St. Lucia Part Four: Beach Time at Rodney Bay!

13 Aug

Our driver showed up early to take us to Reduit Beach at Rodney Bay at 11 am the next day. So much for CP time! (That stands for colored people, for the uninitiated). We hustled into his van and bounced along to the soca that burst out of his stereo. We were going to visit the North, where tourists were said to abound and mid-range hotels as well as all-inclusives sprawled with impunity. While there is some truth to this, what we found was a lot more inviting than we had imagined.

According to my St. Lucia travel guide, Rodney Bay Marina was created from a dredged mangrove swamp. Today, it is a long strip or two of restaurants, hotels, banks, and supermarkets, rather than a fully planned-out town with an established center. There is everything from a Domino’s Pizza to a Mexican restaurant to a shopping mall. After passing about twenty of such establishments, we pulled into a random-looking parking lot while the rain, while not pouring, was definitely making its presence felt. We said goodbye to the driver and promptly walked into Spinnaker’s Restaurant and Beach Bar. It was filled to the brim with St. Lucians, presumably on holiday for Carnavale, which would be climaxing on the streets of Castries the next day. This was surprising to me and it may or may not be the norm throughout the year. Some great reggae and calypso tunes were definitely blaring from the restaurant’s speakers, a sharp contrast to the soft 80’s rock that the restaurants in Marigot Bay seemed to prefer. We promptly ordered two rum punches and contentedly waited out the rain shower.

Spinnaker's Restaurant and Beach Bar

As soon as it looked like the shower had passed, we went onto the beach which is not as long as it is usually described; you would think from online photographs and descriptions that it stretched on for miles. But it is long enough to spread out and enjoy yourself without bumping into too many people during the low season.

I was just ecstatic that I didn’t have to flash a wristband pay any money for entry. We simply paid a few dollars for a beach chair to put our things since the tan-colored sand was still wet and promptly ran into the warm, clear water. While there, we noticed a few vendors selling everything from trinkets to banana boat rides but there were very few, and the vibe felt peaceful. We swam in the shallow water with older German tourists to one side of us and a dread-locked St. Lucian couple with their kids on the other. Then a man in a small boat strewn in banners and flags pulled up selling fresh coconuts.

Of course Greg swam out to get one.

Greg and the coconut boat at Rodney Bay

Overall, I enjoyed Rodney Bay even though I didn’t get a chance to sample the night life and we didn’t go out to the marina. The heavy tourism didn’t seem to block local access, something that I feel strongly about, although I’ve heard some reports that a lot of the private beachfront development seeks to intimidate non-hotel patrons from using the beach in front of them. That was certainly the case when I went to Jalousie Beach later on, but to be fair, I didn’t experience this at all at Reduit. The only downside to our time there were the infrequent showers, but our response to that was just to jump into the waters, letting the soft waves lull us into deep relaxation.

From there, I could see the hunched figure of  Pigeon’s Point, National Historic Park filled with old fortifications and a quiet white sand beach. I promised myself that we would go there next time.

Pigeon Point in the distance

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2 Responses to “St. Lucia Part Four: Beach Time at Rodney Bay!”

  1. Sha-Mecca August 13, 2010 at 3:03 am #

    how easy was it to communicate with the natives?? i know they speak a certain kreyol do they also speak english?

  2. voyajer79 August 13, 2010 at 3:09 am #

    Just about everyone speaks English in St. Lucia. Kreyol is spoken most widely by the older generation and was threatened to be wiped out- mostly due to the educational system and attitudes that it’s not a real english. I would say that the “working-class” speak it more than the upper-class and that men speak it more than women. Now it is enjoying a revival and the gov’t is really pushing it. There is a huge Kreyol Festival in the fall when people are supposed to speak only Kreyol, for example.

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