Pigeon Island and Castries Market, St Lucia

Katie KALANCHOE, St Lucia, Pigeon Island

As the morning promised to be a grey and windy one, we decided on a day away from the beach and up to Pigeon Island, just a short walk from Sandals Grande St Lucian.

Breakfast was had in a quiet little outdoor spot near our room with the birds clawing at the umbrella above us and stealing sugar packets when they could.

Katie KALANCHOE, St Lucia, Sandals Grande Katie KALANCHOE, St Lucia, Sandals Grande

We explored the resort a little after breakfast and scouted out all the other eateries we hadn’t had a chance to sample. I was disappointed (my waistline was grateful) that we hadn’t noticed the creperie and I imagined I could have spent ages rocking in the hammocks dotted around the resort reading a book.

Katie KALANCHOE, St Lucia, Sandals Grande Katie KALANCHOE, St Lucia, Sandals Grande Katie KALANCHOE, St Lucia, Sandals Grande Katie KALANCHOE, St Lucia, Sandals Grande Katie KALANCHOE, St Lucia, Sandals Grande Katie KALANCHOE, St Lucia, Sandals GrandeKatie KALANCHOE, St Lucia, Sandals GrandeKatie KALANCHOE, St Lucia, Sandals Grande Katie KALANCHOE, St Lucia, Sandals Grande Katie KALANCHOE, St Lucia, Sandals Grande Katie KALANCHOE, St Lucia, Sandals Grande Katie KALANCHOE, St Lucia, Sandals Grande Katie KALANCHOE, St Lucia, Sandals Grande Katie KALANCHOE, St Lucia, Sandals GrandeKatie KALANCHOE, St Lucia, Sandals Grande

I changed for the walk, knowing I was bound to sweat. It was cloudy and windy, but it was still unbelievably hot.

You pay a small fee at the entrance that goes to the St Lucia National Trust towards the upkeep of the area, and then you’re free to do as you please. We wished we had discovered it sooner as there is the most beautiful beach on the island that was completely deserted.

Not having our swim stuff on us, we head on up the dirt track towards the old Fort Rodney.

Katie KALANCHOE, St Lucia, Pigeon Island Katie KALANCHOE, St Lucia, Pigeon Island

In my opinion, the military are pretty smart. They really do choose the most stunning spots to have their look outs on and we sat up on the walls looking out over St Lucia imagining them doing this many moons ago to spy on the French Ships from neighboring Martinique.

The walk up isn’t difficult and the scenery is stunning. Well worth the entry price. They even hold the St Lucia Jazz Festival here every year, which must be the most picturesque festival ever!

Katie KALANCHOE, St Lucia, Pigeon Island Katie KALANCHOE, St Lucia, Pigeon Island Katie KALANCHOE, St Lucia, Pigeon Island Katie KALANCHOE, St Lucia, Pigeon Island Katie KALANCHOE, St Lucia, Pigeon Island Katie KALANCHOE, St Lucia, Pigeon Island Katie KALANCHOE, St Lucia, Pigeon Island Katie KALANCHOE, St Lucia, Pigeon Island

On the way back down, we decided to have a little wander onto the beach and it was just as beautiful. If we had more time, we would have taken a picnic and spent the day there.

Katie KALANCHOE, St Lucia, Pigeon Island Katie KALANCHOE, St Lucia, Pigeon Island Katie KALANCHOE, St Lucia, Pigeon Island Katie KALANCHOE, St Lucia, Pigeon Island

With the day being such a contrast from the beautiful St Lucia Weather we had experienced so far, we weren’t too sad to climb back into the car, say our farewells to Sandals and head to our last stop on the island.

As we’d had such a lovely experience at Marigot Bay and loved the area too, we decided to go back for our last few days. The bags were dropped off, we were welcomed back with open arms and set off in the car once more.

Katie KALANCHOE, St Lucia, Castries Market Katie KALANCHOE, St Lucia, Castries Market Katie KALANCHOE, St Lucia, Castries Market

Castries Market was something we’d both wanted to experience while we were on the island. The place where most of the locals go to buy their food and a great place to catch up with friends and get fresh, local ingredients.

Ben and I had no need to buy anything, but we were tempted by so many different items.

First, we spotted a lady selling herbs and spices in glass bottles. She explained that this was local spiced rum and you could buy the bottles then spice your own rum at home – they smelt woody, fresh and delicious and she was so proud showing us them.

Katie KALANCHOE, St Lucia, Castries Market

Because we’d arrived fairly late on, most of the vendors had already packed up for the day and headed home.

We ducked through the clothes markets and wished we were hungry and we passed the fresh food stands.

The market path twisted and we suddenly found ourselves in the most colourful part of the town.

Katie KALANCHOE, St Lucia, Castries Market Katie KALANCHOE, St Lucia, Castries Market Katie KALANCHOE, St Lucia, Castries Market Katie KALANCHOE, St Lucia, Castries Market Katie KALANCHOE, St Lucia, Castries Market

Bright umbrellas protected some of the most incredible fruits and vegetables we’d ever seen. A lot of them we knew but we stopped by a particular stand where the lady was more than happy to describe each of the fruits she had and even chopped some up with a smile so that we could try them.

Katie KALANCHOE, St Lucia, Castries Market Katie KALANCHOE, St Lucia, Castries Market Katie KALANCHOE, St Lucia, Castries Market Katie KALANCHOE, St Lucia, Castries Market Katie KALANCHOE, St Lucia, Castries Market Katie KALANCHOE, St Lucia, Castries Market Katie KALANCHOE, St Lucia, Castries Market Katie KALANCHOE, St Lucia, Castries Market Katie KALANCHOE, St Lucia, Castries Market Katie KALANCHOE, St Lucia, Castries Market Katie KALANCHOE, St Lucia, Castries Market Katie KALANCHOE, St Lucia, Castries Market Katie KALANCHOE, St Lucia, Castries Market Katie KALANCHOE, St Lucia, Castries Market Katie KALANCHOE, St Lucia, Castries Market

As the market ended, we were swept up into the crowds of children at the end of their school day with their parents rushing to get back home before they got stuck in rush hour.

Katie KALANCHOE, St Lucia, Castries Market Katie KALANCHOE, St Lucia, Castries Market Katie KALANCHOE, St Lucia, Castries Market Katie KALANCHOE, St Lucia, Castries Market

Katie KALANCHOE, St Lucia, Castries Market Katie KALANCHOE, St Lucia, Castries Market

We paused at each of the incredible colourful stands at the side of the road, each boasting something different. A hairdresser in one, a bar in another and a mini shop in another.

Katie KALANCHOE, St Lucia, Castries Market Katie KALANCHOE, St Lucia, Castries Market Katie KALANCHOE, St Lucia, Castries Market Katie KALANCHOE, St Lucia, Castries Market

We walked on and started to notice that a lot of people had left the streets and it was suddenly extremely empty. A raindrop hit my nose, the clouds parted and all we could do was run towards the car as fast as we could in fits of giggles as the sky attacked us with buckets full of water.

As we drove back through the city, we realized where everyone had gone. They were piled into doorways and local shops.

Katie KALANCHOE, St Lucia, Castries Market Katie KALANCHOE, St Lucia, Castries Market Katie KALANCHOE, St Lucia, Castries Market

When we made it back to our hotel, we shot back up to the top of the hill to watch the sunset. A couple of local guys were already there and I chatted to one as Ben grabbed us a couple of rum punches.

He explained that this was his daily routine. He would walk up from his house after work in the evening, light up and watch the sunset. He offered me a toke of his spliff, to which I politely declined, but he just shrugged, completely unoffended and sat down next to me to watch the sun go down.

‘It’s not going to be very good tonight’ he said as Ben arrived back with the drinks – a fruity rum punch in a plastic cup. ‘It’s too cloudy’.

He was right. The sun set behind the clouds and we didn’t see a beautiful sunset at all.

Katie KALANCHOE, St Lucia, Marigot BayKatie KALANCHOE, St Lucia, Marigot Bay Katie KALANCHOE, St Lucia, Marigot Bay Katie KALANCHOE, St Lucia, Marigot Bay Katie KALANCHOE, St Lucia, Marigot Bay

A little girl wearing the most beautiful pink frilly dress with her hair in plaits and matching pink ribbons on the ends was enthralled with Ben flying the drone and he happily showed her the screen and explained the control system to her.

I felt so content sitting with my knees tucked up under my chin, chatting to my new friend and sipping the sweet liquid that was slowly warming my belly. He was wise beyond his years in an innocent way that only island living can give you. He told me about the green light. A green strip of light that flashes along the sky at the exact moment the sun dips beyond the horizon line. I’ve never seen it, but have vowed to see as many sunsets as I can this year and look out for it.

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