St. Lucia, Caribbean 2011
During the Spring Break of 2011, Becky (my wife) and I went on a Cruise with our friends (Mike and Lisa Stevens) to the Lesser Antilles. One of our main destinations on the cruise was the Island of St. Lucia.
We hired a car and driver to take us from the Cruise Port in Castries to Soufiere Bay and return.
Pictured below, Diamond Falls is the lowest of six waterfalls that are fed by sulfur springs that change the color of the water to bright shades of yellow, green, and purple.
Adjacent to the falls are mineral baths that were originally built on the orders of Louis XVI to enable French soldiers stationed in the area to benefit from the curative properties of the waters. The Diamond Baths were destroyed during the Brigand’s War (1794), but have since been restored. We didn’t take advantage.
Pictured above, the streams that feed the Upper and Lower Diamond Falls originate at Sulphur Springs, which is touted as the world’s only “drive-in” volcano. The road leads into the remains of Mount Soufriere’s volcanic crater near the edge of the volcanic activity.
Pictured above, the walls of the crater have eroded away, leaving 3 hectares of barren mountainside with boiling mud pools and vents that shoot steam 15 meters into the air.
the majestic twin peaks of Gros (Big) Piton and Petit (Small) Piton are recognized internationally. Despite it’s name, Petit Piton is actually taller than Gros Piton, although Gros Piton is the broader of the two.
The pyramidal cones of the mountains were formed from a volcanic eruption 30-40 million years ago. The vegetation of the Pitons is varied due to their steepness, geology and proximity to the sea. Rainfall is higher on the Pitons than in the rest of the island, and the peaks are usually shrouded in clouds. They are shrouded in clouds 100 days/year.
Pictured above, Increased moisture leads to enhance growth of plants such as orchids and bromelaids. Over 148 plant species, and 27 bird species have been recorded in Gros Piton.
Pictured above, the Pitons are located near the town of Soufriere in southwest St. Lucia.
After eating lunch in Soufriere, we spent some time on the beach, (pictured above and below). Note, the lack of tourists.