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2023 - St Lucia - Day 12

Our final day, yet for some strange reason it didn’t feel like it. I’m not sure why, perhaps because we have most of the day before we head to the airport or perhaps because I think I may have ‘done’ the island and that I’m ready to go home.

Karen didn’t have the best night’s sleep overnight as she had found she over 30 mosquito bites on her legs from the previous day were causing grief whilst in bed. It wasn’t helped by the fact that she couldn’t find the remnants of bite cream and was convinced I had lost it. It did in fact turn up wherever she left it later in the day. Fortunately, once out of bed, Karen found that Jo had some in her room and applied some to get some relief.

This meant that I laid quietly in bed at 7am trying not to disturb Karen who had finally drifted off to sleep. By the time I got up Graham had already been out to the shop to get some milk.

We had a long leisurely breakfast and decided to stay at the villa for our final day to savour the sun and view. After clearing away breakfast we headed down to the pool deck and all cooled off in the pool and then dried out in the beautiful weather.

It was then decided that we would have a leisurely cooked light lunch that Graham volunteered to cook. This meant that he and I headed out to buy some fish and bits from the supermarket as the base ingredients.

It was a lovely idea but probably should have been left at that. Poor Graham literally did end up slaving over a hot gas oven for far too long. A poor workman blames his tools. In this case the tools were the exact problem. We didn’t have the right kitchen utensils for a start. Then the oven was shockingly poor, with the hob and oven itself taking forever to get hot. So about 60 minutes later than planned, we were finally able to dish up some welcome Fish & Prawns & Chips.

This kind of sums up the villa which was built for its looks and not practicalities. The architect went for form and not function. It does look spectacular but has so many things that do not work. Like the 2nd bedroom is not connected to the house internally. The 1st bedroom is the wrong way round which means the en suite has the views and not the bedroom.

Then there are the things inside the villa which also detract from the experience and certainly differ from the property description on Airbnb. Graham & Jo are justifiably proud of their 5-star reviews as Superhosts on Airbnb for their Blythburgh house that they rent out. What we have not been able to work out is how this villa apart from the view justifies its 5-star reviews. The comments online and in the guest journal in the villa almost seem to describe a totally different experience to ours. They talk of a helpful and responsive host called ‘Janus’, who checks in most days and brings fresh bread with him. Any issues are resolved within minutes. We have not even had a response to Graham’s emails. Many items are missing, one of the patio doors is cracked, there are not the advertised fans available and that is just the start of a list of 20 items that Graham has started.

We think that we have seen ‘Janus’s’ car outside another villa, it was a big blacked out BMW with a personalised registration. In our minds we have built him up to be like a Mafia boss with his own local posse. As Graham has 14 days to give his feedback, he has decided to wait till he has left the island just in case.

Sadly, it was then time for us to shower and complete our packing. We aimed to leave at 4pm and on the dot we had loaded the car up. We said our goodbyes to Jo as there wasn’t room for her in the car with our luggage. It had been a real adventure exploring the island and sharing the villa with Graham & Jo. We had loved every minute. They are really good company and we had so many laughs with constant non-stop chatter. They are staying in this villa for one more night before moving to another Airbnb further north.

It was only a 22-mile drive back to the airport but with the roads being so poor it took us just over 1 hour to get there. We said goodbye to Graham and walked into a deserted terminal. There was no queue at check in and we were also the only people going through Security.

We headed up to the only available lounge. There was only 1 other couple in there. We had a cuppa and then sampled the champagne. The food was served to us, and we had toasted tuna sandwiches. Our final St Lucian drink was a Banana Rum on the rocks which tasted like cold Banana Nesquik.

Then it was time to board. We had the same seats as on the way out. The plane was much fuller though. The food was actually good, and we both had the grilled mahi mahi with parmesan mash. I fell asleep almost immediately afterwards. I managed to get a fair bit of sleep but wasn’t convinced that any of it was the deep REM sleep that I need.

The plane landed 30 minutes ahead of schedule to a frosty Heathrow which was a 29c difference in temperature from what we had left. Strangely there was no queue for passport control here either which meant we were soon waiting at the carousel for our luggage. 30 minutes later we were still waiting for any luggage to start coming round. Then we got an announcement saying that as Manchester Airport had just closed due to Snow, they were prioritising luggage for passengers flying there as they were to be transferred instead by coach. They said our luggage should start arriving in about 30 minutes. As the announcement was still being made our carousel started and our luggage arrived. I think they were just 30 minutes late in making the announcement.

I called Sunny to ask him to bring our car round and he told us to take our time as he needed to de-ice it for us before he could drive it. We timed it perfectly and although I was tired it was a straightforward drive home.

And so, our Caribbean adventure was over. We had really enjoyed it certainly far more than I had expected. We have just another 4 weeks before our next trip.

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