Friday, January 27, 2017

Climbing Gros Piton

I didn't set out to climb one of 2 mountains here in St Lucia yesterday. All I wanted to do in fact was to see Soufriere, but that's what I did. There are 2 Pitons overlooking the town of Soufriere, Petit and Gros and when climbing Gros, a government guide, walks with you to the top of the 2,619 foot mountain.
Here is my guide, Damascus, a newly married 22 year old, renting a house in Laborie, so that he can save enough for a down payment on his own house in the country.

Even though it is not far from my marina in Marigot Bay, the roads here have some difficult terrain to cross, so getting around is difficult. Here are the steps I took to get there and back.
1. Got a lift from the bakery truck at 8am out to the main road.
2. After waiting for 30 minutes and having a full minibus to Soufriere pass me by, I got a lift from a joint smoking 20 something year old guy in a fancy car to Anse La Raye.
3. Caught a minibus to Canaries for $2.
4. Got a ride from Maureen in her pick-up, to Soufriere where I had a good look around.
Petit Piton is the mountain closest.
5. Maureen drove me south of town to the turn off to the hike.

6. Walked about 30 minutes before catching a ride in the back of a pickup truck to the base of the mountain.
7. Climbed 2019 feet in 74 minutes to the top for $35 plus a tip.
8. Climbed down the mountain and walked for an hour back to the main road. I actually passed by an amazing forest of banana, avocado, grapefruit, breadfruit and coconut trees.
9. Caught a bus back to Soufriere for $1. The bus stop is next to the Church of the Assumption. Over 61% of the population are Catholic.
10. Caught a minibus back to the main road near Marigot Bay for $3.
11. Got a ride to the marina with a young guy in a nice new Honda Fit.

Will post a video of my excursion and plan to do some serious relaxing by the pool today.

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