Located in Marigot Bay on the island of Saint Lucia is a large deep anchorage with moorings. Unlike other mooring anchorages, if you take a mooring here you have access to the Marigot Bay Resort. This was a no brainer for us and were looking forward to a few days of relaxation, resort style.
Marigot Bay is a fairly long and somewhat narrow but then opening once you reach the resort. As we approached the entrance to the bay we hailed the marina office and requested a mooring. All moorings are first-come first-serve so we were hoping that they had room for both 5KNOTS and Belle Marie. They said there would be no problem and would send somebody out to meet us as we entered the bay. We decided on a mooring that was close to the resort to facilitate getting to shore a little easier. Often times we anchor in the back away from the congestion but this time we opted for convenience. The resort is large with several options for dining, two pools, large bathrooms with HOT showers and large areas to just mingle with resort guests as well as other Yachtie’s enjoying a little pampering. There is also a marina here and it is amazing to walk the docks and see the mega yachts. Here is the stern of one of these yachts with the door opened where you find the Toy Room, where they keep jet skis, smaller boats and all the fun stuff needed to enjoy their time on the water. We went ashore to checkin with customs and the marina office. As soon as were legal we strolled around the resort to see what was all there and treat ourselves to a meal ashore. Before returning to 5KNOTS for the night we decided that we would meet Tim at 8:00am for a walk/bus ride into the town Castries for the market.
I just replaced the batteries in our Atomic Clock but set the timezone incorrectly for our location (AST – Atlantic Standard Time). As a result we were an hour behind so Tim just started heading for the bus and we would meet up again along the way or in town. As Renée and I were approaching the top of the first big hill, a taxi pulled over and asked if we wanted a ride. We declined and said were just going to walk and meet our friend Tim further down the road. The driver said my name is Phillip and I am going into town so jump in and I will just give you a ride for free. We said sure why not as long as you scoop up our friend when we find him. Phillip said he was free for the day and asked if we were interested in taking a tour of the island? Sure, why not.
We scooped up Tim waiting for the bus and started our day’s adventure. Our first stop was to be the market. However, once we got to downtown Castries the traffic was horrible and the market was jammed with people. We quickly decided that we would pass on the market and Phillip took us to our first stop, The Derek Wilcott Square and the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception. The Cathedral was built in 1897 and is the largest church in the Caribbean measuring 200 feet long and 100 feet wide. At the time of our visit it was going under a major renovation but was still magnificent.
Our next major stop was going to be Sulphur Springs and Mud Baths.
Along the way we made several local stops at stands that were setup along side of the road where you can purchase locally made souvenirs, hot sauces and jams and rums. Phillip knew everybody that we met and we were welcomed as if we were family. Throughout the island you will find small to large plantations where there are a variety of crops being grown. It is not uncommon to see plantations that contain Bananas, Mangoes, Papaya, coconuts and just about anything you can imagine grows good on the islands.
We stopped at a stand along the road in front of their banana plantation. Here they sell everything you can imagine that is made with bananas. We are holding a banana tree flower that grows at the bottom of the bundle of bananas. If you look close you can see the tiny little bananas getting ready to grow. We sampled several sauces and jams and decided on the banana hot sauce and banana barbecue sauce. The hot sauce has a bite but is also sweet due to the banana.
Our next stop was another stand where Phillip said we can get a local treat called Black (Blood) Pudding. Each Saturday at this location, they kill a hog, bleed it out into a bucket and then save every part of the animal. There is absolutely nothing that goes to waste.
The blood is seasoned with a special recipe of spices and apparently everyone creates their own. Phillip assured us that this was the best he had ever tasted. The seasoned blood is then funneled into the intestines by hand using the cutoff top to a plastic soda bottle. The now links air placed into the 50 gallon drum that is cut in half and filled with water. Using a wood fire, the links are boiled until they float to the top. Once floating, they are removed from the water, allowed to cool and then cut into bitesize morsels.
This was the easy part, now who is going to eat it? Renée couldn’t wait to have a go at it and both Tim and I were kind enough to let her have our pieces as well. By the time it was over four pieces went down the hatch. If there is something new to do or try, Renée is always right there to take one for the team. Thanks Honey!
Continuing on we thought that this day could not get any better. What started out to be a long walk to the bus and into town is turning out to be a fantastic. Phillip assured us we would not be disappointed and he was right.
Phillip took us to the Sulphur Springs and Mud Baths located at the Volcano. This is basically a couple of concrete pools that have the hot water from the volcano running through each of them. Flowing down with the water is hot sulphur mud which settles into the pools. You scoop up piles of the mud in a bucket that you then lather on your body. It feels really good and is suppose to be rejuvenating and cleansing. So here we are all painted up getting ready to jump back into the pools. Fortunately there were showers we could use to get cleaned up before moving on.
Driving to the hot waterfalls we stopped along the road where there was a guy with a Boa Constrictor. You can see that Tim enjoyed this stop more than Renée or I did. Continuing we spent time at the hot waterfall where the water of the fall was warm and collected into a couple of pools. Not as hot as the Sulphur Springs, but still felt great.
After the falls we made two stops at roadside stands where bread was being made using wood fired Ovens. The first stand was making Creole Bread. Creole bread is made with the same ingredients you would use in making any other type of bread. Flour, sugar, oil, yeast and warm water. It shaped like a small loaf of bread and you can eat it plain or slice it open and stuff it with cheese, meat or fish.
The second was baking Cassava Bread. It is made with Cassava flour that is made from the roots from the Cassava plant. The flour is ground by hand into a cornmeal like texture. Cassava bread is more of a flat bread and is seasoned with, fruit, spices or fish.
This was amazing to see how these breads were being made just like it has always been done. All by hand and using this one wood fired over. It was delicious to eat these just as they came out of the ovens, still warm.
Our last stop was at a local restaurant located on the water where we had fish & chips. Great location, atmosphere and food. Phillip returned us back to Marigot Bay just about dark. We totally enjoyed our day and suggest giving Phillip a call should you want an unforgettable Island Tour. You can reach him at +1 (758) 488-7642.