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Friday, September 28, 2012

Pigeon Island: How the Brits Blew It



Wayne & me at the peak of Pigeon Island
 The day before we went “On the hard” (aka dry dock, or boat tossed onto land for maintenance, in our case) we did a brief exploration of the “island” in our “backyard,” Pigeon Island.

Back in the late 1700s, the Brits used it as a lookout point and interception to keep the island from the French, who were in charge previously and colonized neighboring Martinique, in view ~25 miles away across the way.  

Stairs and some slightly rocky trails
aside, the hiking's still easy it
almost seems like cheating to get
such great views with so little effort.
The Brits found a way to turn this awesome assignment into tough duty by insisting their troops dress in sweltering woolies, including long sleeved jackets and pants.  Centuries later, they finally relaxed their dress code into something more climate appropriate.  Yet even today, to enjoy "50% off" beaches in the area, one has to head to (French) Martinique.  Historical bru-ha-ha aside, it’s a beautiful spot, with easy hiking and fabulous views, well managed by the St. Lucia National Trust.  We paid $27 EC total (about $10 USD) for the two of us to visit.

Jambe de Bois Callaloo soup, just before it was
totally finished.

It was tough getting a photo of  the excellent
Jambe de Bois veggie roti before it was totally gone.
We’d heard rave reviews about Jambe de Bois’ food and ambiance, and, dang!  The reviews were spot on.  I ordered the callaloo soup (think spinach or swiss chard) and Wayne the vegetarian roti (veggie curry in a burrito); the veggie roti was exceptional and only ~$3.50 USD for a very generous serving.  For the moment, it’s a lunch spot only, but when the tourist season begins, next week, Oct 1st, they’ll resume serving dinner.  We chatted with some escapees from the adjacent all-inclusive behemoth resort, Sandals, who were considering a Jambe de Bois meal to break the repetitive albeit included Sandals’ cuisine.  We encouraged them to go for it!

Snorkeling is also rumored to be good at Pigeon Island, though we may hold off on that for other venues, like Soufriere on St. Lucia or one of the other islands.