Exploring St. Lucia by Car

Most cars we rent in the islands are small, but this one took the cake. And the price – hardly small at all. Back home we could have rented a Cadillac for the price of this one. Oh well, you go with the flow, but next time, we’ll look outside Rodney Bay marina to see if we can find a better price, and a bigger car.

A Real Car!
A Real Car!

Our first day’s drive took us southward towards the Pitons, volcanic outcroppings from the Soufriere Volcano – yup, another Soufriere. The roads to get there are unbelievable. Steep, twisting, bumpy, and the local drivers are nuts. Careening around the corners like they’re practicing for a road rally. I hugged the outsides of the highways wherever we went to keep from getting run over, literally. I could tell that Joy was not enjoying the ride, not one little bit.
The Pitons and Soufriere below
The Pitons and Soufriere below

As we wound around the corners we came upon this stunning view of the Pitons and the valley below us, so we stopped to take a number of photographs. We’d been told the Pitons present unbelievable views, and as we move along, we’ll show you several different views of these natural phenomena.
Soufriere Caldera
Soufriere Caldera

Our first stop would take us driving down into the heart of the Soufriere volcano itself. The volcano is said to be resting, but not dormant. Geologists expect that one day, this volcano will erupt again, and when it does, it may very well destroy this end of the island much like the Soufriere volcano on Montserrat. It is an event people dread, but do not live in fear of. There is a small community very close to the heart of the caldera, and we wonder if they will heed the evacuation orders when they come.
We were Here
We were Here

How do I describe the feeling of walking around inside a sleeping volcano? Intimidating? Exciting? Smelly! Awe inspiring. All the above. The pools hiss and steam off and on through out the day. We were told that as long as we can smell the sulfur, we’re OK. If the sulfur smell goes away, it would be time to leave in a hurry. I don’t remember all the science behind this geological wonder, but since the seismologists monitor this volcano 24/7, we guessed we were safe enough. All the islands of the Caribbean lie along a geological fault line, and there is constant activity to one degree or another. We’ll talk more about volcanoes later.

Have Lunch at Ladera