Exploring St. Lucia
with The best way to get a proper sense of St. Lucia, it seemed, was to work my way up the island by foot, road and boat. And spend nights at the islands’ supurb resorts along the way.
More than anywhere St. Lucia is best visited by being on the move. The thing to do is to change hotels every few days. For all its beauty and fecundity, the island can be quite restrictive especially if you want to stretch a leg as the beaches are small and the hillsides are steep. Each cove (which the French called anse) is a hideaway and hotels vie to offer the most romantic setting.
Attempting to traverse the island on foot, I descended steeply down from hills still stricken with their trees deracinated from a recent storm.
Viceroy Sugar Beach Resort
Starting from the international airport in the south I reached the Viceroy Sugar Beach. This American hotel has surely secured the choice location of the island. It's between the famous twin peaks of Gros and Petit Piton. These upright, precipitous mountains reach over two thousand feet in height and are the consequence of an historic earthquake balancing its neighbouring sea with equal depth. They gave me a sense of being grounded with their majestic presence dwarfing all below. I needed to see them
panoramically. From the sea as well as the land. At different angles they alternate between one being a pyramid and the other a multi-faceted shape.
At the Gardens I came across a beaten track to a 50 foot waterfall with the water free falling every second for eternity. I learnt even more about nature from the 250 year old ‘Sulphur Springs' still bubbling away, emitting noxious fumes that gave it's name to Soufrière. This island's second town is further north and is small and jolly with shops behind her seafront and houses receding up into the valley.
Capella Marigot Bay
The Capella Marigot Bay hotel's location couldn't be more idyllic as it overlooks its marina. Here I got a strong sense of the nautical character of St. Lucia as I looked around at premier yachts berthed from all over the world. The bay is known as ‘hurricane hole' from its position on the west side of the island. It's surrounded by mountains and experiences minimal tidal changes. Yachties tinker with their equipment and there's a serenity in this secluded and secure haven. A serenity reflected in the philosophy of the hotel.
As I moved up the island the vegetation changes and the sand gets whiter.
St. James's Morgan Bay
Next came St. James's Morgan Bay. The rooms have double balconies and it is beautifully set within the sound of lapping waves and has views of the sea offering stunning sunsets. It's for those preferring organised entertainment. There's a spoiling range of six restaurants and