In July 2010, Debbie, Lee, Grace, and Braden, joined by our good friends and neighbors, the Williams' (Ritch, Lynne, and Josh), spent
a fabulous week in the southern Caribbean island of St. Lucia. We rented a beautiful villa, La Batterie, perched on a steep hiilside
along St. Lucia's southwestern coast. We picked this villa for its stunning view of the St. Lucia's signature twin mountains, the
Pitons (Gros Piton and Petite Piton), and we were not disappointed. The villa had its own staff to take care of us, and we spent many
enjoyable hours sitting on the deck, watching the sea and the Pitons, and settling into Island Time.
Grace and Jarusha were full of anticipation as we flew from Richmond, through Atlanta, to a week on St. Lucia.
We took many photos from the deck of our villa, and this one (taken by Lynne Williams), was typical of the beautiful vistas we enjoyed
while hanging out at La Batterie. Braden is holding a bottle of Piton Beer, the local brew, which is very tasty (he also enjoyed the
drinking age of 18!)
We visited during St. Lucia's rainy season, and while it did indeed rain several times each day, the showers were quite brief and
often left us with beautiful rainbows.
Braden, Lee, and the Williams' did a lot of diving on St. Lucia's western coast, all with Scuba St. Lucia. All the divemasters were
friendly and very professional--we'd go back in a minute!
Ritch and Braden enjoying the pool at La Batterie.
La Batterie was on the access "road" to the Anse Chastenet and Jade Mountain Resorts (also where Scuba St. Lucia was located). Both
of these hotels are ultra-luxury, over-the-top type resorts.
Braden and Lee tackled climbing Petit Piton, one of the twin signature mountains on St. Lucia (the other is Gros Piton). Though
only 2,461 feet, it rises directly from the surrounding sea, and is extremely steep. Locals seem to be of either two minds about climbing
Petit Piton: those with a vested interest in tourists making the climb (guides), who try to make it seem trivial and something everyone
should do before breakfast, and everyone else, who make it seem like a death-defying adventure only the foolhardy should undertake.
We chose to believe the former, and arranged through a dive instructor at Anse Chastenet to have one of his "associates" guide us
up at 8:00 AM the next day.
The "trail" is very rocky and steep, but adjoining vines, tree roots, and rocks give a handhold. Heavy rains the night before and
in the morning made eveything very slick. Pretty much on your hands and feet climbing. Our guide was a local fellow aptly named Sylvester.
He could definitely climb like a cat. Shows up to meet us with no water, no food, wearing dime store flip flops (with holes in the
soles), speaking very poor English, and smelling like he had just smoked a ton of weed. Not exactly confidence-inspiring!
Braden is in excellent shape, and was able to make it to the top. Lee wussed out about 3/4 up, at a pitch where we had to pull ourselves
up about forty feet on a rope with few toeholds, and a 1,500-foot drop below to the Caribbean. With no safety ropes, and thoughts
of Grace's college fund dancing in my head, I thought discretion was the better part of valor, and waited for Braden and Sylvestor
to make the scramble the rest of the way to the summit. To the left is a photo Braden made from the top. Way to go, Braden! Great
We weren't on a cruise, but got a floor show anyway, courtesy of Grace and Debbie.
Click here for more St. Lucia photos.....
Click here for a movie Braden made at the summit!