A rheumatoid arthritis flare kept Alie on the ship when we arrived at St. Lucia. We had been there before. So, I just decided just to walk around a bit. Several people seemed to feel they needed to be my “bodyguards.”
The portion of Castries’ city market closest to the dock primarily sells items to tourists. Further in, items are more aimed at locals.
Captain Bligh of Mutiny on the Bounty fame was transporting breadfruit, so when a woman told me I was looking at breadfruit, I asked her how to cook it.
We had a nice conversation, and as I was about to leave, she warned me several times to be careful because there are “many robbers.”
Alie and I prefer back roads. When walking, I like to get away from the main avenues and tourist areas too.
As I continued to stroll, a workman at a school called out to me. We talked for a while, and he invited me inside to look at a typical class. Then as I left, he said I should head back the way I came. But I told him I planned to go a little further up the street, so he left the school and walked with me to the 1894 Holy Trinity Anglican/Episcopal Church.
As we left the church grounds, he called over a police woman and spoke to her. She soon joined me as I walked down the street. Her strategy was not to warn me that I might be in danger wandering alone but to suggest I really might be interested in seeing their Cathedral. She gave me very specific directions how to get there.
It seemed the least I could do for all these nice people was visit the Cathedral.
Derek Walcott Square is next to the Cathedral. Derek Walcott was a poet, painter and playwright born on St. Lucia in 1930 who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1992.
I asked a fellow on the street about the huge tree at one end, and he told me the name translates to “massive tree.” Maybe he was joking.
After I left the Cathedral, a massive young fellow sitting in a doorway said hello. We exchanged pleasantries. He looked like someone people had been warning me about.
He reached out his hand, perhaps wondering if this white-bearded man would take it. I did. We shook hands and talked for a while longer. As I left, we exchanged a fist bump.
It was nice the people I met seemed concerned for my safety. They weren’t wrong. The U.S. State Department says “Crimes…do occur” and warns you not to leave valuables unattended anywhere. The listed crimes range from petty to violent. Nonetheless, rule four above is to let curiosity replace fear. So I should probably add — and keep aware.
Click on photos to enlarge
7 things to do on St. Lucia:
- Walk and shop at the local markets in Castries.
- Visit the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Castries.
- Visit Magriot Bay; James A. Michener called it the most beautiful bay in the Caribbean.
- Visit one of the twenty Marine Protected Areas.
- Visit historic Soufriẻre.
- See the Pitons.
- Enjoy one of St. Lucia’s many beautiful beaches.