Arrival... just a couple of newlyweds on an entire plane full of newlyweds.
A view of the town of Soufriere and environs from the water, with the Petit Piton on the right.
Our villa was located between the hill in the right foreground and the Petit Piton.
[Larger image: http://tinyurl.com/kvexog]
The path to Jacaranda Villa, our private hideaway at Stonefield Estate Resort.
Our deck, which had breathtaking views of both the Petit Piton and the Caribbean.
The two-person hammock got plenty of use.
Ours was one of the larger villas, with a living area and full kitchen.
The mosquito netting made the bed even more cozy; going to bed was almost like climbing into a nest.
Our outdoor shower: loved it!
The key feature of Stonefield's villas: each has its own private plunge pool!
The lush and private vegetation surrounding our villa.
Fruit trees galore everywhere on the property.
This mango tree hung directly over our deck. Sadly, none of the mangoes (one of my favorite fruits) were ripe.
Flamboyant tree with Petit Piton, on the Stonefield property.
More exotic vegetation on the property: this is a Helliconia.
Tarzan would feel right at home at Stonefield Estate.
Someone pointed out this hummingbird nest, which we otherwise never would have seen.
Inside, one baby has hatched, and another is still in the egg.
Tortoise on the Stonefield grounds.
The Wowo Band played St. Lucian folk music in the Stonefield bar on our first night.
[Listen here: http://tinyurl.com/krnbny]
The island also treated us to the most amazing sunset on that first night.
Sunset from our villa.
As soon as the sun went down every night, a symphony of tree frogs and crickets exploded around us.
The sound was actually quite loud, but soothing at the same time.
Another nocturnal visitor.
Cassie wasn't too crazy about this visitor... a tarantula!
Despite the tasty bugs floating around him, he didn't seem too happy to be in the pool.
Operation Tarantula Rescue was a success.
Looking down on the town of Soufriere (French for "sulfur," due to the nearby sulfur hot springs).
A colorful St. Lucian home.
The waterfront in Soufriere.
Soufriere at night.
Cassie and Karen, another Stonefield visitor, hang out with "Boopsie," a local musician.
Time to hit the beach!
The white sand beach at Jalousie Plantation, a resort near Stonefield.
The "Coconut Man" made the rounds at Jalousie, selling fresh coconuts.
Jalousie Beach sits between the two Pitons; pictured here is the Gros Piton.
Our primary goal for the week was to relax at the villa as much as possible. Mission accomplished!
The view from our hammock.
A lizard visits our deck.
Rain briefly dampened my spirits, but the fruity cocktail helped.
Cassie charms the local marine life.
Life does not suck.
Mango Tree, Stonefield's restaurant.
The views were as excellent as the meals.
My, how we miss those Creole omelettes....
The beach at the bottom of the hill below Stonefield.
We enjoyed some fantastic snorkeling here, spotting an eel, an octopus, schools of squid, and much more.
We did two dives, including this one at the base of the Petit Piton: "Superman's Flight," named both for the swift
current that pushes you along like you're flying, and because Superman flew between the Pitons in one of the movies.
"Zaka," a local craftsman who makes colorful totems.
Waterfall fed by nearby sulfur hot springs.
Warm water is not too refreshing on a warm day, but it still felt good.
Embarking on a sunset cruise in Soufriere Bay.
Gorgeous! (and the scenery looks nice too)
The local beer, and its namesake.
Captain Andrew, our skipper.
A lovely ketch, probably belonging to some lucky person who dropped out of the rat race and is sailing through the West Indies. :-)
"And they sailed into the sunset, living happily ever after."
The Petit Piton.... We'd been staring at it all week from the comfort of our villa, so we just had to hike it.
A nearly vertical hike all the way up. We used our hands almost as much as our feet.
Our guide Marlon leads us up a particularly steep section.
It was all about the small victories.
Sweating like pigs, we stop two-thirds of the way up to catch our breath. What a view!
The end is in sight!
Looking down -- WAY down -- on Stonefield. Our villa is the one just below the large pool, on the left.
We did it! (Stonefield circled in red.)
Looking down at the Gros Piton from the top of the Petit Piton.
All week, as I'd stared up at the Petit Piton summit, I'd seen something sticking up.
I thought it might have been a radio antenna, but turns out it was this century plant.
Here is this picture again, so you can see just how crazy a hike that was. That's right, we bagged that peak!
After that crazy adventure, we definitely needed some Painkillers.
[Recipe here: http://tinyurl.com/cahxxr]
The Piton Conqueror savors the spoils of victory.
All in all, a perfect honeymoon.
Goodnight and good-bye, St. Lucia!