We are currently on holiday at Coconut Bay Beach Resort in St Lucia, having flown out just over a week ago. (Please read A Pandemic Holiday: Part One to get the eventful story of our journey, if you have not already done so) …. and this has certainly been a holiday with a difference.
We were so happy to have managed to get away, especially as another lockdown loomed, and even though it poured with rain all day on the first day, we were very excited to be here.
It also felt very safe and incredibly organised. The hotel had just reopened, (literally that day), after four months closure, and there seemed to be some very strict Covid precautions going on. For example, if you moved, someone would hurry up to you brandishing a thermometer. OK, I exaggerate, but on the first day we were temperature checked 4 times. 4!!! Once before every meal, and once while we were minding our own business having a coffee in the lobby. The restaurants also had very helpful little social distancing markers on the floor and hand sanitizers were in all areas. Guests were wearing masks in public areas, except when sitting in the bar or restaurants, or sitting on sunbeds. Staff wore masks constantly, though bizarrely we noticed, just over their mouths, and not covering their noses.
Then, from day 2 through to day 7, there were no temperature checks at all. And then on day 7, they started again! Not sure of the reasoning, but an interesting strategy certainly. I’m sure they knew what they are doing. The distance markers have also worn away and mask wearing has turned into “mask bearding” as we call it (wearing your mask under your chin). Still, it is the Caribbean, and it’s hard not to have a very relaxed outlook here. I am very glad to report no Covid cases / issues in the hotel as far as we were aware, and in fact the only medical problem we noticed, was that some poor chap had broke his arm. I think he may have slipped over.
That’s not to say that we were not above getting slightly panicky when noticing someone sneezing or coughing excessively. We would then make long detours around the pool, so we didn’t have to go anywhere near him or her. One whole family seemed to be sneezing every day, so we avoided them a LOT.
The weather was mostly absolutely lovely with a couple of rainy days, during which we availed ourselves of the various gorgeous cocktails they serve here. My favourite is “Dirty Banana” which is Tia Maria, cream, rum, a banana and chocolate sauce. I know, I know… I HAVE put on a pound or two.
Andy’s favourite cocktail is a Caipirinha, but no one here has heard of them, so I helpfully explained to the barman that it is a cocktail of crushed lime, rum and sugar. He asked his friend to make it, who in turned asked his friend. I’m not sure why this was, but I was finally presented with what was basically a rum slush puppy, with no limes or sugar in it whatsoever. I am calling it “Chinese Whispers,” and I expect it to be a huge hit. Andy is calling it something unintelligible because within about five minutes, he was absolutely hammered.
Another interesting occurrence in this (British Airways) holiday, was the fact that TUI seemed to think we were also on holiday with them. We HAD been going to Cape Verde with TUI for these two weeks, but moved our holiday with them to next Spring as Cape Verde is still closed. That didn’t stop them from sending me “Welcome to Cape Verde” messages all week, along with lots of useful local information. I feel rather greedy that we seem to be on two holidays at once.
If you have read any of my posts on this blog, you will not be surprised that I usually find a cat or two to adopt for the duration of our stay. This time was no exception, although the cat this time is very special indeed. I even looked into the possibility of adopting her and taking her home, but that appears to be impossible with the current state of affairs globally. I won’t give up though. We intend to return next year, and if she is still here, well, who knows. I named her “Lucia” (of course).
Meanwhile ‘Hydro’ is in charge up at the kitesurfing school, and he does not need rescuing one bit. He was adopted by the kitesurfing guys and seems to rule the roost.
I must say the food and entertainment here is absolutely fantastic. Last night, they had a “Western” night, which I would not have thought I would have particularly enjoyed. However, by 9pm, I was having a tremendous time, singing along at the top of my voice to “Take Me Home Country Roads.” The four glasses of wine I had imbibed may have had something to do with it. But hey, we are on holiday, right?
But….. all good things come to an end and I was not really surprised when we had an email from BA yesterday morning, saying that due to Covid, sadly they would have to cut our holiday short, and we are returning home Wednesday instead of Sunday as expected. I am so incredibly grateful that we have had 11 wonderful days here though, that I am certainly not complaining.
So ….Thank you St Lucia – you were a tonic I was very MUCH in need of. We will be back, very, very soon. 🌴❤️🌴