Wednesday, August 9, 2017

It's All Fun And Games Until Everyone Leaves You

Yes, that pot of gold could well be right here!
Bruce and I were on an over-the-moon happiness high.. The thought of living in this beautiful place all summer long left us pinching ourselves to make sure we weren't dreaming.  Oh wait.. I haven't told you the best part yet!

I left you with us staying in Marigot Bay on a mooring for the summer.  The next morning we met the Marina Manager, Troy.  He is a dynamo and has taken customer service to a new level.  There was nothing we could say that this man would not fix. We told him how happy we were to be here and he asked us if we would like to move to the dock...

We couldn't get moved in fast enough!
Sadly we told him we couldn't.  He asked us if he made the price for staying on the dock for the summer the same as it is for being on the mooring ball... would we move to the dock then?  Well HELL YEAH!  Where do we sign??? Even considering the 55¢ per kWh for electricity and the 10¢ per gallon for water... We can control our usage for both of those things, and with the low price for the slip, the cost for electricity and water is defrayed significantly compared to what we've paid each summer we've stayed in more expensive marinas... We couldn't believe it!  Wonder what our horoscope says today!!!

Rolling on...  we plan on getting some things done this summer...sewing, maybe do refinish some brightwork.  But for now, we've got friends around and they won't be here long... so we've got to frolic!

And we entered through the back door like the help!
I've often said that Bruce and I don't eat out very often.  Someone recently busted me on that one!  It seems that with all these other people about, we're eating out and happy-houring almost every night!  Tonight, we try one of the restaurants down the dock, Chateau Mygo.  Now don't let the fancy name and the trained wine server (is there a name for that?) fool you... This is a place you can go in shorts!

OK OK I'll quit shoving the camera in your face!  Sheesh!

We got the primo table in the corner by the water... Well, they're all by the water since the restaurant is on a dock.

The Pizza was delicious but they don't have it every night... luckily they did tonight...

This server doesn't miss a beat.  She was professional and awesome like in a 5 star restaurant!
This view is from the top of the hill in Marigot
Another couple was on their way, but they wouldn't be here before the others left... so we made a deal for a full day taxi tour of the island with Anthony.  We all met at the end of the road and loaded up the van!  We considered renting a van and having Bruce drive.  He's already got the driver's license here and is somewhat familiar with the roads from previous car rental days... But in the end, the price was not that much different and this way Bruce would be able enjoy the island without the stress of driving...

Quick Dry

Tin house on the roadside and boy carrying a tub on his head...  
Dasheen growing on the roadside. 

We stopped at a roadside vendor on a hilltop.  The lady there was teaching her little to identify the fruits and vegetables on the table for us.  I wondered why she wasn't in school... perhaps this is her future?

She knew what everything was, of course, but she was painfully shy in replying to our questions.  I bought some grapefruit...
Cocoa Beans - This is where chocolate comes from.
More vendors at the scenic overlook this time..  Beautiful produce!
Don't you wonder why he doesn't kill me in my sleep?
This view is different every single time we see it...
We stopped at the scenic overlook that provides the best view of the town of Soufriere below.  Today the vendors were there in full force.

We were polite but firm with most of them... but this coconut vendor promised the best coconut water AND Jelly!

I've never had coconut jelly before so we had to get one.  The guy hacked open the shell for us to drink the water out... We had to dig out the jelly later with a spoon.  I can't say I liked it very much but it's supposed to be very healthy.

Next stop... the number two thing to do in St. Lucia (#1 being to see the Pitons) Our friends MUST see the volcano and play in the mud!

Bruce and I didn't buy tickets to the guided tour this time, having been here before recently...  But we did sit and watch the steam rise, which is very nice.

Our friends did the tour and we went back to the bottom of the ravine to get muddy!  WOW oh WOWWWW!  What a difference a day makes!  We knew there was a Cruise Ship in dock today... but since everybody was leaving tomorrow it couldn't be helped.  We will never make that mistake again!

Our bathing beauty!
Ummm scuse me lady... you've got a li'l mud on ya there...
The Mother Earth in all of us comes out in the falling rain!
De Belle View Restaurant - Upstairs on the waterfront.  Sounds fancy... 

View from the window

Starving!!!  We were ravenous and when Tony asked us where to next... we all begged for FOOD!!!

Tony drove us the short distance to the Soufriere waterfront where he parked in the square.  We followed him up a back stairway to De Belle View Restaurant... We wouldn't have known it was there.

So many businesses are tucked into wherever there is a space... Sometimes it's a bit disconcerting when you're not used to trespassing in back alleys and going up dark staircases inside another business.

The dining room was a colourfully appointed room along the waterfront side of the building.  Windows with shutters thrown open afforded us a small breeze and a fresh view of the anchorage just where the commercial boat dock came in.

Bruce and I were happy with our meal but I think some of the others expected a little more refined fare...  We've learned that Americans are used to a very spiffed up version of any food we order back home.  Here, things are done with minimal fanfare and if that means your food has bones in it... so. be. it.  It takes some getting used to... especially for someone like me who has an aversion to bones...  I've learned to order carefully and STILL end up with a graveyard on the side of my plate much of the time.  Honestly... cooking onboard is the best way to be assured of getting a good meal!

After lunch and a beverage, we were fortified to trek on!  Next stop was Toraille Waterfall.

Our driver let us out at the entrance to the falls.  This place was much more civilized than the falls we've visited before...

There was a small fee, still far less than it would have been in the US and not nearly as "regulated"...  Unfortunately it was very, very crowded with probable Cruise Ship excursions.

The waters were somewhat murky and people were sort of waiting in line to have their turn beneath the falls for a photo op.  We stood on the observation deck and one after another decided to skip getting wet this time... It was a beautiful spot and the falls were of an impressive size for an intimate pool...  Maybe on a non-ship day...


The  Cassava Bread Bakery 
Our tour day was winding down now... It was getting late and we still had to wind our way back along the steep and winding roads before dark.  Tony pulled over on the side of the cliff at a place we've passed many times already and never noticed... What a treat that turned out to be.

We had no idea that this ratty looking place could be so interesting.  We walked into the door between two concrete ovens with open woodturning fires inside...

Just on the other side of the tin wall, the concrete oven extended into the room.  It was custom built to hold a large metal bowl.

The fire heats the metal bowl...

Inside the bowl, we learned... is the cassava flour.

Over on the opposite of the room, the two men were working the cassava.  The root is grated and then worked through progressively smaller and smaller screens to make the "flour".

The flour is sprinkled into the huge bowl and a man uses a wooden paddle to turn the flour over and over in the hot metal bowl until it's roasted.

Then the lady in the back mixes the cassava flour with a little bit of water, salt and whatever special flavour ingredients they're making that day and forms them into the little cakes...

The cakes are placed onto banana leaves and placed onto the grill above the fire on the other side of the room to bake.

Once they are done, they are removed to the cooling rack screen by the window... and then they are turned into the baskets for sale to you and me!

 We took one of each, with the exception of the salt-fish...  I've tried it and just can't get over the stench!

We took Cherry (my favorite), Chocolate, Chocolate Chip, Mixed Fruit, Apple Cinnamon, and Cinnamon.

The little cakes are like an english muffin on steroids... They are heavy and very dense.  I'm not even sure why they hold together with only salt and water...

Bruce and I took  ours home and ate them for breakfast for days.  I sliced them in half crossways and we put peanut butter on them after warming them back up on the skillet.  They're pretty tasty and supposedly a healthy alternative to bread.

Next door, the previous bakery burned to the ground.  Ovens remain.
We all loaded back into the van for the ride back to Marigot Bay.  It was a fun day but we were all pretty tired.  Even though Bruce and I had been to some of the places we visited today, it was still a lot more fun with friends to share it...  And we got to see plenty of new things too.

The taxi tour was well worth the money as Tony told us some thing and pointed out plants along the way that we wouldn't have known about otherwise.  Sometimes paying a little extra for a tour guide is the way to go.

Tomorrow our friends would leave... but we look forward to the arrival of Jesse and Sally on Pyxis!  Never a dull moment and still lots more to see of St. Lucia!

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