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Thursday, 9 October 2014


Jade Mountain Resort, St. Lucia
April 2014 - A dream job to St Lucia in the Eastern Caribbean is a trip down memory lane. 

I was first there in 1980, aged 22. A keen amateur photographer back then and armed only with my trusty Zenith Camera and 135mm Zeiss Jena Lens (That's the east German one) & a few roles of Kodachrome 64 and Ilford FP4 - (ah, I can almost smell the chemicals...). In many ways it kick-started my love of both travel and photography.

If only I could have my beach body back... Me in 1980.

In the 1980's package holidays to the Caribbean were in their infancy and St Lucia was definitely considered a luxury destination, so what was a poor boy from Lancashire doing there you might ask? Well, like most things in life, I went on a whim, the other reason was to annoy my boss at the time who had just enjoyed a luxury all-inclusive holiday there with his wife. I just thought if he could do it then so could I...

My experience of St. Lucia however was very different from his - where-as he didn't leave the hotel at all (it was too dangerous - he told me), I stayed at a small guest house in Soufrière called Home Hotel - I remember ringing them on my mum's phone with a stop watch by the phone so we could calculate how much the call cost. 

Set down in the then small town of Soufriere late one night by our taxi driver, it was a culture shock, to say the least! Soon enough though we were hanging out with the local Rasta's along the harbour and watching the tourists come over from the near-by luxury hotel, Anse Chastanet. We were in fact something of a phenomenon in sleepy Soufriere, as most people only got there on day trips to the Volcano from their exclusive and reclusive, 'all-inclusive' resorts.

Which brings me to the present and my recent trip to this small gem of an island. This time I'm staying at Jade Mountain/Anse Chastanet - the premier hotel if not on the whole Island then certainly in the South of the Island.

They say you should never re-visit a place you fell in love with all those years ago but I just couldn't resist - my curiosity just got the better of me and this time I was doing it in style! Home Hotel is still there by the way!

Soufriere in the shadow of the Pitons - from the road to Anse Chastanet 1980.
That was then - this is now...

It's remarkable really that St. Lucia has changed so little from my memories of 1982 but then again with a population of just 150,000 maybe not.

Iconic views of the Pitons from my room in Jade Mountain/Anse Chastanet.

Although larger now with extended suburbs Soufriere still retains many of it's old colonial charm.

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