Grenadine Islands: May 2007

 2007.05.31 232.oasismarigot

2007 took us back to thie Caribbean; this time, to St. Vincent & The Grenadines, by way of St. Lucia.

St. Lucia
We arrived in St. Lucia on a Friday, and spent the weekend at Marigot Bay''s Oasis Marigot. Upon our arrival in St. Lucia, we rented a Jeep from Cool Breeze and navigated the 1+ hour drive along the narrow winding roads of St. Lucia to Marigot Bay. Once we arrived at Oasis Marigot, there was some confusion as to where to go to check in. We found the Porter''s station abandoned, and by this time the office had closed for the day. We were a bit frustrated, due in part to the treacherous drive in, so we decided to take a break at a cove-side restaurant across from Oasis Marigot. While we were enjoying our first frozen concoction of the trip, our porter found us. Turns out he had been looking for us, too.

The remainder of our time in St. Lucia went smoothly. Our first night there took us to Anse La Raye Fish Fry, a local "street party" held every Friday. It was a great opportunity to get a taste of the local culture. Local vendors offered not only their catches of the day, there were an assortment of crafts and other wares available for purchase at reasonable prices.

The following day we took the Jeep and explored the island, heading south to the town of Soufries to take in the Pitons. After a quick stop at River Rock Waterfall, which was a waste of time and $5, we spent most of the afternoon in and around Soufries, enjoying the beaches and fantastic views. We capped off St. Lucia with a big dinner at DooLittle''s. In the morning, it was on to the Grenadines.

St. Vincent, Bequia, Mustique, and the Tobago Cays
After a somewhat relaxing yet hectic weekend in St. Lucia (No, we do not need a boat guide), it was time for our vacation to really begin. We departed St. Lucia via Caribbean Star for St. Vincent, the gateway to the Grenadines. We''d stay just one night in St. Vincent, staying at the Mariners Hotel on Villa Bay Beach. The hotel''s restaurant, The French Verandah, offered up the best food we''d have on our trip.

The following morning, we boarded the ferry to Bequia (Beck-Way). The ferry was an experience, and really made us realize we were not in the Virgin Islands anymore. We were, as our boat Captain Bamo would later put it, "in the real Caribbean now". The ferry dropped us off in Admiralty Bay, where the FrangiPani Hotel is located. Bequia is home to some of ther Caribbean''s most scenic beaches, including Princess Margaret Beach, just a short walk from our hotel.

In Bequia, we chartered The Pelangi, a 44ft cutter headed by Captain Bamo, a Bequia native and seasoned sailor. Bamo actually worked on Bob Dylan''s crew for a time before doing his own charters. We headed south from Bequia, stopping at the famous Basil''s Bar in Mustique, before heading directly south and into the Tobago Cays. The Tobago Cays were the setting of some scenes from the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. Along with many other sailboats, we anchored here, just off Petit Tabac, for the night.

The following morning it was back to Bequia, about a half day''s sail north from the Tobago Cays. We spent the rest of the day unsuccessfully trying to regain our equilibrium after 2 days of sailing. Leaving Bequia, it was back to St. Lucia for some final moments of relaxation before flying back home.

Our trip to the Grenadines was another great annual Stabler vacation. Our time on Bequia and our sailing trip through the Grenadines was far and away the highlight of the trip. St. Lucia came off as more of a resort/tourist type island in our limited stay there, and really have no plans (or desire) to go back. Unfortunately we did not get to see as much of St. Vincent as we''d hoped, so we''re hoping to make it back. I hear they are building a new airport, so maybe there will some direct flights in the future. As for Bequia and the rest of the Grenadine Islands, we shall see you again.

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Category: Stabler Vacations
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