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Monday, January 24, 2011

CMDTA on Vacation: St. Lucia

If you have little to no money what can you do in St. Lucia’s Port?

First of all St. Lucia has an odd port.  It’s a mix of old and new.  There are some nice shop areas that are new and updated.  Right next to that there is what I’d call a flea market.  The flea market feels confined and you keep thinking someone is going to try to mug you while you are in it. This might sound odd but that’s the place to go.

The clean area has your normal port stores so in other words it’s nothing special.  The flea market has a lot of odd stuff. Stuff you might not be able to find in other places. The people in the flea market are also interesting.  They are true locals.  That might sound odd but there is a reason why that stands out.

Often the tourist stores hire non-locals.  Some of the major ones even hire Americans.  Some of these employees work year round for these companies.  You might wonder how they get through the off season.  The answer to that is rather interesting. 

My wife and I were in St. Thomas one year and we walked into a Spectrum store.  Spectrum specializes in ammolite which my wife likes but we could never afford. However because she likes it we always check out the stores selling it.  The sales rep knew us.  He knew us because he tried to sell us some ammolite in Ketchikan.  Ketchikan is in Alaska. Turns out a lot of the workers you see in the Alaskan ports spend their summers in the Alaska and their winters in the Islands.  I don’t know how much money is in that but how awesome does that sound?

OK back to the port in St. Lucia.  Other than the flea market there isn’t a whole lot in the port for poor people.  One thing you can do is head to the end of the port where you’ll find a bar that does karaoke.  It’s always fun to listen to drunk people try to sing.

If St. Lucia didn’t have the flea market and the karaoke bar I’d say skip it if you can’t afford to take a tour. However, those two places make it worth getting off the boat.

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