A day in Saint Lucia

My theme for my blog today is this: If it’s nice, do it twice.

It’s going to be difficult to sum up today as we chose one of the included tours which meant we got a less bespoke and detailed view of the island. So far we had chosen to pay extra for interesting excursions but thought we would see what an included tour offered. But what today did was spark a thought, something our tour guide said about Bananas, and it left an impression on me. But before I share that, I will tell you what we got up to.

We took a bus around the island, seeing places of interest and hearing about interesting cultural stories. I will put up a separate post about our choice of holiday and why the cultural aspects are so important to us. We were taken to a house called Stony Hill, which was home to a tropical gardens with a view. If you were looking for paradise it was to be found right here. The quaint feel of the house, the sound of steel drums in the background, the sweeping vistas, the palm trees, the lush gardens, all playing their part.

We had a short meander around the gardens, that’s the issue with an included tour – time is precious. We sought out the orchid house in particular, with many variations on offer.Some were on a long bench, others hanging from the ceiling. It was quite a sight to behold. All set in front of a small densely covered waterfall. 

We made our way back up to the house to sample some of the snacks on offer. Of note was the golden Apple juice, naturally far sweeter and tastier than any apple juice I had tasted before and grown in their gardens. And then a Salt Fish Accras (a type of fritter) with a banana ketchup. It was in the words of Peter Kay; a taste sensation. They had a guy standing at the station handing the food out, and as I approached for a second helping I shrugged and told him it tasted so good I needed one more. He sent me back an approving smile, and a ever so slight nod of the head and that’s when he told me their saying; if it’s nice do it twice. I’m going to keep that philosophy close to my heart. 

We had to leave all too soon and head back to the ship. We enjoyed the sounds of the West Coast Survivors and their Steel Drums on the pool deck that afternoon. A gentle audio reminder of just how lucky we are. Another slightly teary reminder for me of just how blessed my life is.

Ok, so I’m going to end on a social consciousness note, as I mentioned at the start. Here it is: please eat fairtrade bananas. St Lucia produces a significant number of bananas and 80% of the Windward countries (which St Lucia is a part of) production gets shipped to the U.K. Isn’t that bananas? Their bananas are always fair trade, and grown on small local family farms in a sustainable way. Not only are you then likely to be eating a banana from the Caribbean, you are ensuring your money directly supports the farmers. See it as akin to choosing free range eggs. Fair trade will now be my only choice. 

And here’s the thing. Their whole production only accounts for a small percentage of our consumption. We take 80% of their output and it’s still a minority of our overall consumption. So basically we need to stop throwing bananas away. I’ve chucked so many overripe ones over the years that I feel embarrassed at my wastefulness. This year Hubby and I haven’t done this because we’ve been making a conscious effort to make banana bread instead (to varying levels of success I might add). I will nowactively  look for other ways to use up bananas. A banana once used to be a luxury. Not convinced yet? A banana plant takes 9-12 months to produce fruit from when the seed is sown. So the next time you have a banana in hand, ready to eat, take a mindful second, and just think it took about as long as a human pregnancy to be harvested and then add on some months for shipping. The feeling of abundance isn’t always a good thing. Go Bananas! 

I think I might try my hand at Banana Ketchup. I would love to hear any ideas below as to how to use up bananas, and any recipes! I still haven’t perfected the banana bread and any tips are welcomed. 

This blog is part of a series of Blogs I have written about our time in the Caribbean with Viking Cruises. All are a fully independent reviews.