Spe­cial ar­ti­cle for Trop­i­cal Trav­eller

Tropical Traveller Magazine - - ISLANDHAVEN -

We set­tled into Rod­ney Bay Vil­lage as if it were home – the kind of hol­i­day ex­pe­ri­ence we like: a cozy, low-rise com­mu­nity, pedes­trian-friendly and ac­ces­si­ble to an ar­ray of shops, restau­rants, and side trips.

I found my “roost” out­side the Bonne Baguette French Bak­ery on the street at Rod­ney Bay Mall. Here I en­joyed watch­ing tourists on their way to shop­ping and tours. Just blocks away, the soft sand of Re­duit Beach ex­tended a wel­come. Clear wa­ters gleamed. Sun­sets glowed over bob­bing boats as the surf me­an­dered ashore.

Daily vis­its to the su­per­mar­ket con­nected us to the St. Lu­cian peo­ple. We filled our cart with ba­nana chips, ap­ples, yo­ghurts, whole­wheat buns, cheese and – of course – ba­nanas for snack­ing. Catch­ing my eye on the wall was a framed list of fifty-two virtues, “The Gifts of Character,” which in­cluded Gen­eros­ity, In­tegrity, Con­sid­er­a­tion and Joy­ful­ness.

We rel­ished the restau­rants, most no­tably Raz­mataz, fes­tive in gold-laced table­cloths, white lat­tice­work and high back chairs. Like hom­ing pi­geons, we re­turned sev­eral times. We found many ex­cel­lent restau­rants. The ham­burg­ers and fries at the Fire Grill hit the spot late one evening.

A short ride to the Rod­ney Bay Ma­rina led to ex­tra­or­di­nary views as yachties as­sem­bled for food and spir­its in the set­ting sun. There was no greater com­fort than soaking in seren­ity as we sa­vored Café Ole’s pump­kin soup, Panini sand­wich and salad. One af­ter­noon we re­turned for scrump­tious Ital­ian-style co­conut ice cream, just two doors down at Elena’s.

We trav­eled by bus to his­toric Pi­geon Is­land Na­tional Land­mark. The fort is the site of nu­mer­ous bat­tles be­tween France and Bri­tain. Now, 44-acres of grass and am­bling paths sur­round the gar­ri­son ru­ins. A fif­teen-minute up­hill walk of­fered a stun­ning view of the de­mure Caribbean Sea com­ing into con­tact with the thrash­ing At­lantic Ocean.

Walk­ing back to Rod­ney Bay along Pi­geon Is­land Beach, we passed San­dals Grande St. Lu­cian Spa & Beach Re­sort. When we ap­proached a canal, a se­cu­rity guard came to our aid by ring­ing an old-fash­ioned bell, sum­mon­ing another se­cu­rity guard in an in­flat­able dingy to ferry us to the other side. From there we con­tin­ued on foot to Gros Islet where we found our way to the Castries-Gros Islet High­way to catch the bus to Rod­ney Bay.

The tourist ex­pe­ri­ence is en­riched by many var­ied ex­pe­ri­ences: snor­kel­ing, sail­ing, sugar-to-rum tours, Gros Islet Fri­day night “jump up” with its danc­ing, mu­sic and food. Castries is also of in­ter­est with its famed mar­ket, Derek Wal­cott Square and the har­bour which daily shel­ters mam­moth cruise ships.

Four months later, I still wal­low in snug mem­o­ries of Rod­ney Bay. One par­tic­u­lar virtue from the “Gift of Character” wall sign comes to mind: Joy­ful­ness.

Mu­ral inside Coco Re­sorts lobby.

Coco Palm's pool­side bar and restau­rant.

Kim's Rod­ney Bay Vil­lage hide­away at La Ter­rasse

The Board­walk Bar at Rod­ney Bay Ma­rina - hip and happy!

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