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Crazy for Bats

While we were in St. Lucia we visited the Mission Rocks Beach and tide pools and touched the Indian Ocean for the first time. It was not a swimming beach but it was wonderful to visit. The tide pools were beautiful and had a lot of crabs that seemed to fascinate my son.

Photo by Chris Gough

I met a man who had surfed all over the world. He and some buddies were digging for crayfish. The crayfish were huge, half the size of a small lobster!

The best part of the day (at least for me) was our visit to the bat cave. Three kilometers down from the parking lot entrance to the beach there is a cave that is filled with fruit bats. We could hear them squeaking before we even walked inside. It was a shallow cave, more like an overhang, and it was filled with hundreds of sleeping, shuffling, peeking, and flying bats. They seemed to be flying in and out of small holes in the ceiling, but when we were standing outside the cave, we couldn’t see them enter or exit. It was a mystery.

Note all the Bats in the Back of the Cave
Fruit Bats are Furry and Eat Fruit!

My son thought the cave full of squeaking bats and smelly guano was disgusting and was “outta there” after three minutes. The rest of us liked it and I loved it. The cave was so dark that you couldn’t see how many bats were actually hanging from the ceiling but you could feel them occasionally fly right over your head. After I viewed my photos (taken with a flash) and saw how many bats were crammed together, I was glad I hadn’t seen them in full light. Although I think I still would have enjoyed it!

We had a great dinner after our day at the beach. St. Lucia has quite a few good restaurants. One of our favorite restaurants was Braza – We had tender, marinated chicken and beef cubes hanging from a skewer over a plate of roasted veggies, yum!

Our other favorite restaurant was The Ocean Basket. The seafood at The Ocean Basket was so delicious, and we loved our waitress so much, that we ate there twice.

Our waitress, Sonja, told us she was studying to be a ranger, even though she was afraid of wild animals and didn’t like to get too close to them. Eco-tourism is where it’s at and being a ranger is a highly respectable career. It can be a dangerous job, not only because of the wild animals, but because of the armed and violent poachers. We left, thinking she’d make a good ranger if she could master some of her fear.

I have more blogs to post about what we did in South Africa but I’ll intersperse those with some planning blogs. Stay tuned for the next blog Planning Your Trip.

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