St. Lucia Part Seven: Magical Fond Doux

19 Sep

I’ve been away far too long, but as promised I’m here to deliver the last installment of my St. Lucia series. When Greg and I decided to stay at Fond Doux, we booked a 5 night Romance package- it was a nice way of getting an almost all-inclusive package from a special hotel based on a plantation that feels more like a bed and breakfast with lots of privacy. Included were airport transfers,breakfast and dinner each day, a massage, a private candle-lit dinner, and a sunset cruise out of Soufriere with majestic views of the Pitons. We also rounded out our visit with a trip to the Sulphur Springs, trips to Jalousie beach (there is a free shuttle), and chatting with new friends we met from the states as well as the wonderful owners Lyton and Eroline Lamontagne.

Here’s a round-up:

Me at Jalousie Beach, yes the water really is this color...

Greg and I went to Jalousie Beach a couple of times and mostly enjoyed it. It is framed by the Jalousie Plantation, a beautiful collection of white cottages that are mostly hidden in the foliage. I wasn’t quite sure that I would stay there though because the residents seemed to need to wait around for shuttles a lot to get around the property. Anyway, the cabanas we rented the first day are $20 each (ouch!) but we got them anyway because we felt like splurging and relaxing. Plus, we didn’t want our stuff to get wet since it often rained sporadically during our trip. Also, while you know that I don’t complain much about food prices overseas, the cost of lunch really was prohibitive. Maybe next time we go, we’ll keep sandwich bread and cold cuts in the fridge. I won’t complain about the delicious pina coladas I had however; they were strong and delicious.

The water really is the gorgeous blue-emerald green color shown in the second photograph and the water is really inviting. If you walk a little ways to the edge of the cove (which is really what Jalousie is), there is snorkeling available. Greg and I did this on our second trip and enjoyed the sight of coral, angel fish, one fish that was long and shaped like a rod, as well as countless others I couldn’t name. I also saw a huge turtle! Greg got freaked out by the sight of a school of squid that was bobbing up and down our way so we went in the opposite direction!

the Sulphur Springs, I am now ten years younger!!

We went out to the Sulphur Springs on our third day at Fond Doux, taking advantage of the fact that there was a light rain falling, so the beach was out. The Springs isn’t awe-inspiring compared to the walk to the Boiling Lake in Dominica, but it’s good touristic fun. We decided to take the bus, so we walked off the property and waited for one of the small vans to take us down there. It was less than five minutes away. When we got there, we bought passes that include a tour and a bath in the spring’s water that was built by the French hundreds of years ago. Unfortunately, people are no longer allowed to walk anywhere close to the boiling springs, since one of the guides fell through the earth and received serious burns waist-down. You can only walk on a short path led by a guide. I liked going down to the baths better. Basically, you go down into small pools and smear sulfur that is clumped on the ground all over your body. Then a little while afterwards, you go into a concrete bath where water from the springs is channeled to wash it off. It’s warm and relaxing.

A word of advice- get there in the morning before the hordes of tourists come in or if you can, go at night when I’ve heard many of the locals go. We got there early, so we weren’t stuck with too many people and we had a fun time.

Not so fun? Getting home. The buses weren’t running (the day after Carnival) and we waited for an hour until an off-duty taxi had mercy on us and picked us up. We were with another couple, young immigrants from India with a little baby who spent time telling us about their lives in St. Lucia.

After our second trip to Jalousie Beach, we had our scheduled couples massage. The best thing about it was its location- right on the deck of our cottage which sits nestled amongst the trees and overlooks the entire property. Our masseuses were two young St. Lucians who were attentive and conscientious. We played our own music on our i-pod and lied down on the tables to relax. A soft breeze blew around us and I, the most fidgety person alive, was able to relax….Ahhhh!

The next day, we were experiencing last day blues so we decided to take a dip in the pool. Unfortunately, the water was frigid. I think it’s because the sun hadn’t been out enough to warm up the water. So we decided to leave for Soufriere early to get some lunch and explore the town. There is a small mall, but there aren’t that many stores that were selling anything beyond basic necessities. We wanted some St. Lucian CDs so we asked around. We ended up walking over to a small electronic repair shop/radio station where the owner promised to burn us the best Carnival music and zouk and that it would be ready for our return.

Then, we walked back to the port and waited for our catamaran ride. We stepped onto the boat with about ten other couples and a small St. Lucian family. There was music, rum punch, and some small snacks designed to keep us from getting too intoxicated, I’m sure. We loved the views of a bat cave, the Pitons, and of course, the gorgeous sunset!

Soufriere Cathedral


Lunch in Soufriere


the catamaran


We're on a boat!


Anse Chastanet and Jade Mountain


Pitons in the distance

When we left the boat, our CDs were ready and our taxi driver was right on time. We went back to Fond Doux and got ready for our candle light dinner where we ate steaks and drank champagne by the Trois Bassins Pool. It was gorgeous.

Dinner by candlelight


Poolside

The next morning we prepared ourselves to leave. But I couldn’t go without one last Cocoa Fond Doux….

The last Cocoa Fond Doux

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