When we arrived in St. Lucia, we were greeted with a damp blast of Equatorial air and expensive cabs. In a US denomination, the fare approached three figures, and we saddled up next to the Avis car rental desk to procure keys to something small and nimble to carve our way through the back-roads of the jungled land. Bureaucracy and annoyance followed: a hard sell for insurance, a driver's license, a 30 minute car inspection. Each bead of sweat on my brow spoke to my annoyances with this cumbersome process. But, suddenly, the keys were placed in my palm and we darted out of the sad little airport, left hand driving, heading somewhere.
As I turned the ignition, the radio came alive with air horns and speedy reggaeton as we slalomed around hills, past little beaches where families gathered for picnics, and under towering palms with roots just deep enough. The DJ blasted his signature sample every 5 minutes or so, "Can I get a hammer, hammer, hammer." It would echo and trail off. The soundwaves exited our car and flat-lined as they hit the dense Caribbean air. Major Lazer's "Get Free" came on as we sped past decaying barber shops and dilapidated pastel buildings:
Look at me
I just can't believe
What they've done to me
We could never get free
I just wanna be
I just wanna dream
All of my life been wading in
Water so deep now we got to swim
Wonder will it ever end
The drive was always gorgeous and sometimes perilous. We eventually found a place to stay - La Haut.
La Haut is a small property of buildings clinging to the side of a mountain overlooking the Pitons and the town of Soufriere. The godly view and somewhat inexpensive tariff is balanced with a lack of air conditioning, which, one a hot island, must be given a proper weight that we neglected to comprehend completely standing slack jawed at this view: