Tuesday, February 2, 2016

St. Lucia: Rodney Bay vs. Marigot Bay

Tuesday, Day 25

(I'm so far behind on keeping this blog updated.  So, short version with pictures for now:)

Woke up around 7am because had to pee - and it was bright out
slept great with good pillows and room to spread out!
granola and fruit with almond milk for breakfast
read some news online about Iowa caucus and got ready for the day
out the door by 9:30 to walk in to Castries - or catch a bus if one came

a couple of blocks down the very steep road, I heard a car coming and decided to stick my thumb out
guy stopped - older guy smoking a cigarette, and a woman in the car, too, so I hopped in
cheaper and faster than a bus!

told him I was going to take a bus to Rodney Bay, so he drove me through town to the stop for that bus
the buses here are much more organized - each bus route has it's own stop, you just have to find it
hopped on a bus after asking driver if he was going to Rodney Bay

bus didn't have loud music, it was clean, and they didn't pack it at all - only 3 or 4 people in a row!
and driver wasn't crazy - just drove normal - so much better than St. Vincent bus system
only took about 20 minutes and I was the last one to get off bus
he told me to walk down the road and turn right to the beach

not anyone around except some men on the street corner, who of course tried to get me to stop and talk to them (it didn't happen)
not really all that impressed with beach so kept walking

soon realized I wasn't near water anymore and was on a dirt road with trees on each side - oops

not long until reached a nice resort, and then the Sandals

beach was better over there so got in for a bit

overall not that impressed with Rodney Bay - had high expectations because girls in St. Vincent said they loved it.  I mean, better than St. Vincent beaches, but not as good as other islands I've seen
wasn't as "touristy" as I thought it would be - expecting something like Aruba but just not that developed and not really all that nice
was going to check out pigeon point but had to pay to get in and it didn't look that interesting
walked back the same way I came - down dirt road again - and caught a bus on the main road
perfect timing
he took me all the way back to the city center

thought about stopping at another beach along the way but it really didn't look that great either
don't think you come to st. lucia just for beaches - more rain forests and hiking maybe? or maybe I just haven't found the hidden, good spots yet
walked around Castries for awhile - down the main market road and in some shops

nothing interesting, and definitely not a "nice" city - just a hub for the airport
found bus stop several blocks away for route 5C to take me up to Entrepôt to apartment
only 2 people on bus - driver said wouldn't go until full - guys on bus said would take "quite awhile"
2 more older women got on 20 minutes later - had an apple while I waited
would have walked but it started to rain and I wasn't sure how long it would last
we were tired of waiting to one lady said if I would by $5 EC she would, too, and then driver would go
so I went to get driver to tell him our deal and he said okay
when got back to van 3 more people had gotten on so he probably would have gone anyways!

got him to drop me off close to the apartment - only had to walk up two more steep hills
had some leftovers from last night for lunch
started walking back in to town but caught a bus - same one that dropped me off - after just a few minutes
nice local girl on the bus said she would show the way to find a bus to go north to Marigot Bay
she walked me all the way there and even talked to the bus driver about where we needed to go and told us price - so nice of her!

bus filled up right in front of us so they left - had to wait another 20 minutes or so to catch next one
pretty short drive to Marigot Bay - got dropped off up top because it was way cheaper if you walk yourself down the steep hill to the actual bay
gorgeous views - but best one was from a restaurant and there were signs everywhere saying you couldn't take a picture unless you paid - so annoying
I walked next door and took one almost as good

walked down to bay and around the shops and docks
really cool spot - great food, so chill
would definitely stay there if I went back -- and had lots of money -- not a cheap spot

walked around all the big boats and talked to a guy about the giant yacht he was working on
from Malta and been traveling for months - I think it would get old
I said boat was beautiful, he said yeah but a LOT of work, ha!
started walking back up hill and bus came after just a few minutes
really lucked out with bus system today!
little girl and boy on it who took it all the way from Castries - maybe 5 or 6 - so young!
yelled at top of longs BUS STOP when they saw their dad on the side of the road
good views on drive back - even saw some cows - haven't seen many of those on Caribbean islands

back to Castries, got off at City Center and started walking towards the airport to find a rental car

first shop was Hertz and got a good enough deal so took the car

car wasn't there  yet so walked to grocery store further down the road to get a couple more things
walked back to Hertz and car came 10 minutes later

managed to find way through Castries and back up to Entropot - not as hard as I thought it would be
still drive on left, still narrow roads and some potholes, but overall best roads in Caribbean

salad and leftovers (finally finished them) for dinner

shower and Martinique / Dominica research before bed at 9pm
going to try and hike Gros Piton tomorrow morning!

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