Location: Petit Piton Point, St. Lucia
The morning started with everyone studying for our Oceanography midterm and a simple but delicious breakfast of cereal. After our exam, we took one of our dinghies over to the beach near us, where we met our taxi driver for the day, James. The first stop of our island tour was a photo opportunity with Petit Piton in the background, and another few minutes down the road, we stopped to visit some local vendors and bought a few souvenirs. We then loaded back into our taxi and set off for the Diamond Botanical Gardens, where there are mineral baths, a waterfall, and some beautiful nature trails with flowers everywhere you looked. Our guide was extremely knowledgeable about the plants and flowers we walked past during the tour of the botanical gardens, telling us fun facts about the trees and flowers as well as medicinal uses for many of the plants and herbs. After walking to the waterfall, we stopped to have lunch and some much-appreciated ice cream before heading down another trail to the exit of the gardens.
After the botanical gardens, we drove to an area of the volcano that has sulfur pools (you could definitely smell them before we even arrived), and we learned about how they were formed and that the entire area of Soufriere is part of a live, sleeping volcano. The sulfur pools are what heat the natural mineral baths we visited following our trip up to the pools. All the tour guides we spoke to today informed us that the baths were basically a cure-all, so we soaked in them for a while before heading back to Ocean Star for showers and a filling dinner of eggplant parmesan, pasta, and salad. I wouldn’t say it was a cure-all, but it was very soothing.