Food & Drink,  Lifestyle,  Photography,  Travel

St Lucia, The Caribbean

After a rubbish start to the year, James and I wanted to get away to somewhere we could recharge the batteries, soak up some sunshine and completely switch off. We wanted something last minute and in April it meant we needed to go long haul. After listing our requirements to the travel agent, they suggested St Lucia and we happily agreed.

Within four weeks of booking we were on our way, saying goodbye to the dreary English weather (that had forecast snow whilst we were away) and preparing our bodies for some serious relaxation.

The island of St Lucia is pretty small, approximately 43km long by 22km wide, you’d think getting from the south of the island where the airport is, up to our resort in the north would be a doddle. For most, it probably is, but for someone who suffers with travel sickness I can’t say I enjoyed the first 90mins on St Lucia. There is no direct route to the north and the roads are windy, going up and down passed houses, banana trees, beaches, rainforests – not the welcome I was hoping for but we had a lovely driver that distracted us with many facts about St Lucians and the Island. The changing scenery and views helped too.

Luckily our resort was the first stop. We were staying at St James’ Resort, on Morgan Bay where we were welcomed with a rum cocktail, a list of details about orientations that thankfully James absorbed, whilst I sipped on my cocktail. We were taken up to our room in a little golf buggy and left to enjoy the view from our new home for the next two weeks.

We took a bit of time out to unpack, freshen up and remind ourselves we didn’t have to rush to do anything. To top our trip off, we had booked into an all inclusive, something I’ve never done before but would recommend for a place like St Lucia. I love to go out and explore, especially in a new country so would usually stay away from all inclusive but it suited us perfectly here. There were 6 restaurants at our resort and the staff had already booked us into one for our first meal.

We got ready for our first evening in St Lucia and headed to the Tree Tops restaurant, that happened to be the closest to our room. The theme there was Italian so we enjoyed a bottle of wine, some starters and some pizzas. James was so impressed he proclaimed it as his favourite restaurant before we’d even tried the rest!

We went to play a game of pool and watch some of the hotel entertainment before retiring to our room. With our bodies yet to adjust to local time, we were fast asleep by 9pm.

The following morning we were up bright and early, with buffet breakfast on our minds. We headed to the restaurant on the seafront, where we not only filled our bellies full of delicious fruit but were entertained by an exercise class on the sea.

It was called Float Fit, where you did a workout and yoga moves on a board in the middle of the sea. It was hilarious to watch and something we planned on doing at least once whilst we were there.

Feeling energised and full up, we took ourselves on a tour around the hotel. Working out where all the restaurants were, booking up activities outside of the resort and finding our spot on the beach.

Now I won’t go through and tell you what we did on a day-to-day basis as you’ll be hearing a lot of ‘then we sat on the beach’, ‘then we moved to the pool, oh and ‘I ate way too much at lunch again’, as that’s not particularly interesting to hear. But the following two weeks were wonderful; we had nothing we had to do, nowhere to be – yet we were never bored. We both got through several books each and completed a sudoku puzzle book.

We enjoyed some great food everyday, there was a buffet restaurant, a Caribbean restaurant, a seafood restaurant, a burger joint, a French restaurant and an Italian. It’s amazing we both didn’t come back a couple of stone heavier!

Luckily the resort put on lots of activities and exercise classes. There were free water sports including kayaking, paddle boarding, sailing, pedal boats, water skiing and wind surfing. Most days we went out on something, perfecting our skills on the water.

Some days we did leave the resort, including a day in the rainforest. The trip involved taking an aerial tram high up into the rainforest, giving us the opportunity to take in all the flora and fauna. We also experienced some long and heavy rainfall, which we weren’t completely prepared for!

Once we reached the top, we were taken into the depths of the rainforest where we were zipping through the trees on 8 zip-wires. All varying in lengths and heights, it certainly got the adrenaline going.

Our other day out was with Joy’s Cruise. We took a boat down the west side of the island to go in the mud baths of a volcano and do some snorkelling. Along the way we saw a spot where they filmed Pirates of the Caribbean and also stopped inside the famous Marigot Bay before changing transportation from boat to bus to get to the volcano.

At the volcano we went into the hot mud baths, slathering ourselves in the mud – which when washed off, left our skin silky smooth. It was amazing! We got off as much as we could in the hot water but removed the rest at a large waterfall, where the water was slightly less warm…

We were invited back to the tour owner’s home for a traditional Caribbean feast before heading onto some snorkelling right in the middle of the two Piton mountains. It was both of our first time snorkelling and we loved it, something we’ll be doing more of.

We hopped back on the boat, with some party tunes kicking out and the rum cocktails flowing. A very fun tour, that we’d recommend to anyone staying at our resort.

Another highlight of our trip was the beach party. Every Wednesday the resort closes up all the restaurants and brings the food, drink, entertainment all out onto the beach. Our first week it was rained off but luckily the following week the party was on. The food, as always, was wonderful – the entertainment was very impressive and finally enough people were up dancing so I could join in.

Soon enough our two weeks were up and neither of us wanted to leave. I was never one for long beach type holidays but when you really need to unwind and completely remove yourself from your everyday routine, there really is nothing better. We both returned with some impressive tan lines, slightly larger but content bellies and a big love for St Lucians. I’ve also acquired a new fondness of UB40 and discovered I can feel comfortable wearing less or no make-up. The freedom!

James and I have been back a few weeks now but we’re already planning our next adventure, stay tuned!

You can find our resort here.

More information on the Rainforest trip here and Joy’s Cruise here.

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