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Swinging Through the Rainforest of Saint Lucia

Heading for the Turn-Around in Miami


View Grandeur of the Seas and Pearl 2007 on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

Thursday, Ca20 December 2007 - St Lucia

Today we were docked in Castries, in St Lucia.
Harbour area

Harbour area


Castries has a natural deep water harbour which can accommodate ships up to 37 feet in draft, 1200 feet long and not exceeding 150,000 tons. The main docking facility is Pointe Seraphine in Castries. It is within walking distance to the center of town. There were two other ships there - one the Carnival Destiny
Other ships in port

Other ships in port


and the other Saga Rose which I think was a German ship. During the main cruise season - from October to April - as many as five (5) cruise ships can call into Castries on any one day.
Looking down on the port from the ship

Looking down on the port from the ship


I had gone to the excursion desk and changed the excursion we had which was exertion level 2, to two level one excursions - one whale watching in the morning and the afternoon one was the rain forest tram. The whale watching was canceled and they switched the rainforest tram to the morning. We were to meet in the theatre at 9:15, but Bob was having a problem with his GI tract and I went to breakfast by myself. I told them I wanted the express breakfast (scrambled eggs, bacon, toast and juice), and they gave it to me very fast - before the other people at the table got their stuff.

Bob eventually decided not to go on the excursion, so I did that by myself too. I took a picture of the seat back or the seat in front of me in the theatre - cool air comes out of the vents at the top of each seat.
Air vents in back of theatre seat

Air vents in back of theatre seat


I got a seat in the back of the van and there was an EXTREMELY fat man and two fat young women who I think were fatter than me. We had 10 or 11 in the van that was meant for 12. We drove around back of the port
Pearl

Pearl

Along the waterfront

Along the waterfront

Carnival Destiny from the parking lot

Carnival Destiny from the parking lot


(driving out was a longer way that just walking out - we had to go around the port entrance shopping and walkers could just walk through) and through the main town fairly quickly. Saw
Home Depot

Home Depot


License plate for a private car

License plate for a private car

Open air market

Open air market

large_3815573-Castries_house_Saint_Lucia.jpgHouse and Bus stop

House and Bus stop


and drove alongside of the airport runway - there was a big cemetery on the other side of it, separated by a stone wall.

We drove up one side of the hill and down the other side. There were banana trees with the blue bags over the bananas, and several sleeping policemen which required that we slow down, plus there were a bunch of potholes. They drive on the left.
Tram guides

Tram guides


We got to the Rainforest Tram about 10. There were bathrooms there which we were encouraged to use (no TP in the toilet - use a waste basket).
Bathroom at the bottom

Bathroom at the bottom

There were leaf impressions in the concrete,
Leaf impressions in the concrete

Leaf impressions in the concrete


and we saw the equipment for doing the zip line there.
Equipment laid out at the bottom

Equipment laid out at the bottom


The trams hold 8 plus the guide, but they only put 6 in ours - possibly because I was with the very fat girls (who were only about 20 or 30) and the fat man. We were probably between us equal to two extra people. St. Lucia's tram is the newest one of the rainforest tram rides on the various Caribbean islands. The trip was very similar to the one we had in Dominica, but was interesting none-the-less. I had my umbrella with me in case of rain, but didn't need it.
Pathway at the visitor's center

Pathway at the visitor's center


There was a beautiful garden at the bottom of the tram.
745021946595360-Garden_in_th..aint_Lucia.jpgGardens at the start of the tram ride

Gardens at the start of the tram ride


At the beginning of the trip we saw the pipeline that used to take water down to the city, and also the walking path that went up the hill to where the zip line took off.
6595417-stairway_up_to_the_top_Saint_Lucia.jpgPath and stairway up to the top

Path and stairway up to the top


We saw Norfolk pines, and strangler figs, ferns, magnolias and bromeliads
Leaves

Leaves

Vines

Vines

Ferns from the tram

Ferns from the tram


Bromeliads

Bromeliads


and I think we saw more actual flowers on this trip, plus 3 or 4 hummingbirds and a hawk and a couple of other kinds of birds. We also saw a cascade waterfall.
Waterfall cascade

Waterfall cascade


The guide told us about a poisonous tree where if you put a bit of it in the water, the fish would itch so bad that they'd jump out of the water. But after you had caught your fish the leaf would stay in the water and kill the aquatic life. He also showed us a flower that started out yellow, was orange when it was ready to be pollinated and turned red after it had been pollinated.

We started to hear shrieks, which at first I thought was monkeys or something, but it turned out to be the folks doing the zip line. They were close to the tram, but just far enough through the trees to make it difficult to get them in focus. Zip liners through the trees

Zip liners through the trees


from the tram

from the tram

Way station from the tram

Way station from the tram

Rainforest Tram

Rainforest Tram


After we got to the top, we had lovely views out over the island on the way down.
Boat far below

Boat far below

3832902-View_from_the_top_Saint_Lucia.jpgView from the mountain

View from the mountain


sailboat from the mountain

sailboat from the mountain


another tram below us

another tram below us

Leaf detail

Leaf detail

Platform through the trees from the tram

Platform through the trees from the tram


Bush

Bush

flower

flower

Looking through the railing

Looking through the railing


When we got back to the base station,
Rainforest Cafe

Rainforest Cafe


they offered us a rum punch or fruit punch or water. And also a chance to shop
Amazonas shop

Amazonas shop

Flower

Flower

100_0774.jpgBird at the visitor's center

Bird at the visitor's center


On the way back I saw what looked like a lighthouse, but only got one photo. This turned out to be Vigie Light. This 1914 lighthouse is active. The station was established 1883.
Lighthouse

Lighthouse


The van driver offered us a tour after we got back to the ship, but everyone chickened out. The other couples wanted to go back to the ship and the fat girls wanted to shop. As always, there are shops around the port for people to buy gifts and souvenirs.
Red roofs of shopping area

Red roofs of shopping area


I do not do much shopping, and I didn't do any here. I did take a photo of La Place Carenage
La Place

La Place

Bus

Bus


which was opened in December, 1996 by SLASPA (Saint Lucia Air and Seaports Authority) in an effort to carry out projects designed to stimulate social and economic growth and to serve the increasing number of cruise ships berthing at the Queen Elizabeth II docks. La Place Carenage is an air-conditioned, three story duty free shopping mall featuring a perfect mix of shopping, dining and entertainment.
Coming in from tour - detail of lower deck

Coming in from tour - detail of lower deck

6592093-Harbor_Castries.jpgFrom the ship

From the ship


When I got back, Bob had already had lunch and was resting. He said he had cold soup in the buffet, and was now going on a liquid diet. I went to get something to eat. My lunch
Pineapple coupe

Pineapple coupe


Assorted greens salad

Assorted greens salad

Spinach and cheese parcel

Spinach and cheese parcel

Dessert

Dessert


I took a photo of the bowling alley on the way.
Bowling Alley

Bowling Alley


Bob said he saw some kids using it later, and all they did was throw the ball down the alley - they didn't really know how to bowl. He also said they had gutter guards to keep the ball from going into the gutters.
Bliss Lounge

Bliss Lounge

Camera shop

Camera shop


When we went to dinner, we again asked to share, and did not get anyone to sit with. I could see the end of the runway out past the stern of the ship. I had
Porchetta and Melon appetizer

Porchetta and Melon appetizer


Bob had various fruits. Then he had a cold rhubarb soup which he liked and I had corn and shrimp bisque which was too spicy for me. Bob had
Stuffed Pork Loin

Stuffed Pork Loin


(so much for the liquid diet) and I decided to try the
Tandoori Chicken

Tandoori Chicken


but it was too spicy for me so I had the waiter bring me a Caesar salad and just had that.
Pulling in one of the lines from the Summer Palace

Pulling in one of the lines from the Summer Palace


Leaving the dock, we saw them pull one of the lines in from the shore from our table, but then, the ship delayed leaving for someone with a medical problem. We had time to go out on deck to watch us leaving.
6592109-Beautiful_at_night_Castries.jpgLeaving the harbor at night

Leaving the harbor at night


The ship turned around and Bob thought he would hit the dock in doing it, but we didn't. I took pictures as we passed the end of the airport runway which was out across the harbor.
Tugboat from when we left at night

Tugboat from when we left at night

Chilhuly on the big screen

Chilhuly on the big screen

Posted by greatgrandmaR 20:32 Archived in Saint Lucia Tagged rainforest waterfall tram castries st_lucia zip_line

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Comments

It's interesting to see how much Castries has changed since we visited there in about 1985, also by ship. We took a little tour around the island and I remember buying a silk-screened tote at the Bagshaws shop. Pictures from the aerial rainforest tram are nice. We took a very similiar one in Costa Rica that we enjoyed. Your photos remind me how much I miss cruising right now!

by starship VT

Thank you.

This was our first visit and we have only been there twice - not very many times in comparison to some other ports. The tram ride was similar to the one we did in Dominica in December 2006

We went the second time in 2013 and I took more photos of Castries then - even though neither time did I have a chance to walk around. I think you might find even more changes in those photos.

https://grandmar2013caribbea.travellerspoint.com/2/

by greatgrandmaR

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