Fond Doux Holiday Plantation
Every now and then, one has to break from the daily grind, away from the “usual” and do something different. Julian and I did just that one weekend. We went to tour Fond Doux Resort & Plantation. It is right in the Soufriere Quarter of St. Lucia, not far from us (at Calabash Mountain Villa.) We drive past Fond Doux when we go to Soufriere using the west coast road. In the local patois, “Fond Doux” means “sweet valley.” It was sweet – providing us with a challenging walking trail through their forest area (what a workout!) and peaceful and beautiful garden paths after the trail.
Our guide, Phillip Paul, did an excellent job of making sure we enjoyed our visit. We did not realize the trail would be as challenging as it was, but it was worth it. The further we went along the trail (all up hill) the thicker the growth was. We saw lots of trees and rocks/boulders. The trail was quite challenging, just before we got to the highlight of our hike. (Now realize that I’m short and the biggest challenge for me was the “big step ups” we encountered. I would not have made it, but for Julian and Phillip.) Along the way we saw lots of interesting and beautiful trees, plants and all manner of rocks.
We finally got to a plateau, and while I was catching my breath and regaining my composure, Julian was commenting on the awesome view. When I looked up – there was the Gros Piton, a view of Sugar Beach Resort at the foot of the mountain, with the very blue Caribbean Sea as the backdrop. Awesome! We took lots of pictures and decided we were not about to proceed up the trail, but we would head back down. Little did I know the trip up was not the hardest part! Heading back down, I had a firm grip on Phillip’s hand. (Julian needed both of his hands free to negotiate back down, though at one point it took them both to keep me upright.) Big steps up were doable; the big steps down were only possible for this short person, with assistance! (Tip: If you choose to do this hike, wear athletic shoes, preferably ones that tie, not slip-ons.)
The best part of our visit to Fond Doux, for me, was walking the paths around the cottages area. Beautiful! Peaceful! The gardens grow all kinds of exotic flowers. They also grow food items, which are prepared and served in their restaurants. Fond Doux takes eco-tourism seriously. Overall, this tour of Fond Doux was an excellent way to regenerate for the coming week.