As we were in need of some exercise we decided to walk the couple of miles out of Castries.We found the building with no trouble and soon realised this was not the place to pick up leaflets, but managed to arrange an appointment with someone who "could help us". Unfortunately this person was "just stepping out" for lunch, but promised he would email details of the trails as soon as he returned!
As we were fairly sure we were near the Forestry Offices where one of the short trail starts, we thought we would have a look for it to give the email time to be written and sent. We had an enjoyable walk around the area, but never found any evidence of the Forrestry Offices or the trail, but by the time we were back on Stream the email had arrived and we were able to plan the following days walk.
From the half a dozen trails mentioned we decided that we would enjoy the 'Barre De L'isle'. The trail is along the ridge that divides the eastern and western halves of the island. It is a walk into the Forest Nature Reserve. The description promised panoramic views of the island and views of the mystic rainforest. It also stated that the trail could be extended as it linked to a trail going up Mount La Combe. Another good thing was that this trail was on a bus route from Castries, so we could easily get there and back.
So after an early start and two bus journeys we arrived at the trail head and met the forest ranger and paid our $50EC entrance dues. She explained it was a well marked in/out trail and that we must tell her when we had completed it for safety reasons. We promised we would and were about to head off when she went on to explain that in the past people would carry on and go up the mountain but due to a hurricane in 2010 this was no longer possible as the path was blocked by a landslide.
So off we went into the rainforest. The path was very well marked and easy to negotiate. The view points did give stunning views of parts of the island.
|The Forest Ranger Office Barre de L'isle.|
|The well trodden Barre de L'isle trail|
Unfortunately it was all a bit tame and was like a walk that you would do with your family and a baby in a buggy from a National Trust car park, but without the tearoom. At the end of the trail is a laminated A4 sign marking the beginning of the Mount La Combe trail. Being us, we thought, despite the warnings, we would give it ago. We wandered along for about 600 metres to the landslide, which of course we tried to traverse and climb up but couldn't find anyway of continuing further. So it was a disappointed pair who caught the bus back into Castries.As it was only lunchtime,we caught another bus to Union Trail. But the less said about the trail and the disturbing zoo the better. Although Sarah did get a sight of parrots/macaws in a cage and spent time feeding them star fruit.
|Macaws (or St Lucian Parrots as Sarah wanted to believe)|
To say the walk back down to the main road, to catch the bus, was more interesting and challenging than the Union Trail is an understatement.