We got up early for another excursion day. These trips are good. They get you off the boat, you get to do something interesting and usually provide a local driver that will happily talk you through the sights you pass, giving you some history of the island thrown in. You don’t have to worry about haggling with taxi drivers or having to timetable with strangers or getting stung by hidden costs. Today we tackle the Arial Tram on St Lucia. It’s essentially a cable car that takes you up through the various layers of the rainforest canopy. There is also some cool looking zip lines if that’s more your thing. The woots and screams coming from all though the trees made it sound very exciting. For the full rainforest experience you can make a several hour long trek up to the top too. Having done something similar in Sumatra that involved feeding Orangutans we decided to take the high road, so to speak.
We had a tour guide on the tram named Nollie who was very informative and talked us through each layer of the forest and how the ecosystem works in harmony, trees that grow on other trees, and plants that live at the top and send their roots down like vines to the floor. It was all very interesting, not least of all seeing some red bananas. The view from the top was breathtaking and proved to us that St Lucia was an Island we could happily return to for an extended stay in the future. Upon arriving back at the bottom we went for a short hike to see some more of the local flora and I had an opportunity to take some arty farty photos involving some rusty old pipes that weaved their way through the area but had long since ended whatever service they once performed.
A full montage video if you want to see more.
Back at the boat for lunch in the feeding trough. Attempted to tour the shops on land but it’s yet again the same, or at least similar, souvenir shops and diamond dealers. Once more I decided to embrace cruise life and opt for doing nothing. Went to the top deck and found a quiet spot to sunbath. Obviously, it started to rain the second I sat down. It was only a brief shower this time so I
stood sat my ground and it passed after a minute or two. This seems to be the norm in this part of the world now. Frequent showers during the dry season are apparently quite new and clear evidence of the effects of global warming. My sunbathing experience was going well until a gaggle of, shall we say, mature ladies set up camp next to me and proceeded to natter and gossip incessantly. It was short lived as the sail away party started with a token spin of YMCA and the wind picked up. Time to move on.
Went back to the room to shower as we are booked in for our third couples massage of the trip. I was greeted by one of the rare, in cabin, announcements. Three passengers names were being called out as they had not returned to the ship. Seems the sail away party was a little premature. It was okay though as we got serenaded by a lady from a bar that had been hosting karaoke earlier. The balconies on the port side all quickly filled up with amateur sleuths pointing fingers at likely revellers that had failed to observe the curfew. We watched tiny crewmen weave their way around the dock talking to everyone like it was a giant game of Pac-Man. It was to no avail and the anti-climax came when it was revealed that they were already on board and the card system had failed. We later found out that they were all part of the on board entertainment and one of them was none other than the 4tunes guy from Costa, circa. Day 5.
Excitement over I finally got my shower in preparation for massage number 3. We normally have just the one on our holidays but then we normally have more to do. Massage was the same as the last two, have to admit I do feel quite relaxed for having these treatments in such quick succession. Met up with my sister in the buffet for dinner, not a good choice as it’s mostly curry and it was not good. Had to go back into the danger zone to retrieve some chips, my expanding stomach will not let me skimp on food by this point. We saw the rest of the clan trundle in and discovered that the increasingly decrepit men of our family were making use of the medical facilities on board. Patient Zero was on antibiotics for an existing chest infection and the other was suffering the effects of bronchitis, for which I had little sympathy due to seeing him smoking on the deck on our way off the ship this morning. Blatantly grassed him up for that with his wife too. Engaged with the Toddler again, he had his frowny face on meaning he was tired and wanted you to back off. His mum jokingly tried to give him to us for free so I’m guessing he was being a bit difficult today. We informed everyone our plans for the evening were to watch the Elvis tribute occurring in one of the bars later on and all were welcome to join us.
We popped into the Manhattan bar on the way to glimpse the Madonna tribute first. The place was quite empty and a middle aged blonde lady in a ‘Young Madonna’ unitard was gyrating on stage whilst belting out Ray of Light. She had a good voice and, although clearly a professional, she wasn’t doing Madonna any great service. We stopped to see the wall of photos that had been accumulated by the ships photographers. We purchased copies of two pics of me and H in our evening gear but they are so dark you can’t tell my black jacket from the blue. Disappointed. We also chuckled at the embarkation picture of me on my own with my two companions storming off behind me. Then we saw the Hair Peoples embarkation photo and the raging debate about the group dynamics rekindled.
We got to Malabar just in time to sneak the last few seats at the front, my ever polite sister was hesitant as they were part of someone else’s table but the place was filling up and I moved in. The people didn’t mind, in fact they seemed surprised no one else had already taken them. Elvis turned out to be the deputy entertainment manager who had done the routine in a company talent contest and won. It was actually really entertaining despite clearly being aimed at the older ladies. The act was very much a comedy send up of The King with over the top gestures, silly conversations with a fake band behind the curtain and the use of toilet roll instead of silk scarves added up to a very funny routine. None of the family showed up. Had two cans of cider and hit the hay.