Thursday, January 31, 2008

Wednesday - St. Lucia

We arrived in St. Lucia at 7:00 am. The island was picture postcard-pretty.

I checked with the excursions desk to see if there were any more tours available. Here Wayne and I were scheduled for a dolphin and whale watch tour, but again I cancelled, afraid I'd end up with a deeper burn than I already have. Wayne went scuba diving for the day. I took a bus tour. We stopped first at a silk-screening studio. They showed us how they silk-screen items, and then we went through the gift shop.

I bought a couple of things there, including a silk-screened t-shirt for Wayne. Next stop was in a banana plantation, where they showed us how the bananas grow on the plants. The next stop was in the fishing village of Anse-La-Raye. The villagers have souvenir stands along the streets where they sell jewelry, hats and everything else you can think of. I bought a bottle of banana ketchup there. Another crochet sighting - there were colorful crocheted hats there.

The next stop was at the top of a lookout point for a photo opportunity to view Marigot Bay. What a beautiful place that was. There is a resort there in the bay - it turns out that Wayne had his buffet lunch at the resort. The final stop was at St. Mark's Place, which is a house built in 1942 on top of a hill overlooking the port. We viewed a few rooms there and they told us a little of its history. The family that owns the house actually lives in the house, closing off the private areas to tours. It was a nice picture vantage there too.

Another crochet sighting here too - a woman was selling crocheted dolls, doilies and baby clothes. I feel for the people who need to make a living selling to tourists. One ignorant passenger on the bus made comments regarding all the vendors. He's lucky he's not in that situation. Overall, the people were nice and didn't badger you if you politely declined to purchase something from them. According to our guide, a certified teacher in St. Lucia makes about $125 USD a week. Same with a nurse - a far cry from US wages.

When we returned to the port, I checked out a few of the shops, but didn't buy anything else. The tour guide was entertaining and overall it was a nice way to spend the morning.

Wayne returned from his dive at 4:30 (the tour was late returning - a good reason to book your excursions through the cruise line. They have to wait for you!). The excursion company's boat broke down and they had to transport the divers by taxi. He enjoyed the dive and thought the reef was beautiful. He has a nice new underwater camera and took some pretty good photos with it.

Dinner was pleasant. One of the couples at our table was celebrating their 53rd wedding anniversary. All of our dinner companions are very nice.

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