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Son of Man Sea Tours
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Castries, Saint Lucia
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Son of Man, You're the Man
New York, New York
October 24, 2011
After reading the glowing reviews of the Joe Knows Tour online I decided this was the tour for me. My wife and I were travelling with another couple for my wife’sBirthday trip. The second day of our vacation we found Jean Louis on the beach of our ...
After reading the glowing reviews of the Joe Knows Tour online I decided this was the tour for me. My wife and I were travelling with another couple for my wife’sBirthday trip. The second day of our vacation we found Jean Louis on the beach of our resort (Sandals La Toc). We put a deposit of $50($200 is the full price per couple) a couple for the Land & Sea tour for that Thursday.
Thursday morning we arrived on the beach at 8:45; all ready for our tour. Word to the wise; bring towels, a water proof bag, plenty of sunblock, water and an underwater/waterproof camera. The boat is a nice size and has seats in the front and back. I would suggest sitting in the back of the boat if you want a smoother ride. During our trip we had to have our friend Karen switch seats with someone so she wouldn’t be bumped around so badly.
Our tour started with a history of the island as well as some of the local stories. Our first stop was the bat cave. No, you don’t ride into a cave, so don’t get worried. The cave is a large crack in the Cliffside that is inhabited by a huge family of bats. They pull the boat up close to the crack where you can see and definitely hear the winged creatures. I love bats so this was a highlight for me.
Along the way we passed several small towns, villages and resorts along the coastline before we arrived at Soufrière. From here we disembarked and got into two vans that were waiting at the docks. A short ride up some winding rods brought us to the Qualibou Volcano. I knew we were there when the sulphur smell of hard boiled eggs hit my nose. From there we got out of the vans and took some stairs down to the mud bath and sulphur springs.
We all lined up in our bathing suits and we all waded into the hot inferno of the sulphur springs to get to the mud bath. Our guide disappeared to go get us our bucket of mud. He soon appeared with the large black mess of goo for us to slather ourselves in. We all dug into the mud and began to rub it all over ourselves making us look like some tribe that just climbed out of the rainforest primevil. A small hint: DON"T WEAR A LIGHT COLORED OR WHITE SWIMSUIT. My swim trunks never came clean.
After some pictures of us in our Mud suits it was time to get back into the Sulphur springs to wash off. A word to the wise; don’t do this when you have sunburn. I was a bit sunburned when I did this and the heat of the sulphur springs make me want to die. After a good wash off we headed to the freshwater showers for a second rinse. I must say I did feel well moisturized after our mud bath.
We then piled back into the vans and stopped at a scenic overlook of Soufrière. The view was beautiful of the town, water and mountains. There was also some local vendors here selling beverages and souvenirs such as spices and homemade soaps. From here we drove to a waterfall. At this point it started to rain heavily my wife went ahead decided to just shed her coverup and plunge right into the waterfall. I was just too tired to want to get in. She said the water was amazing; so cool and refreshing. I watched her and our friends splashed around; taking pictures and having an all around great time.
After our the waterfall dip we headed out for lunch. Lunch was at the Aunt of the Tour operator’s house. The lunch was served on the first floor of the house in two dining room areas with tables. A third room house the buffet of local food: chicken, local fish, macaroni and cheese, salad, curry rice, Chow Mein and vegetables. The food was incredibly good and tasty. I loved knowing that this was homemade food served in a real home and not food you’d find in the resorts.
From here we went into town for "shopping". Now this was my only disappointment. Shopping meant we were taken to one shop in town that sold a mix of every type of souvenir imaginable as well as liquor. Shopping to me means I get a variety of shops to chose from and some real time to shop in them. After our "shopping" we walked back to the pier and back onto the boat.
The boat then took us to Jalousie beach for some snorkeling in between the Pitons. The Pitons are incredible to see especially from the water. They are so majestic to look at with the peaks soaring so high into the sky. Jalousie is a resort but they have a separate side of the beach for tours doing snorkeling; we were told not to cross into the resort side. At this point in the trip I was getting tired so I decided to decline snorkeling and just lounge out on one of the beach chairs provided in the snorkel area of the beach. Our friends partook in the snorkeling and said that the water was very clear with a variety of marine life to see.
After snorkeling we got back onto the boat and were taken to a large rock formation in the sea that looked like an arch. Children and adults were climbing it and plunging into the sea below. We stopped here for a swim in the cool waters. My wife is normally normally not the daring type and would usually have just stayed in the boat. She surprised me by going into the water and leaving her comfort zone behind. After she was in Chris and I jumped in to join her. It was an amazing feeling floating in the water and seeing the incredible cliffs in front of me. So if you go on the tour; don’t be a wussy man and just jump in!
From here we cruised along the coast and sailed into Marigot Bay to view the cliff homes of the stars. We saw house of Mick Jagger, George Forman and even the rumored second house of Oprah. We then sailed along the coast and back to the resort.
I loved the relaxed yet party feel to this tour. Everyone was happy and having a good time…it might have been all the free flowing rum punch and Piton beer on board. I know so many people at our resort went for the "Joe Knows" resort sponsored tour but to me Son of Man is the only way to see the island properly and with the right guides. And by the way on the way back to the resort we saw a broken down Joe Knows Boat…guess Joe doesn’t know how to repair and maintain boats.