Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The next morning we arrived at 

St. Lucia!

I loved this old looking plantation house.

This "eagle's next" was in full view of our balcony. At night we wondered if anyone could see if someone fell off the boat. It was freaky to even think about as we would be looking off the balcony. 

Funny how we freak ourselves out like that!

When we got off the boat we found plenty of offers to take us on tours of the island. 

We looked over the offerings of a couple of places and found one that we liked. They offered 3 times the things that the cruise offered at 1/3 the price!

We started out on a boat ride to the other side of St. Lucia. They weren't kidding that you would need transportation. 

It was a 45 minute boat ride to Soufriere which is the city on the other side next to the famous Piton peaks or it was 1 and 1/2 hour taxi drive over mountainous, bumpy, potholed roads that the locals called "sick road". We opted for the boat ride.  

This was a Sandals resort in the distance.

We also saw some local places. It was amazing to me the disparity of the wealth and the poverty. 

We had the filming location of the Bachlorette show and then a few minutes away an old fishing village. 

Finally made it to the Pitons (pronounced like the Grand Titons)

Beautiful views behind the Beaulieus...

and the Olesons...

Once we were dropped off we boarded a van taxi to head up to Sulphur Springs park...advertised the Caribbean's only drive through Volcano though we never drove through a volcano...we don't know if it was false advertising or our driver just didn't drive us far enough. The kids were disappointed later that they didn't drive through a volcano like they thought they were going to. 

The streets were narrow and a little crazy. 

Our driver was great though. Nice to have a local just take us where we wanted to go. 

Our first stop was Sulphur Springs which was a hot springs/river that had been made into a mud bath experience (maybe this was supposed to be the volcano). 

First you get yourself wet and then rub volcanic mud all over you. 

I did it for the experience but I didn't cover myself in mud to the degree that some of the other people did...Ashley and I mudded up...

Real men wear mud

The next step was to submerge yourself into a pool of water from the stream. The water was very hot!!! I didn't let Ashley get in because it was a little deep for her and hot! So I just rubbed her down. 

(You can see how covered some people were behind us)

The heat didn't stop Joel from enjoying it. 

Jacob just tried it out on his hand...he didn't want to commit all the way.

After the hot bath they had cooler showers where we could rinse off. 

After we left I noticed I still had mud on my legs...I have to say my skin did feel softer after. 

Jacob is hugging a fellow tourist that was on our boat...I swear he is not shy to hug anyone!

Some more driving through the city...checking out a historical church...

And our next stop is another waterfall. No hiking to get to this waterfall. 

They even had sandbag steps to get in and the water was shallow enough even for Ashley. 

The water felt great after all the sticky heat!

Here is Jacob demonstrating his favorite thing to do when his hair is wet. He loves to flick it around! 

Every time he gets out of the shower he does the same thing!

This waterfall wasn't cascading down rocks, it was shooting out like a giant shower....

Better for us all to enjoy!

In the town of Soufriere it looks poor and run down in a lot of places, buildings in different states of disrepair, people with no shoes walking through the streets, some dazed, and some quite colorful characters. Lots of people were trying to sell us trinkets.

These boys saw us waiting for our boat ride back and started swimming over to us...I thought on a boogie it was the door off of a refrigerator. 

They were hoping for a handout. 

This was one of the places very dependent on tourism, I could only imagine what their day to day life is like. 

On our way out our boat guide showed us a bat cave...doesn't look like much....

until we got closer and we could hear and see thousands of bats inside!

Our next spot was a beach drop off where we would spend an hour or so. Before we could even get to the dock this guy was hanging on to the side of our boat trying to sell us conch shells and coconuts. 

He would blow his conch shells and make a loud horn sound. 

Jeff talked to the guy and I guess he quit his job to sell conch shells that he picked up from between the Pitons for a living. We bought one for $8.00 and jammed it in our luggage with the rest of our stuff. 

The beach was calm but rocky at the shore. There were some fish to check out ....

and some food to buy at the little resort we were sitting on. 

I felt bad for Dean that day. He had gotten sand in his eye that morning and rubbed it, we think he scratched it pretty good because he kept his eyes closed and cried about it most of the day. Poor Dean. It took him a couple of days before his eye stopped bugging him. 

Heading back the boat captain took us by some of the wealthier areas including where George Foreman has a house. It was a big difference from Soufriere.

As we drove by we passed by this overhang ledge and there were a bunch of local boys on top getting ready to jump. 

You can barely see him but there is a boy in red shorts doing a backdive. We cheered as we drove by and they all dived in but they immediately quickly swam over to us and said " Money!! We want money! We want money!!"

 Whoah that wasn't the deal..when they saw we weren't throwing money at them they quickly started swimming to the boat behind us to hit them up for money. I realized to them they saw this as their way to make money....why have a real job when you can jump off cliffs, and sell shells to tourists. 

Our tour was about 6 hours or so and took us all the way to the time we were supposed to be back on the boat. I thought it was a great deal for the money we spent. 

Jacob and Taylor liked sitting on the top of the boat as we drove back. Jacob had quite the hairdo by the time we were back. 

We got to meet our fellow passengers. These guys were newlyweds and this was their honeymoon. 

Hey Jacob wasn't that the girl you were hugging?? You'de better watch out!!!

In our room that night we had a towel bunny. 

Just to give you a perspective on what 5 people in a room looked like. 

We left the bunk bed up all day because it gave a place for Taylor to hang out on but they would fold up the trundle bed during the day for a little more floor space. 

It actually wasn't as claustrophobic as I thought it might be. We learned to try and keep our stuff picked up (it worked pretty good until the end) and having the balcony to escape to really helped too. 

Tomorrow we were heading to St. Kitts.

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