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2023 - St Lucia - Day 11

We could get very used to this routine. Beautiful weather in which to admire the beautiful view from the beautiful balcony whilst Chef Graham prepared our breakfasts to order. It was bliss and we all felt very blessed as we enjoyed it all for a while.

The plan today was to visit the botanical gardens nice and early before the tour groups arrived. It was a long drive of almost 2 miles to get there. We were not too sure what to expect and so were going more in hope than anticipation.

The gardens were lovely. All four of us like gardens and in particular the tropical style gardens being grown here. There were also some ‘healing’ baths we could have gone in, but to be honest they didn’t look nowhere near as appealing as the sulphur ones. We walked up to see Diamond Waterfall which was good. As we did it started to rain. In a rainforest – who would have thought it. As we found shelter Karen took the opportunity to purchase a local Christmas Decoration made from a Calabash Pod which was quite reasonably priced.

We continued walking as the rain eased. The gardens were not huge but perfectly formed.

It was another long drive of another 2 miles to the Toraille Waterfall. It was getting busy outside as there were already some of the small tour buses parked up. This is the most famous of the St Lucian waterfalls and the one that people get in the water to have their photo taken under it. We all took our swimming costumes but no one really fancied getting in the water as the changing facilities afterwards were not great. So I ventured into the water with my shirt on trying to avoid getting really wet. The water was flipping freezing. Also, as it was a natural pool the water cascaded into, the water bed was uneven, stony and slippery. I nearly unintentionally took a full body dip. Despite giving Karen my phone, the photos she took failed to capture me in the water almost under the waterfall, so we have no record of it.

Then we thought would try and find the beach at Anse Chastenet which was supposed to be good. The road to it was as treacherous as the one to our villa. Unbeknown to us the beach was at the Jade Mountain Resort which is where all the celebrities stay. The rooms here start at £1300 per night. The celebrities arrive by helicopter from the main airport thus avoiding the ridiculous drive.

The main restaurant in the resort on the beach was lovely and so we decided we would have a light lunch. This turned out to be expensive but lovely Fish (Snapper) and chips. We were amazed that despite being surrounded by mountains we were still able to get 4G on our phones as we have also everywhere else in St Lucia. Flat Norfolk could learn some lessons from here.

We thought we would have a walk on the beach. For supposedly one of the best beaches around here it was no Gorleston. The sand was not golden nor pretty. These celebrities must be easily pleased. Graham & Jo decided to walk to try and see the next bay but neither Karen nor were feeling the walk and so waited in the shade on the beach looking at the rich people sunbathing.

After using the rich peoples toilets we headed back to the Villa where we all jumped into the infinity pool. It was lovely and refreshing as we stood around chatting and putting the world to right. We could then see some rain coming down through the mountains and to our delight a really solid rainbow appeared behind us. If you look closely at the photo, you can see the pot of gold in Graham’s hair.

Tonight, we were unsure where to go for dinner. We had learnt that there seem to be only two types of restaurants on the island. Either the local bars, which seem very small and kind of very scary looking or the posher and very expensive ones in the resorts. We decided to stick to the latter. Our first stop was the nearby Green Fig resort. I hopped out the car and walked up and down stairs to try and find someone to see if they had a free table. Eventually I did and they said they would try to squeeze us. But I was just not feeling the restaurant. I couldn’t put a finger on why but it didn’t have the right vibe despite being empty. I suggested to the others than we should drive on and so we did.

Instead, we headed to the Rabot Restaurant which is part of the Hotel Chocolat estate. It was lovely and felt just right. The service and view of the Pitons in the dusk was marvellous. Although we all had just the one course, we were given some Cacao bread and divine chocolate dip with chocolate butter along with an aperitif to start with and some free chocolates at the end. Karen & I both had the most fantastic Caesar Salad with Caribbean marinated chicken and topped with Cacao nibs. Everything about this place got a big thumbs up from us.

Once back in the villa we all had a cuppa and then sitting together in the coolish lounge (after leaving the air con in our bedroom on full all day and the doors through the lounge open) we decided to turn on the large screen TV. We found it had Netflix and all agreed to watch the Colin Firth film ‘Operation Mincemeat’ of the true story of deception during WW2. It was very watchable even if Jo who had been up early did miss some of it by falling asleep.

It was 11pm by the time it finished and so we all retired to bed immediately afterwards.

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