There is something about St Lucia, a particular Eastern Caribbean Charm. The island has admittedly terrible roads, it’s missing signs and directions, yet no matter where you’re heading it’s lush , beautiful and culturally immersive. The capital city isn’t overly enticing though during carnival it feels as though all the energy in the world is stemming from Castries.
The drive from the air-port to the north of the island takes an unnecessary hour and a half, but then again, we have all waited longer in traffic with far less of a view in our grey skies of London .When our lives are on autopilot or moving at a pace of extremes we tend to expect a vacation will whisk us away to a dreamlike state with rainbows cascading every mountain, champagne at the snap of fingers, and consistently perfect weather. If you walk into St Lucia with these notions you’ll remain unimpressed.
On the other hand, if you allow yourself the pleasure of letting St Lucia get under your skin, it will in the most incredible way. They say this is the only country in the world named after a woman, it was fought over by the French and English 14 times and considered the Helen of the West Indies. The French influence in Lucian Creole language is thick though curiously you’ll hear the locals blaring country and western classics just about anywhere. Coconut water straight from the fruit is handed to you on the highway leading into Rodney Bay, there are surprises at every turn.
We danced with those who were considered the upper echelon business owners alongside Rastafarians, tourists, and fishermen at the Friday night Gros Islet street party. We drove jeeps through mango plantations to secret beaches with locals who had us eat from trees along the way. We sang karaoke with foreign bankers, investors, and Lucians following a game of pool with some of the most beautiful Caribbean women we’ve ever seen. My travel partner (allegedly) had a romantic night watching the sunset and sinking into the sulphur springs under nothing but moonlight – evidently overstepping the cordial rule of sharing far too much info.
I learned how to bhangra to Soca music paddleboard and found my self Scuba diving under the pitons with the ever increasing sound track to Jaws echoing from within. We dove towards the base of a volcanic eruption, rode horses in the ocean, had bottles of stunning wine with hoteliers, tried the traditional herbs of the lands and drank bush tea curing our hangovers the following mornings. There are scandalous and sexy stories, pure untouched landscapes, fabulous parties, incredible hotels, commercial opportunities via its Citizenship by investment program and warm wonderful people. We left no stone unturned, no event unattended in order to bring the authentic experiences and the stories of communities. Take time to dismiss your preconceived notions, take away your expectations, let St Lucia be what it is, a destination that will unlock your curiosities to life.
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