No Pressure, No Problem | Saint Lucia
"No Pressure, No Problems Mon..."
-Saint Lucia - March 5-10th.
This was the island motto....no pressure, no problems. From the concierge greeting me with it when I first arrived at the hotel to every vendor I encountered on the beach, they all had that same motto.
The purpose of this trip was to photograph the wedding of two friends of mine. It was my first time to the Caribbean since I went to the Dominican Republic on a cruise like 4-5 years ago. This was my first international trip by myself though so that really made me excited. I was staying with everyone else in the wedding party at The Sandals La Toc resort. Now being a single at a "couples" resort is something else. If you've ever seen the movie "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" it was exactly like that, so much to the point it got less annoying by the end of the trip and more so an on going joke with myself.
The travel time was just around 15 hours. From leaving my door in Fort Collins, to the airport, to the red eye to Miami to a 5 hour lay over at the crack of dawn, to eventually a plane headed towards Saint Lucia that morning. As soon as I landed, I threw my stuff in the room, took a deep breath, went and got a well deserved drink and met up with the group. After a couple drinks (all inclusive definitely has its perks) and a delicious dinner I was ready to call it an evening.
The next morning I decided to explore around the grounds of the resort before breakfast. It was the dry season in Saint Lucia but even with the morning dew everything was so lush and vibrant. Since it isn't quite spring yet in Colorado it was refreshing to see green grass and flowers blooming all around. It was nice to find a spot on the beach, kick my feet up and hear the waves crash with no one else around. The other interesting part about the resort is there were dogs and cats all over, I miss you Daisy (residental puppy doggo).
The day before the wedding, Kelly and Sean set up a tour for all of us there to explore around the island. By this point, a few of the people in the group had started to get sick and this was definitely an on going theme for the trip. Between the water and the all inclusiveness of drinks, the sun was catching up with people. My iron stomach and I survived just fine thankfully and I was stoked for an excursion around the island.
As we set off, there was a bit of rain, but the great thing about the island is that all of the storms lasted 10-12 minutes tops. I was excited for the moody weather because it made for dramatic views of the Pitons as we made our way around the shore. Photographer life in a nutshell.
After about an hour on the boat we arrived in the former capital town of Soufrière. It was so fun to finally experience something that wasn't a cookie cutter resort. The locals were so nice and full of life. Laughs and smiles as they greeted us. Saint Lucia's economy drives from tourism but it was such an authentic feel from locals, like they were genuinely excited to talk to people. Soufrière was featured in Pirates of the Caribbean and is home to a still active volcano. Once we docked, we were all shuffled into a "bus". Of course, as any good adventure goes, there was a little hiccup when we got a flat tire just after leaving the dock. With rain starting to come down and all of us loopy and laughing from the boat ride, we all scrambled into another bus and we were on our way to the cocoa plantation.
The boat ride back to the harbor was by far my favorite part of the day. Minus one heart attack moment involving a large wave and my camera, it was a blast. The boat we were on had open netting in the front which allowed people to sit out there, catch the sun and if they were lucky (or unlucky depending on how much of a buzz kill you are) enough to catch some waves also. During the first maybe 20 minutes or so of the ride we were dealing with some waves splashing through the netting. At one point one big enough to propel a couple people came through and the party had started all the way back to the harbor.
Overall the trip was an absolute blast and I would've love to have been able to experience more of the local culture. Everyone was so friendly and had very interesting stories to tell if you could get them out of their "customer service/resort is life" routine. From the server who was working there to save enough to get into architecture college in Brooklyn to the bartender who taught us why the locals don't drink coffee.