May 28th, 2003.
Wednesday had been designated (when we mapped out our itinerary) our official “Beach Day”. Equipped with beach towels from the Still’s housekeeper, Glennis, we were headed to the beach called Anse Chastenet, only to be reached up a steep, winding path with 4W drive. En route, we checked out the Mago Estate, an incredibly luxurious and gorgeous if horribly snobby secluded hotel; some rooms there have no ‘fourth’ wall but instead open out onto ocean views.
We completed the obstacle course to get to Anse Chastanet, reportedly one of the best beaches on the island. The road to reach it certainly weeds out the visitors! The large, old-fashioned sail boat pictured is the Unicorn, a daily charter that sails out of Rodney Bay. The picture is taken from half-way along the high, winding, rutted road.
Once we arrived, we had an hour to wait before lunch would begin at the hotel restaurant (patronised by opportunist birds as well-see the photo of the Glossy Cowbird enjoying someone’s abandoned salad at the next table) so we headed straight for the snorkeling and had a blast!
We can’t do it justice by trying to describe the enormous brain corals and myriad of fishes (over 300 species) that fascinated us. Shoals of tiny golden fish undulated beneath us, occasionally rapidly changing direction with amazing synchronicity.
We stowed our gear before having lunch (Peter, a beef stew; Tara, a chicken roti which is a local type of burrito). Then we had a cocktail sitting at the bar looking out at the ocean (Peter had a daiquiri and Tara a Pina Colada!) before we had one last snorkel!
Our last item on the day’s itinerary was Toraille Falls, where visitors are allowed to get into the pool at the base. Our Rough Guide recommended late afternoon to avoid the bus tour groups and we found noone else there.
We both stood under the side of the cascade but it was a forceful experience not to be tolerated too long. We saw more hummingbirds and geckos and Tara slipped on the loose stones of the steps, right next to one of the numerous “watch your step” signs! Peter refrained from taking a photo.
We ate dinner at Camilla’s, sitting at one of the two tables squeezed on the tiny balcony, sharing it with ‘Brother George’, a local dignitary. We listened as he called down to passerbys on the street below and eavesdropped on his conversation with one ‘city manager’ he invited up for a glass of wine as they discussed the missing funds from a recent Hotel Development (Sandals!). Additionally, there was a recent Japanese investment into a fish processing plant in Vieux Fort (our next destination). During the rest of our time in St. Lucia, we heard more and more on the radio about the Sandals Scandle - the Prime Minister's resignation was called for! We walked back to the Still from Camilla’s and that finished our Wednesday night. Unknown to us, one of the street vendors we were to meet outside the Diamond Falls & Botanical Gardens the next day had watched us walking along as he smoked his ‘ganja’…
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