Written by Meggysmum on 12 Jan, 2010
St Lucia is not a very large island so to make the most of seeing it we decided to take a day trip on a catamaran and we chose Carnival sailings as that was the one that was easiest to book through our tour operator.We…Read More
St Lucia is not a very large island so to make the most of seeing it we decided to take a day trip on a catamaran and we chose Carnival sailings as that was the one that was easiest to book through our tour operator.We were collected from our hotel and taken to Castries where we boarded the catamaran. We were all given T-shirts as a souvenir when we arrived. The boat was a lot bigger than I expected and probably had a capacity of about 45 people; there were about 30 of us on our trip. We started at about 9o’clock and we were expected to be back at Castries at about 4.We sailed south along the coastline heading towards Soufriere. The Caribbean Sea was beautiful and the sailing was very calm at that point. The scenery inland was lovely and you could appreciate the tropical greenery from a distance. We then rounded a bay and saw the Hess Oil storage facility, this was pointed out to us by our guide but to be hones you really couldn’t miss it, it was huge and ugly but obviously serves a purpose!The rest of the journey was very picturesque. You could sit out on deck and admire the scenery or sit inside in the shade if the Caribbean sun was too strong. You certainly need a high factor sun cream and if you opt for a hat make sure it is a tight-fitting one. My husband’s favourite is now floating around the world somewhere after a gust of wind whipped it from his head!After about two hours we arrived at Soufriere. The magnificent Pitons could be seen from quite a distance away and were certainly very impressive, previously when I had visited St Lucia I had only seen one as the other had been covered in mist so it was nice to see the pair. We were taken onto minibuses and we went on tours of the volcano and the botanical gardens.On returning to the boat we were greeted with a delicious home-cooked lunch, buffet-style. There was meat, chicken and lots of fish along with a lovely selection of local vegetables. You were allowed to return to the buffet as often as you wanted and there was certainly plenty to go round. There were also lots to drink whatever you preferred. There was plenty of water and fruit juices and rum punch. I am not usually a drinker of Rum Punch but this was lovely and is certainly worth sampling.We then set sail north and pulled into a bay by Anse Le raye where we were able to get out and swim. If you have snorkel gear then this is an ideal time to use it as the bay was shallow with lots of fish to see. After about 45 minutes we were on our way again.The catamaran sailed into Marigot Bay, the famous site of the filming of Dr Doolittle. It is a beautiful spot and it is a shame that we were not able to stop there for a little while to admire the view.We were then heading back to Castries, the music was on and there were lots of people dancing, obviously loosened by the Rum Punch. My son was strutting his stuff, doing his Michael Jackson dancing and everyone was having a good time. The guides were working really hard to make sure everyone was enjoying themselves but if you just wanted to lie on the deck and enjoy the sunshine then that was ok, no-one harassed you.Overall this is a great trip and one that I would recommend to anyone. There were not many children on board as they seem to prefer the Pirate Ship tours so our children were treated especially well and loved every minute of it. Close
Written by jim on 27 Jun, 2000
These shots are just a few more interesting people and sights (besides the beautiful natural surroundings) around St. Lucia that we wanted to share. …Read More
These shots are just a few more interesting people and sights (besides the beautiful natural surroundings) around St. Lucia that we wanted to share. Close
Written by Slytherina on 17 Apr, 2004
The directions to Sault Falls seemed straightforward enough. We were to take the road opposite the cream-coloured concrete bus shelter south of Dennery, and continue past Belles Fashions and various furniture factories until we reach the falls. Easy enough. But as the…Read More
The directions to Sault Falls seemed straightforward enough.
We were to take the road opposite the cream-coloured concrete bus shelter south of Dennery, and continue past Belles Fashions and various furniture factories until we reach the falls. Easy enough. But as the cream-coloured concrete bus shelter grew smaller in the rearview mirror, we grew increasingly uncertain whether we'd found the right one. The shelter had looked cream-coloured, and it had a road more or less opposite, but the factories were nowhere in sight. In fact, we appeared to be driving into the heart of a banana plantation.
We pressed onward.
After bumping along the road for a while, our doubts rising with each passing minute, we were relieved to find Belles Fashions. The furniture factories were a little further up the road. We passed these and kept driving. The falls were nowhere in sight. We didn't even see a river. Everywhere we looked, there were more bananas.
We continued along.
The condition of the unpaved road deteriorated as we pushed deeper into the greenery. A broad canopy of leaves stretched high overhead, now and again obscuring the sky. The jungle grew thicker around us, swallowing us in a lush green landscape that was eerily silent but for the rustle of leaves and the cries of invisible birds. Then the land on our left suddenly dropped away, and we caught glimpses of a deep green canyon hidden behind the trees. The narrow road was now snaking along a kind of cliff, rising here and falling there, putting Bessie, Eric's 4WD, to the test. As we were tossed about inside the truck, I felt I was surely the most demanding houseguest in the world and wondered if Eric regretted agreeing to take me so far off the beaten path.
Twice the road forked. We guessed there might be a river in the canyon, so we chose the left fork both times. And we continued on. And on. And then we noticed something odd on our left: an abandoned hut, like an information or admission hut. We pulled off the road. Next to the hut we found a bamboo-lined path descending into the canyon. Surely, we though, it must lead to the falls. But why was everything so quiet? If the falls are among the tallest on the island, shouldn't we be able to hear them?
We followed the path down to the canyon floor. A stream split the canyon down the middle and there, on the opposite side, were the falls. We immediately realized the reason for the silence: we had forgotten that it was dry season. Instead of finding a wall of water, we found a 10-metre-high cliff, out of which ferns and vines grew with abandon. There was a deep, wide recess in the cliff, where water trickled from the top and cast a pretty spray as it tumbled down darkened rock. It looked as though, during rainy season, the water would pool beneath the falls after crashing over the cliff, then run over a smooth rock ledge to join the stream. But the ledge was dry. We could see how the water had carved a broad path where the cliff face met the ledge, leaving a massive vine-covered rock overhanging the stream.
It was a spectacular sight, beyond anything we could have expected.
We hopped across the stream and explored the ledge directly below the falls. There were shallow pools and plants and grasses, and a small tumble of water where the falls fell into the stream. I felt very small. I felt like I was in a kind of stone cathedral, dwarfed by the vast, quiet landscape where everything, even the air, seemed alive. It was sublime.
I'm not sure how long we stayed at the falls, as we couldn't bring ourselves to leave that place of beauty and stillness. We saw not one other person the entire time we were there.
The road back through the jungle was now familiar. I can't remember what I was thinking as we bumped and lurched back towards the highway, except how much I would love to return to St. Lucia during rainy season and see the falls as they are meant to be seen. Writing about this now, I realize that perhaps I have seen them as I am meant to see them: Sault Falls showed me that something doesn't have to be precisely as expected for it to be good. You just have to be open to it.
I debated whether or not to write about the beach at Cas-en-Bas. While the afternoon I spent there was certainly a high point of my trip, the area's remoteness and tranquility are a large part of its charm. Selfishly, I don't want to…Read More
I debated whether or not to write about the beach at Cas-en-Bas. While the afternoon I spent there was certainly a high point of my trip, the area's remoteness and tranquility are a large part of its charm. Selfishly, I don't want to see it "discovered"!
We went on the last full day of my vacation. Luckily for me, my friend owns a rugged 4WD (which he lovingly calls Bessie the Beast), because the muddy, rocky, unpaved road would have been impossible to navigate in an ordinary vehicle. I use the term "road" loosely; it was more like a wide dirt path, pocked with deep craters and crisscrossed by gullies filled with mud-coloured water. The road forked at one point, with a hand-painted sign pointing towards Cas-en-Bas straight ahead, or Anse Lavoutte to the right. We bumped, pitched, and splashed onwards.
The poor condition of the road perhaps explains the beach's isolation. The entire time we were at Cas-en-Bas, we saw only a handful of people. Three young St. Lucian boys were catching crabs among the rocks. A group of tourists came for a guided horseback ride and disappeared into the hills. An unadorned building selling refreshments was empty save for a couple of locals. It was absolutely lovely.
After our adventurous ride, we left Bessie in a shady grove and set out around the bay, stopping here and there to admire the view and marvel at the perfect silence. All we could hear was the sound of the wind blowing in from the Atlantic, and the rush of the waves as they swept into shore. The water was a beautiful blue colour, but it was not the impossible turquoise of the Caribbean. It was the colour of sapphires; the water glittered in the sun like a sea of sapphires.
As we followed the curve of the bay, the land would break into the sea in rocky clusters, then jaggedly continue north. We climbed over the rocks towards the water, wading along the flattened boulders, marveling at how soft and warm the slippery seaweed felt beneath our toes. We peered into shallow pools for glimpses of interesting sea life, and were rewarded in seeing a yellow and black eel rippling lazily among the rocks.
Further along the bay, we discovered a small sandy beach hidden behind a high sea wall. A secret beach?! We scrambled down the rocky ledge like excited kids, landing on a quiet, shallow stretch of unblemished sand. It wasn't exactly secret, as there were some bits of refuse strewn about, but as we sat on the rocks and the Atlantic waves swept in around us, it was hard not to feel like we were the only ones ever to have found it.
I could have stayed there all day.
After retracing our steps to the main beach, we hauled out snorkeling gear for a dip in the bay. The water at Cas-en-Bas is murkier and the sea life less plentiful than in Anse Cochon or Anse Mamin, where I'd happily snorkeled earlier that week. Soft green clusters of seaweed undulated beneath the waves. I kept thinking of the eel we'd seen earlier, and steeled myself in case he, or one of his kin, came slithering out of the seaweed to greet me. Mercifully for both of us, he didn't.
It was really difficult to leave Cas-en-Bas, especially knowing that my holiday was almost at an end. I already know that if I ever return to St. Lucia, this is the beach I'll long to revisit.
Written by jim on 18 Jun, 2000
St. Lucia still has some volcanic activity and the best evidence of this is the Sulfur Springs. We had heard it was pretty cool to check them out and bath in the hot mineral baths. Unfortunately, this was a total disappointment. A…Read More
St. Lucia still has some volcanic activity and the best evidence of this is the Sulfur Springs. We had heard it was pretty cool to check them out and bath in the hot mineral baths. Unfortunately, this was a total disappointment. A large cruise ship had just pulled into Soufriere so we arrived at the same time as about 300 tourists from the ship. We felt like part of a herd of cattle. Also, the springs stunk like you wouldn't believe, so you were stuck walking behind all these people in the middle of some pretty bad stench. As for getting in the hot springs, once you did you then smelled like them. Not an appealling occurrence if you didn't have immediate access to a shower. You might want to see this if you don't have to compete with a bunch of other people, but don't waste too much time. Close
We had gone to a variety of waterfalls around Soufriere, but had continually been disappointed by the fact that we were usually one of several couples at the same place. We wanted something a little more isolated that felt a bit more special.…Read More
We had gone to a variety of waterfalls around Soufriere, but had continually been disappointed by the fact that we were usually one of several couples at the same place. We wanted something a little more isolated that felt a bit more special. Our driver knew there were some pretty isolated waterfalls near Canaries (a town about 15 minutes north of Soufriere), but he wasn't sure exactly how to get there. He called his older brother (who was the owner of the car) who came to take over as our guide, because we would have to drive a little ways off the main road. We followed a road that ran next to the river through the city (it was more like a tiny town and a stream but it was very interesting). Kids were playing soccer on some big fields, women were washing clothes in the river and goats and dogs were walking all over the place. We continued until the road got a lot rougher and started to climb up a mountain. After several minutes, the guide acknowledged that he didn't really know exactly where he was going, but he knew where he could ask someone for help. We came to a small hut and were amazed to find that about fifteen 'Rasta' men were naked in the hut. One of them put on some clothes and came to the window (where he posed for a couple of pictures and volunteered to take us farther on foot). He didn't have any shoes yet he walked over the rocky, steep terrain as if it was nothing. We were twisting our ankles, dodging holes and scrambling to keep up with this guy (the driver stayed in the car). We started to get a little worried the farther back we went. It didn't help that we occassionally passed locals with big machettes and were about as isolated as you could be on this island. The hike was incredible as we saw the type of unspoiled beauty we really wanted to see. Every now and then we would pass a small hut where a family lived and they would look at us a little warily. Finally, after about 45 minutes of hiking we came to some very beautiful waterfalls. It was well worth the hike because the terrain was so beautiful, but we hadn't planned our trip very well so we had to leave within 5 minutes due to the approaching darkness (I definitely did not want to be in a dense rain forest in the dark trying to keep up with this guy). We doubletimed it back to the car and ran into a pickup truck on a little side road. We got a ride in the back of the pickup (which turned out to be even more hair raising than the anything else as we were on a tiny dirt road with the wheels of the truck within inches of plunging over the side of several very high dropoffs). At the end we smoked a joint as a show of friendship and thanks to our guide and then headed back to the resort. Close
Written by Laalasa on 03 Mar, 2005
The northern half of the island has more people and is touristy. The capital, Castries, is a big cruise ship stop. From there, the busloads of day trippers head either north to Rodney Bay and Pigeon Point or south to Marigot Bay and Soufriere and…Read More
The northern half of the island has more people and is touristy. The capital, Castries, is a big cruise ship stop. From there, the busloads of day trippers head either north to Rodney Bay and Pigeon Point or south to Marigot Bay and Soufriere and The Pitons.
My experience with lush, dense jungle is the monotonous green–-not so in St. Lucia. The island is overrun with bougainvillea and all kinds of colorful flowers. Since there are very few industries and even fewer rivers, the water remains clear and is great for snorkeling and scuba diving.
All beaches in St. Lucia are public beaches, so don’t hesitate--you won’t be trespassing. Once you get away from the touristy northwestern part of the island, the beaches are completely deserted. Also, because of the hills and mountains rising out of the sea, there are many isolated little coves and inlets.
Always have a camera handy. One morning, it was raining when we started out, and our camera was in the trunk. What do you know–-in 10 minutes, the sun was out, and Gros Piton was bathed in a brilliant rainbow. By the time we stopped, got the camera out and going, the rainbow had faded. Also, I saw hummingbirds four times in six days–-there was never a camera around.
Also, if you can, go beyond the tourist recommendations. Before we went, I had read so much about the views from Morne Fortune in Castries. When we finally got to Morne Fortune, the views were nothing compared to some we saw in other parts of the island.
The jump-up at Gros Islet (pronounced ‘grosle’) on Friday night was a little bit of a let-down. To start with, it is not really close to the beach, the food was atrocious, the drinks were expensive... and in general, we felt it was very touristy. Also, while we were there, we saw some young women being followed by some local guys–-they didn’t do much, just stood really close and stared them down. The food starts around 8pm, but the party doesn't pick up speed and strength till around 11pm.
Although there was an abundance of vegetables and chicken, we were surprised by the lack of variety of seafood. Sure, there was lots of fish, but we had shrimp only once during our entire stay. We stayed with friends, so I don’t know if the…Read More
Although there was an abundance of vegetables and chicken, we were surprised by the lack of variety of seafood. Sure, there was lots of fish, but we had shrimp only once during our entire stay. We stayed with friends, so I don’t know if the resorts have a lot of crab, lobster, etc. Even the local markets all had an abundance of fish but little other seafood.
Breadfruit is used in a variety of ways – one of the best dishes we had was deep-fried balls of breadfruit and fish flakes. Another surprisingly delicious dish we had at the jump-up in Gros Islet was a dal-puri, a chickpea powder-filled, deep-fried concoction. Christophen is a kind of sweet squash, and Dasheene is a root that is great in stews and curries.
Although the cuisine is said to be heavily influenced by Creole, we actually saw a lot of roti and curry on the menus of smaller eating places. The roti is a kind of tortilla wrapped around curried meat and/or vegetables. At most local places, a "plate" will consist of a meat curry, rice and/or beans with gravy, and one or two vegetables. The accompaniments vary from fried potatoes to mac and cheese to globs of wilted salad.
A must when on the island is a trip to any one of the Morne bakeries. These sell a variety of really, really cheap baked goods like coconut bun, lababad, rock cake, coconut pie… all taste wonderful, but the trick is to make sure they are FRESH. Our friends took us right to a source, the backyard of Popo’s house, where we sat around waiting for them to come out of the oven.
Also, there are vendors selling fresh, young coconuts on the roadside. Do try one, and once you are done, the vendor will slice open the coconut and give you a piece of husk to scoop up the tender inside. Talking of something to drink, don’t forget to try the local beer, Piton.
I'm proud to have a one-of-a-kind souvenir of St. Lucia. It’s almost two centimetres long and half a centimetre wide, and is the most fetching shade of magenta I've ever seen. I take it with me everywhere, and each time I look at…Read More
I'm proud to have a one-of-a-kind souvenir of St. Lucia. It’s almost two centimetres long and half a centimetre wide, and is the most fetching shade of magenta I've ever seen. I take it with me everywhere, and each time I look at it, I remember the day I spent jungle biking in St. Lucia.
It's the scar that crowns my left knee.
Being a city girl, I'm used to cycling in a concrete jungle. But "jungle biking" sounded like so much crazy fun that I had to try it. And in spite of the scar, it remains one of the high points of my holiday.
The biking facility is located on a former sugarcane plantation at Anse Mamin. The landscape is green and lush, with plenty of tall shady trees to keep cyclists cool. We were fitted with sleek, sturdy mountain bikes and appropriate helmets, then given a thorough orientation to the trails. Safety was always emphasised, and we were repeatedly told to get off our bikes and walk if we found something a bit too challenging. With this in mind, I actually walked my bike during part of the orientation, across a gully that veered sharply left and plunged into the jungle; I just didn't feel ready for it.
After our orientation, Eric and I were on our own. We decided to try one of the side loops, which turned out to be rocky and heavily strewn with loose earth and large dry leaves -- a bit treacherous for our first ride! We ended up walking most of it, and then unanimously agreed to stick to the intermediate trail. We flew over roots and rocks as we followed the trail up, down and around the plantation. "Fun" doesn’t begin to describe it!
At one point, the trail, which had become very narrow, led us along the side of a steep cliff that dropped off into a sun-dappled river. It was a beautiful spot, but we had to be careful lest our bikes slipped off the path and tumbled us into the water. The descent was a little scary, but we made it to the bottom of the cliff at the river’s edge. And then the trail abruptly ended. The riverbanks were heavily treed with no apparent breaks in the foliage. We looked back the way we had come, but the cliff appeared too steep for us to retrace our original path. We were stuck. Thinking back to the orientation, it seemed that river had run parallel with the trail, so we guessed that we'd find some kind of trail on the opposite bank. Being intrepid Canadians, we picked up our bikes and forded the stream, then crashed through the jungle towards what looked like a clearing; fortunately for us, the clearing turned out to be the main trail!
This was so much fun!
We came at last to the place that had defeated me earlier, but this time I felt ready to ride. Eric went first; he crossed the gully, then turned sharply to the left and followed the steep path down. I watched with alarm as he skidded on some leaves and almost fell, then saw him recover with the help of a springy palm tree and finish the slope. He stopped to wait for me. I took a deep breath, my heart pounding madly in my chest, and started the descent. I traversed the gully, then slowed as I turned left and plunged down the trail. I passed the spot where Eric stumbled, and I breathed for perhaps the first time during that descent. And then, something happened. I'm not sure if I struck some rocks or veered too far to one side of the trail ... All I know is that I suddenly pitched forward and was flipped over my bike. I remember shrieking and landing hard on the ground. Instantly, there was pain in my left arm and leg, my chest, and one shoulder blade. More shrieking. Blood was streaming down my left leg from several scrapes and cuts, but most of it came from a fat flap of skin that was hanging off my knee. Even more shrieking. This wasn't supposed to happen: I was on holiday! And I’d been having fun!
Eric helped disentangle me from my bike and clean me up. His most challenging task, though, was calming me down; it took a while for me to stop shaking. We rested without bothering to pull off the trail, as we neither saw nor heard other bikers. When I felt good enough to get back on my bike, we continued along the trail, although my confidence was considerably shaken and my fun somewhat diminished. What cheered me most was the realization that, serendipitously, I’d gotten my tetanus shot only weeks before my holiday!
It seemed like a good time to stop for lunch. And some first aid.
After we had eaten and my knee had been looked after, we decided to hike up Tinker's Trail, which is the toughest bike trail on the plantation. We were told that nobody has ever cycled it in its entirety (which, come to think of it, should have alarmed us) but that the view from the top was worth the climb. And what a view it was! The Caribbean stretched out to the horizon on one side, and the bumpy green landscape of St. Lucia to the other, with the Pitons rising directly before us. It was indeed worth every step of the climb. Triumphantly, we rang the bell that marked the top of Tinker's Trail.
Just when we thought our day's challenges were over, we started our descent back into the jungle. We very quickly realized we should have gone down the way we'd come up: the "down" trail was very steep and narrow, with the ground alarmingly dropping away to one side. What was Tinker thinking?? We skidded down bit by bit, wide-eyed and clutching roots and rocks and trees to keep from slipping. The trail was barely hikeable; how on earth could anyone be expected to bike it?! It took us a while to get back to the jungle and when we finally did, my oozing knee was throbbing with pain. The violent-looking bruises that I’d wear for the next few weeks had also started to emerge, and my ribs were tender and sore.
At this point, I had to admit at last that my day of adventure was over. I could do no more than relax on Anse Mamin's beautiful black-sand beach and indulge in some Zen-like snorkelling. And then it was time to go.
I'll admit it's not glamourous, but you just can’t buy a souvenir like mine!
My first experience with St. Lucian food began before I’d even unpacked. On the way from the airport to Rodney Bay, my friend and I stopped at Pointe Seraphine for an exhibition celebrating the 25th anniversary of St. Lucia’s independence. Not knowing what…Read More
My first experience with St. Lucian food began before I’d even unpacked.
On the way from the airport to Rodney Bay, my friend and I stopped at Pointe Seraphine for an exhibition celebrating the 25th anniversary of St. Lucia’s independence. Not knowing what to order from the open-air food stand, I let him choose for me: salt fish, fried green bananas, coleslaw, macaroni pie, banana cake. We ate on plastic chairs under a tree overlooking the port in Castries. The food was unpretentious, filling, and delicious. And it pretty much set the standard for my holiday eating.
I ate very well all week.
There is much to enjoy about St. Lucian cuisine. It is a delicious celebration of flavours, textures, colours and aromas; eating in St. Lucia literally engages each of your senses. Although the variety of spicy and exotic foods was delightful, my most memorable eating experiences are surprisingly simple: fresh fruit and barbequed chicken.
Coming from a Northern climate, most of the fruit I usually consume is imported. It's picked unripe, transported, gassed, and sold as though it were "fresh." Needless to say, the flavours I'm used to are but a pale approximation of the fruit's genuine flavour. Was I in for a treat in St. Lucia! The mangoes were unbelievably sweet, the flesh richer and creamier than in any mango I'd eaten before. The bananas tasted like bananas injected with extra banana flavour. The grapefruit had a pleasingly mouth-puckering sweetness. And the enormous avocados -- at least four times the size of any I'd seen -- opened to reveal lavish amounts of buttery-smooth flesh in the loveliest shade of green imaginable.
The barbequed chicken was as astonishing as the fruit.
During one week in St. Lucia, I ate more chicken than I'd eaten during all of last year. The plate-filling drumsticks and thighs from the Gros Islet jump-up were, by far, my favourite. Biting through the spicy and tender skin yielded juicy and flavourful meat underneath, which I ripped off the bone with my teeth. Then I picked the bones clean. My appetite startled me. I rarely eat meat while at home, but no St. Lucian chicken was safe with me around.
Fish were also in serious trouble.
Keenly aware that I was vacationing on an island, I opted for fresh seafood whenever I ate in restaurants: potato-crusted dorado (unnervingly referred to as "dolphin") from Buzz Seafood & Grill, grilled snapper with shrimp from The Eagles Inn, salt cod fritters called "accras" from Cafe Claude, stuffed crab back followed by grilled tuna steak with creole sauce from The Coal Pot. I also tried a skewer of grilled conch at the jump up, but found the morsels a little rubbery for my liking. Perhaps they would have seemed less rubbery had I not eaten them directly after polishing off a plate of that velvety-tender barbequed chicken ...
Side dishes included such exotic delicacies as christophene, dasheen, corn cooked in cinnamon-scented coconut milk, and grilled plantain. Other favourite culinary discoveries were a delicately spiced pumpkin soup from Cafe Claude, a brandied ginger cheesecake from Buzz that I still dream about, gelato from Elena's Italian Ice Cream, almond yoghurt, and the store-bought nutmeg jelly I'd spread on my muesli bread every morning.
Did I mention that I ate very well all week?!
Not surprisingly, most of my souvenirs from St. Lucia were food-related. At the farmers' market in Castries, I bought mounds of spices, bottles of extract (vanilla, almond, and banana), cocoa sticks, a fistful of nutmeg with each fragrant nut still hidden in its chocolate-brown shell, and the freshest, plumpest vanilla beans I've ever seen. My only regret is that I was parsimonious with my funds and bought only a small handful of those precious beans. Now I find myself approaching a recipe guardedly, thinking "Is this going to be worth a St. Lucian vanilla bean, or should I just use a regular one?"
I also bought a cookbook (My Secrets of Caribbean Cooking and Cocktails by Chef Fernando) in Castries. Even while paying for it, though, I already knew nothing I make at home will taste quite as good as it did in St. Lucia, when I ate it with a joyful heart in the brilliant tropical sunshine, or beneath a star-dotted Caribbean sky.