucia” he says in a thick Caribbean accent.
I give him a wide grin in response.
The journey from the airport to our hotel is a gruelling 2 hour drive, however its an opportunity to really take in my new surroundings.
Peering out the back seat window I see vibrant blue skies, mountains, plenty of water and mango’s and coconuts growing from the palm trees. This is what the Caribbean is all about…
“Why are the trees and vegetation so brown?” I ask the driver
“Its been an unnaturally warm season miss, not been rainin’ in weeks” he replies.
That would explain my discomfort….despite landing at 6pm in the evening it was an alarming 32c and I was dripping in perspiration.
After the long drive we finally make it to our wonderful hotel resort, just a stones throw away from Rodney Bay, one of Saint Lucia’s tourist hotspot.
First thing I do when I travel to a new place, even before I unpack my suitcase is run to the nearest window and check the view. (Am I the only one that does that)?
Pretty impressive in my opinion, this photo embodies everything I imagine when I think of the West Indies.
The following day we hit the beach. The sand was toasty warm, the sea was refreshingly cool and the cocktails were flowing. What more can a gal want? ;)
After a few stints at jet-skiing, kayaking and banana boat rides we decide to take a stroll to the much talked about Rodney Bay Marina. With dining, shopping and spa amenities at your disposal, not to mention the frequent boat trips offering a tour of the Island it is quite possible to end up staying at the Marina and never leaving again!
With yachts and glamorous boats at every turn, I thought it was the perfect backdrop to take a cheeky photo ;)
This image was taken in Castries, Saint Lucia’s capital and largest city. What I loved about this place the most was the lack of tourists! I can be a bit of a travel snob at times and often like to search for the most ‘authentic’ place in any destination I visit. Castries is Saint Lucia for the locals, nothing more nothing less. The streets were lined with market stalls selling the weird and the wonderful, from exotic vegetables and freshly made Caribbean rotis* to wooden lamps and murals crafted by local artists.
Castries was more underdeveloped than I anticipated but I also feel that that’s what gave it its charm. The streets are chock-a-block with people. The noises, the smells, the food. It was reminiscent of my vacation in Lagos Nigeria, only on a much smaller scale.
As I walk by gawking at every stand I come across, one of the locals stops me…
“Excuse me miss, your hair is just killin’ me softly”
“Thank you, I’ll take that as a compliment!” Oh how I love the Caribbean people.
The nightlife in Saint Lucia is surprisingly very active. Whether it’s the weekly Gros Islet street party, a festival or an intimate show at your hotel resort you are always guaranteed great entertainment.
These images were taken at the ‘Chairman’s reserve* night at our hotel’. The bright clashing colours are almost dizzying to the eye and really capture the buzzing atmosphere at this event. There were carnival dancers, African fire-eating performers and contortionists to name a few, all performing to classic reggae and dance hall anthems.
This blog post does not do justice to how much I enjoyed my experience in Saint Lucia. Definitely somewhere I would visit again!
What about you guys? What are you favourite #betterthanexpected destinations?
*Roti is one of Saint Lucia’s national dishes. The roti itself is an indian flat bread stuffed with curried vegetables and meat
*Chairman’s reserve is one of the Island’s top rums- a fruity but very strong alcoholic drink