Wednesday, May 2, 2012

UNESCO, World Heritage site, The Pitons, St Lucia.

Magma pushed up thousands of years ago, some say about 40 000 years ago, and today we picked up a buoy between these magical Pitons. A couple of yachts were swaying  on their buoys, peacefully, protected by these two giants. Marco spotted a yacht, Jangles!  The boys rowed over to say hello, and ended up staying for dinner and a movie, while we were chatting the evening away over our special cocktails. Tomorrow we are going to explore the volcano, Soufrierre!

It was Sunday, and unfortunately no public transport was available, and we were forced to use a taxi. We paid Malcolm, 600EC (230US$) for the trip, (5 adults and 3 kiddies), to the Botanical gardens, the Sulphur Springs, the Mud Baths, and the Waterfall. If you are there during the week, use the local busses, for only 2 EC per person, and then the entrance fees to the sites. A day like we had will cost you no more than 250EC (100 US$) for a group of eight!
Malcolm arrived to pick us up in his boat with the strong 75HP Yamaha engine, and we flew over the water! Quite a bit faster than our 8HP Yamaha dinghy engine!  We felt uncomfortable in the smart taxi, only the eight of us.

Marinata Botanical Gardens was wonderful! It is not the biggest garden I`ve ever seen,  but the tranquility in the garden among the lovely flowers and hummingbirds was wonderful! Since your first step into the garden, through the blue flowered arch, you are entering a special place.

We all loved it, even the little ones. I could stay there for the whole day, sitting under the huge old tree…

We could smell the sulphur in the air, and little Minjone squeezed her nose tight between her little fingers, the way she did in the fish market the other day. Soufrierre, means sulphur in the air, and it is exactly so!

Amazed we looked at the stone grey water from the Earth, boiling hot, 171 degrees Celcius when it comes out in the open. The volcano is a mere 300 meters under the surface, but it will not get angry as long as it can blow off steam through these holes.

We were still in awe with this when our driver, Fernando took us further. While still driving he told us out of the blue that we are going to the Waterfall, and no word about the Mud Baths! We were not happy at all, because this is not what we paid for! He told us that the Mud baths is too hot this time of the year, and especially for the little ones! We were not impressed at all, and after politely telling him that it is not acceptable, he got very upset with us. It ended in him phoning the Malcolm guy, the very trustworthy one, who just as politely told us, that we will have to pay our own entrance fee! Things are never easy in the hands of strangers! We paid the extra 75EC, and decided to enjoy the Mud Baths!

The Baths was a truly black fun experience! The men were fantasizing themselves into action figures, muscular and vicious like in their ‘ previous’ lives! 

Anriette enjoyed the mud bath and sulphur scrub on her own. We were all covered in the black silky smooth mud, with our feet literally burning in the black stream coming from the boiling hot holes.

A man came from the Sulphur Springs, further up, with a bucket filled with grey sticky clay. I saw the locals, not covered in the black stuff like all the tourists, but rubbed down in this grey clay, which turn white as soon as it is dry. They told me, that this stuff is the real sulphur stuff with the medicinal value, and the women gave me a soft ball of clay to keep in my fridge. It cures eccema, acne and all kinds of skin diseases, she said.  Maybe I will try it for eternal youth!
We were smelling like sulphur, even after the open shower at the Baths.
Luckily our next stop was the Waterfall!

 We soaked up in the warm water, also coming from somewhere deep in the mountain.

Even the water coming down the waterfall was warm. Jessica an Rebecca, (SY Jangles) left the boys a hidden treasure somewhere in the Falls, with only a riddle to find it. They loved the search, only to find the `treasure` snuggly hidden underneath the small waterfall. Sweeties and letters for the boys – saying goodbye to dear friends! Four very special people entered our lives…

We weren`t  so smelly and sulphury anymore, and with packets of grilled sweet sugar coconuts, and mangoes we were heading home!
Herewith Joe's video for the day...enjoy and peace....!!!

1 comment:

michelle said...

hi guys so glad you are having a good time , sure brings back good memory's to us . In Rio at the moment love Michelle and Bert SY SNATCH