With another day to explore a new island, we left the ship and went through the terminal. Again there was no immigration, so my passport was without the Saint Lucia seal.
Jumping into a taxi we headed to the airport, but our objective was a car, not a plane. The purple Suzuki minivan accommodated our whole group that squeezed in at ferry terminal.
We passed by the Government House then drove south swerving around the mountain roads and going through small towns like Anse la Raye and Canaries.
Eventually the towering twin pitons came into view!
The two pitons, known as Gros Piton and Petit Piton, are a part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. They look like mountains but are actually volcanic plugs which are created when magma builds and hardens over the vent of a volcano.
Visually they are stunning as they rise out of the ocean reaching for the sky. We stopped on the side of the mountain road to just gaze at them.
Then we quite appropriately stopped for gas in Soufrière (meaning “sulfur” in French) and had a look around the town.
Further south, we followed the egg stench to arrive at our next destination. Forget the drive in movie, how about a drive in volcano? This crater is advertised as “world’s only drive in volcano” which piqued our interests enough for a visit.
Passing by a few souvenir stalls, we parked and purchased tickets. They offer a tour and a mud bath ticket which seemed difficult to pass up!
In a large group a guide gives a rushed explanation of the site and history. Interesting to note that tourists could walk right up to the steaming pits until a tour guide fell through and burned his whole body. From that point onwards, the hole he made was known as “Gabriel’s Hole” and tourists were no longer allowed that close.
The mud bath was a lot more hands on and fun. After dipping in the hot water from the spring, a staff member comes around with buckets of grey mud that bathers can rub all over their bodies. Nat and I enjoyed exfoliating with the black substance until a guide interrupted us and mentioned we were using sand… Not sure how therapeutic the mud was, but it was definitely an amusing experience.
We drove back to Castries which took a bit over an hour. My sister and I returned the rental then decided to stroll back downtown via the beach.
The stretch of beach right next the airport was beautiful but deserted except for the eerie graveyard. Further down the beach suddenly got crowded and really fancy. A security guard approached us to advise that we had wandered onto the grounds of a resort called Rendezvous for couples only.
Downtown we went through the markets which were quite rundown and had all sorts of souvenirs for sale. Sipping on a well deserved local beer, I joined the others and boarded the ship.
Tomorrow we explore another island country, St Kitts and Nevis!