Day 16-St. Lucia, West Indies


This was a big day.  Ziplining.

Early, while we were planning, I asked Praxy if she would like to try zip-lining during our cruise.  Surprisingly to me, she said yes.  I thought that she was very daring.  Scared of heights?  Forget this one, then.  Obviously, Praxy wasn’t afraid.

Everyone I talked to said that St. Lucia was the best.  Sounded good to me.

We booked this excursion directly from Holland America.  The price was identical for one reason.  Another was timing.  The Ryndam was scheduled to leave Castries at 2:30pm and our zip-lining trip was scheduled to end at 1 or so.  IF there was a problem, I wanted to be sure that the ship would wait for us.

Again, leave the ship and go through the trinkety BS and jewelry.  Again.  Déjà vu all over again and again and again and…

I wonder…is that what some people do?  Go from port to port, just to buy jewelry?  Just HOW MANY DIAMONDS CAN A PERSON BUY?   How vain can that person be?

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Ready to go.  Into a waiting van and we were whisked away.  St. Lucia and St. Johns both had traffic rules similar to Europe.  Everyone drives on the left, driver is seated on the right.  I was getting used to it.  We sat in the back and that made picture taking almost impossible.  But by now, you’ve seen one island’s traffic, you’ve pretty much seen them all.  So I’m jumping ahead to the action!

A 1 hour ride brought us to the tram and zip-line park.

IMG_0140SL 1getting ready to zip

A quick check in, then you get fitted with your harness.  They don’t rush this, everything has got to be right.

SL2 jeane ready to zip

A friend named Jeanne gets ready.  She had zip-lined many times before, but this one was something she was really looking forward to.  She asked to go with us for company.  No problem, good to make new friends.

SL3 we are ready to go

We’re suited up and ready!

SL4 tram to the line

On the tram.

SL6 another car

Up into the forest.  The tram took us to the 2000 foot level.  Quite a bit cooler than on the ocean.

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A short hike, maybe 1/4 mile through the forest and…

SL7 first one

You’re there!

SL Praxy gets ready

Praxy on the far side.  I had to zooom a looong ways with the video camera.  Back at the ship I was forced to choose, still camera or video.  I settled on the video because it would fit in my pocket and the video would be interesting to watch.  The still photography suffered.  Oh well.

Sl some high platforms

This was getting very high, maybe 100 feet off of the ground.  Whoever put these platforms in must have been part monkey.  No video, sorry.  It takes forever to upload on the internet.  I will assemble a video when I get home. 

SL here I come

Look out, Novia.  Here I come!  Not to worry.  They had a good braking system and no one was even close to getting hurt.  The brake rope got tangled a bit and one guy stopped before the platform and slid back down the cable out of reach.  No problem.  You turn around backwards and hand over hand it to the platform.  The cable is rated to 10 tons and there are two of them.  Also there is a safety rope on the harness.  You are hooked in three times.  See the little block of wood on the line?  The guide uses that to slow you down.  The guides don’t need it, they land on the platforms like birds.  Both of them had been working here for 4 years.

SL Novia having fun

Do you think she was having fun?

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Waiting our turns, one of our party holds his platform safety line.  A guide would go ahead to catch us.  The other stayed behind and prepared us.  They were very very careful and neither Praxy or I ever felt like there was any danger.

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This gigantic tree is very picturesque.  Two weddings have been performed at it’s base.   Then the couples could zip off into their marriage. 

There are two other lines in the park.  One is less expensive as you don’t take the tram.  The other is an adventure line that includes some rappelling, climbing, and strenuous hiking.  Gotta be in good shape to do that one.  We declined.

Back down the hill on the tram.  The return is higher on the towers and you can see much better.

SL hummingbird

Another lucky photo, a hummingbird.   I couldn’t tell I’d got it on the camera until I got back.  A little blurry from having to blow it up, but what the heck!

SL looking down

Looking down the line.

SL the atlantic

The Atlantic Ocean.

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The Caribbean Sea.  We returned to the ship, exhausted but pleased.  I’d do it again any day.

Sl returning tender (1024x683)

The ship took off at 2:30 for Souffrierre (spelling) down the coast about 20 miles.  There were three shore excursions that allow people to either boat or take a bus from Castries to that other town that I can’t spell.  (Going through my paperwork, there is not ONE time it is on any paperwork).  100 people took advantage of this, it took two tenderings to get them all back.

SL Souffreirre (1024x683)

Here is that town, it means “sulfur” in French.  What a pretty location.

SL the pitons (1024x683)

The Pitons.  These two peaks from an extinct volcano are the most photographed and popular place on the island.

The scenery of St. Lucia is something to behold.  Stunning.  Verdant.  Picturesque.  If I ever visit the Caribbean again, this island will be my target. 

Wow.  I’m caught back up.  Thank goodness for sea days.  Tomorrow we visit Curacao in the Netherland Antilles.  I’ll have a perfect excuse to get behind on my writing.  Planning to upload on the 18th so my readers can enjoy. 

We have a long shore day tomorrow, leaving around 11pm for Aruba.  Got no particular plans for Curacao, but we are going to snorkel a shipwreck in Aruba.  I can hardly wait!

12/17/12  5:00pm

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About Ken

I am a federal employee that loves to travel. I don't get any time off during the busy salmon tagging season, March through November. So, I save my leave and explore the warmer parts of the world during the winter.
This entry was posted in 2012 Caribbean Cruise. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Day 16-St. Lucia, West Indies

  1. mary says:

    Zip-lining envy, been dreaming of this. Thank you for all the great pictures. Now I need to go update my bucket list . . .

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