Two verdant, storybook, out of the ordinary Caribbean dream islands ~
Did someone say "Adventure, Romance, Mystical, Jungle, Peaks, Sand" ... all in the same breath?
There is such a place.
St Lucia, Caribbean.
Be prepared to dream of that ideal vacation with your friend or lover ... on second thoughts, why dream? Come!
You may lose sense of time ... a sweepingly lush volcanic island, Saint Lucia's mystical mountains and valleys, symbolized by the twin Pitons, will lure you into her deep abode.
You're on vacation ... who cares about time!
You can take in St Lucia and Grenada on the same visit ... owing to their proximity to each other and their similar, soca loving populaces.
The romantic in you will be pulled to St Lucia's hideaways. The cultural adventurer in you will marvel at Grenada's 'Spice Island' truth.
St Lucia's population of about 190,000 is spread over urban and rural areas on an island that spans 240 sq miles. Castries, the capital, contains more than a third of the populace.
Her music loving denizens are predominantly of African and mixed African-European descent.
Kids delight in a love for their island and their exuberant excitement to be photographed by outsiders.
Whether you come to St Lucia on a romantic getaway...
or a sense of adventure such as roading through the world's only drive-through volcano ...
or to make new friends ...
or lose yourself in verdant volcanic springs, gardens, and islets...
or taste sinfully soft cassava bread made in front of your eyes on the road to Soufriere...
or to relax and experience an extraordinary Caribbean...
... St Lucia beckons from her wilderness and her shores.
Here it is ... the famous Gran Anse Beach in Grenada. Wanna go now??
Smaller than her neighbor St Lucia to the north, covering just 133 square miles and boasting only about 100,000 people, Grenada nonetheless packs a punch.
Nearly completely devastated by Hurricane Ivan in 2004, Grenada has rebuilt but broken homes remain as testimony to nature's power in the Caribbean seas.
Less visited, Grenada feels more untouched by marauding tourists.
In the capital, St Georges, my new friends Andel and his mom Marylyn, happily accept my hand of friendship, and even offer to take me in their pickup truck over to the other side of the island to show me their home!
First, a quick visit to the popular St Georges Fish Market and a famous West Indies Cricket stadium before heading out.
The ride from St Georges in the west to St Andrews in the east over high mountain is scenic... and peppered with adventure.
These fellas are apparently not native to Grenada, but seem to call it their home .. quite stately.
I would soon be shooting Orangutans in Borneo.
The scenic settings atop the mountain of Gran Etang National Park, are quite a fine sight to behold.
Over down to St Andrews, Andel and Marylyn introduce me to their family ...
and show me why Grenada is called 'The Spice Island'... right from the pickings in their backyard!
I recalled this sign I had seen in St Lucia about Nutmeg.
Mmmmm, can you taste the chocolate from this fruit?!
Does the spice abundance ever end? This is Saffron!
And fruits to boot.
I bid goodbye to Marylyn's family, my mind reeling from the bounty of this island, and their open heartedness.
Andel and I catch a couple of cold ones in town, where I run into my friend Nolan.
Nolan's kids are super cute, and my day of adventure finally comes to an end in the company of friends.
I would venture to add another moniker to Grenada:
'The Friendly Island'