Thursday, May 9

St. Lucia Part lll, last but not least

After nearly 2 weeks of visitors, Chris, our last visitor, arrives.  We celebrated his Big 5-0 birthday the night he arrived before Lizzy and Malia flew home.  Cari hired chef Joel to cook up a birthday feast at the 'Butterfly House'.  It was a spacious and comfortable home, perched on a palm tree covered hill overlooking the Caribbean Sea.  Simply breathtaking!

Finally, a man to hang out with!!

Chef Joel prepping for dinner.  Kate got many cooking tips from him.

Our feast of Mahi Mahi with creole sauce, salted fish and boiled bananas, veggies and plantains....

....and bananas flambé with ice cream for dessert!

Liv and Lizzy waiting for their ice cream

The following day, Cari took Lizzy and Malia to the airport while Chris sailed with us from Rodney Bay back south to Marigot Bay to their next rental house.  

While in Marigot Bay, Chris and I got hair cuts and Cari asked the woman in the salon if she had any tips for getting the braids out of Olivia's hair, which were showing signs of dreadlocks.  Instead of giving us tips, she went straight to work.  She was ten times faster than Cari and I put together!

The view from Chris and Cari's house in Marigot Bay.  So beautiful and peaceful.  We all spent one night off the boat in real beds, enjoyed the pool and long, hot showers!

We brought the 'provisions' and we all cooked a delicious meal in the big kitchen.  It was so fun listening to music, serving up painkillers and eating outside on the veranda.

Our meal of "almost lobster" (the name of the recipe - not mine); tenderized conch pockets grilled to perfection with butter, wine, garlic, onions and tomatoes.  We also fried up plantains and warmed up left over salted fish and vegetables from chef Joel the night before.

 We took Chris and Cari for a day sail to Anse La Raye to walk to River Rock Falls.

 The dug-out boats the locals use for fishing

 Anse La Raye town center

 Walking through town to make our way to the waterfall

We met First Blood along the way, asked him if we were going in the right direction for the waterfall.  The guidebook made it seem so simple.  I should have known better even though we felt prepared with our written directions.  We walked and walked and walked some more.  We heared some frightening loud booms, like dynamite, that made us feel a little uneasy.  We were passed by some dump trucks along the dirt road and even flagged one down to ask if we were going in the right direction.  "Yes, yes, it's that way" the workers told us.  Finally, we saw the rock quarry that was being blasted and decided we had better turn around and head back.  We had plans of snorkeling around the bend from Anse La Raye, and we didn't want to get there too late.  So we ate some lunch beside the river that we knew came from the waterfall.  So close but yet so far.

 Motoring around the corner to Anse Cochon, we plopped in the water to do a little snorkeling.  This is a well known spot with clear water and great fish.

Chris drives us back to Marigot Bay as the sun sets

Leaving Marigot Bay for the last time...I promise

Chris and Cari checked out of their Marigot Bay house, loaded their bags on our boat and we first sailed down to Souferie to see the Pitons before going back north.

Equal Rights helps us with our mooring by the bat caves.  Yes, we've been here before and this won't be the last...

Chris gets a lesson on how to tie up the mooring lines to the boat

We do a little snorkeling around the bat caves and eat lunch

Then we sail all the way back to Rodney Bay, again.  I think this was our third time in Rodney Bay. 

Olivia and Cari enjoy the sunshine on the trampoline

Rain squall produced a beautiful rainbow as we near Rodney Bay.  We quickly anchored between squalls and gave Chris and Cari our foul weather jackets for a wet dinghy ride back to the Marina where they caught a taxi to their new hotel.

A beautiful sunset after the squalls leave the area

 The following morning, while Chris and Cari would be sleeping in and spending the day enjoying their new resort, we went on a sunrise hike with Bob, Christine, Gene and Kat.  We hiked up to the top of Pigeon Island.  That meant we were up at 4:45 am and hiking by 5:20 am.

 Here comes the sun

Ready to hike down and get some breakfast on Virginia Dare.  On our way down, we ran into a sketchy looking dude wearing all black with his hood on.  Although he didn't look like a park ranger he was acting like one and said we needed to pay him our admission fee to the park.  So, he followed us all the way down the hill to where we had our dinghies parked.  He was then becoming insistent that we pay him $96 EC (for all 6 of us).  We were not quite convinced that if we payed him, the money would end up in the park's coffers.  We told him we would come back to the Park office at 9:00 when the park opened.  He wasn't buying it.   Things were becoming a little tense and uncomfortable when Bob suddenly said in classic Bob style with hand motions and head tilting,"OK, look, this is the situation.  We don't trust you and you don't trust us!" And Gene said,  "We're Leaving'."  And we left just like that.  Later we did in fact go back to the park office and pay our admission fee.  When we told the park officers our tale, they all raised there eyebrows and smiled and said we did the right thing.  They had no idea who that guy was. It just goes to show that if it doesn't look or smell like a park ranger, it's probably just another St Lucia con artist trying to fleece you.

The gorgeous pool at the Cap Maison Resort where Chris and Cari stayed for their last few days in St. Lucia.

We enjoyed the pool all day and then made dinner and had our last meal together in the Caribbean, a bittersweet night!  

Enjoying a rum punch poolside

Pina Colada's for the men

Sweet girls

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