Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Honeymoon pt 2 - St Lucia - Hiking the pitons

Flying out to St Lucia after 4 crazy days in New York was amazing. The contrast between the two places was huge but we were ready to spend some time relaxing on the beach and resting our poor feet. We had a few beach days not really doing much and then decided to hike the Gros Piton.

St Lucia

The pitons are two volcanic plugs that are iconic in St Lucia and the local beer is even named after them! The one on the left is called Petit Piton and the one on the right is Gros Piton. Petit piton is smaller (although it doesn't look it here because it's closer) and is also a hell of a lot steeper so it's generally not recommended to hike that. The Gros Piton can be hiked with a tour guide, either from just below halfway or from the very bottom from the beach. We opted for the latter and hiked all 771m of it.

St Lucia

A water taxi picked us up from our resort early to beat the heat and took us over to meet our guide, Joseph. The picture above doesn't really do justice to how BIG it seems from the base at the beach! But it was big. And steep. And sweaty.

St Lucia

The view at the halfway point. At the start of the hike, our guide told us to empty our bags so we were carrying as little as possible but that we should take a full litre water bottle. By about the halfway point the water had nearly all gone! It was so humid in the jungle and it was barely even 8am. It did improve once we got higher up and we could feel the fresher, cooler air meeting us. Some parts were so steep, I had to jump up huge rocks and hold on to trees. 

It took us about 2 hours to get to the top and we did stop twice at rest points.

St Lucia

Hurrah! At the top! There are 2 view points at the top, one towards the south of the island and the other towards the north-west with views of the Petit Piton. We climbed around to get to both.

St Lucia 

St Lucia

St Lucia

Shiny, sweaty happy people!

The descent was almost as hard. It wasn't as much of an aerobic workout, but I was pretty damn scared of slipping down some steep rocks and even lost my footing a few times. When we reached the halfway point, we bumped into some other tourists but they had decided to turn back as the first half was too difficult for them. Afterwards our tour guide laughed and said that happens to a few. Reaching the bottom felt pretty amazing and it wasn't too hard all in all. By the time we finished we'd taken 4 hours. We rested on the beach and had a swim to shake out our tense muscles. It was such a great experience. I don't think anyone should go to St Lucia and miss out hiking the pitons, it was a definite highlight of the holiday for us! 

5 comments:

  1. Wow, check you out! Gorgeous photos too x

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  2. Wow, this sounds amazing! What a great honeymoon memory!

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  3. Wow, this sounds insane but well done you, there are some gorgeous views I imagine!

    Maria xxx

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  4. Such breathtaking views, Helen! This sounds so intense, but worth it in the end, eh? I'd love to visit St Lucia, although with my fitness levels, would probably pass up on the hike :P hope you're well and married life(!!) is treating you well, lovely. xx

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