Saturday, June 30, 2018

Cruisin' - Installment 4, St. Lucia

Our excursion on this day was a bus tour through residential areas up the mountain, views of The Pitons and more, lunch at the beautiful mountaintop Ladera Resort, then a catamaran cruise around Marigot Bay. It was a long day, but wonderful!

Our first stop, though merely for picture taking (we didn't exit the bus), was the historic Victorian mansion, Government House. The current government house was completed in 1895 after being destroyed in 1817, then abandoned in 1865. Since the island gained independence in 1979, Government House is the residence of the Governor-General. As you can see by the massive gates, you can't just waltz right in. Visitors must make reservations and only during set days and times. And pay admission.

Later, we stopped at the top above the fishing village of Soufriere, Montserrat with the twin peaks of The Pitons in the background. Pictures don't do it justice. The greens are so vivid, the water is so sparklingly gorgeous and the all buildings are painted such fun and vibrant colors.

Fresh fruits, coconuts, and handmade jewelry and other handmade items were available for purchase, along with water and the local Piton beer, which was good.

The Ladera Resort sits high on a cliff 1000 feet above the sea with a view between The Pitons. Beautiful!! Check out their website for more pictures of the actual suites, the restaurant, pools, and gorgeous grounds.

We were treated to lunch at the resort restaurant, Dasheene (I'm sure a selling opportunity for them; I heard more than one person say how much they would love to stay there sometime so it apparently worked).  Also, they are very proud to have hosted Oprah, Harrison Ford and Denzel Washington as guests of the resort. The food was very good. I had the Cajun Poulet with Chocolate Cake and their made-on-site coconut ice cream for dessert.

The grounds around the resort are beautiful. The gazebo was a neat little spot to sit and enjoy the beauty all around, which, ironically, you can't see from this shot of the gazebo. LOL

From the koi pond; you can see the roof of the gazebo and more of the lovely grounds.

Bird of Paradise

Allamanda Flower

I believe this is a Calabash tree, the national tree of St. Lucia. The fruit is not edible on these trees, however, there is also a Black Calabash tree with similar fruit that IS edible. Don't get them confused!

Spider Lily. Isn't it interesting? 

 Lily pads in the Koi pond
 Koi fish

 Gorgeous centerpiece with anthurium, red ginger and greenery

After the resort tour and lunch, we got back on the buses and headed to the Soufriere docks to board the catamaran for the second half of our excursion.

Marigot Bay Coastal Cruise, one of the crewmen on the catamaran


Lots more cats and other boats on the bay.

Crewmen anchoring us at the beach for some snorkeling, swimming, or just enjoying the gorgeous weather. While others got off the boat for some water sports, we didn't venture off this time. Instead, we stayed aboard and enjoyed (can you guess?) rum punch (of course!).

Living cliff side in the Caribbean would be so hard to take, wouldn't it?

After a long day of excursions, we were ready for more cocktails and another game of Yahtzee to relax and unwind.

While we enjoyed our game, we watched the lifeboat drills. Cool.

So another day of cruising in the books. We're on the back end of our vacation now with just a couple of days left in the gorgeous Caribbean. Final installment coming soon!

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