Monday, May 24, 2010

The World's Greatest Hot Tub

The World’s Greatest Hot Tub
I think tonight I will simply list the day’s itinerary, and then let the rest of the group give you their own impressions. (I loved every minute of it).
1. Drive from Balenbouche to Choiseul village, see the fish market and the Arawak petroglyph.
2. Drive to Soufriere town; stop briefly to goggle at the Pitons, say hello to Daphne Stephen (the basketmaker we will learn from later this week), and see Myer’s Bridge (the location of the farmer’s cooperative we’ll visit).
3. Stop at Zaka’s wood carving shop and hear about the huge order he’s shipping to Norway; drive down to the Jalousie Resort at the base of the Petit Piton. Goggle some more.
4. Drive through Soufriere to the Diamond Botanical Gardens; see tropical foliage and the famous Diamond Falls.
5. Stop downtown for the ATM machine and some needed provisions.
6. Convince the cars to take us up the dreadfully steep first hill on the road to Anse Chastenet; goggle at the Pitons from the other side, drive down to the beach and snorkel the coral reefs for an hour and a half.
7. Travel back through Soufriere to visit the Sulphur Springs, “the world’s only drive in volcano”. Gingerly make our way into the very warm, very sulfurous shallow stream and plaster ourselves with hot black mud. Rinse off in the really hot deep pool.
8. Drive our wet, smelly, happy crew back to Balenbouche, with an all too brief stop at Choiseul potter Catty Osman’s lively roadside bar.
9. Dinner was waiting for us. We had traveled less than ten miles from Balenbouche.

Eddie: I feel I thoroughly got to experience the day as a St. Lucian – we were thrown into it today, immersed into the culture.
Andrea: I was struck to see so many people out and about – I never see people socializing outdoors in their neighborhoods.
Alexa: Today I felt the Caribbean spirit, the free-flowing, easy-going enjoyment of life. Everyone is so eager to introduce themselves, to extend their hand in friendship.
Jan: We’ve experienced the landscape in ways we don’t normally – snorkeling, mud baths…
Mandy: Rainforests, reefs, and volcanos all in one day – it was awesome. I’m as full as our day was.
Ellen: Dancing is good for the soul – we ended the day socializing in a community bar, and they were so welcoming, and very proud of their country,
Heather: I was so incredibly pleased with the extremes we encountered today – the different landscapes and ecosystems – I’ve never been in a volcano before and its only the second time I’ve snorkeled. Who can say they’ve done that in the same day ??
Lara: The silence at dinner was proof of an extremely packed day, full of gnarly experiences. That didn’t make sense, did it… is good.
Andrew: The thing I was most impressed by was how easy it is to live with the land – growing your own food, collecting rainwater – and how much that enhances your quality of life.
Lindsey: I grew up in Florida, I grew up in Naples, but I learned more about underwater today by just being there. The ocean feeds my spirit, it keeps me sane and breathing; without it I’d feel lost and alone. Snorkeling at Anse Chastenet reminded me how little we really see of this planet, and how much more there is to learn.
Win: I continue to be amazed at how much there is to experience in a small part of a small island.