& # 39; Welcome welcome. Just call me Mr. Good Vibes, & said the man in the brightly colored shorts, with a smile that stretched his face, arms open in greeting, on a beach that had been radiated from heaven.
This, ladies and gentlemen, is the beautiful Caribbean island of St. Lucia, where the warmth and friendliness of the people are only matched by the beauty of the landscape.
From the moment you arrive, the island is fascinating extraterrestrial … from the chickens that roam around the airport, to the banana plantations along the roads. Then there are the tropical forests full of birds in jewel-colored coats.
The Caribbean island of St. Lucia, passed back and forth over the years between the French and the English, while the two countries fought for ownership
I was in St Lucia for a one week creative writing course, with the mornings spent writing in a luxury hotel and the afternoons exploring the island.
But for now, back to the beach, where Mr. Good Vibes had walked through the turquoise water to pick up a small raft that would take us to a boat before noon. We were on our way to Soufrière to see the Pitons, the two volcanoes that have become the symbol of the island.
The boat trip was wonderfully decadent – lounging over the deck, admiring the Pitons that appeared in the glittering, hazy air before them. We were accompanied by a school of whales that danced alongside us while the soft buzz of reggae music drifted over us.
At the Pitons we headed for the volcanic mud bath where we lay as nurturing seals while it dried up before we slipped into hot whirlpools to wash it off and then returned to the boat for a barbecue.
The next morning it was time for creative writing, in an open space with a view of the sea and soothing gusts of sea wind. It may seem like a strange mix to take a course in the middle of a luxury vacation, but it worked.
The process of writing and trying to bring experiences to life on the page, made the reality of the vacation all the more intense. "Describe mud baths without using the sense of touch," we were told. But don't think this is a course for experienced novelists. The charm of writing lies in the choice of the tutor.
Stylish: one of the East Winds bedrooms, where you can write a one-week course
Colorful signpost at the hotel. It sits on 12 acres of a private beach near Rodney Bay in the north of the island
Victoria Pepe is an experienced editor who carries her knowledge lightly. She expects nothing but you to participate, enjoy and develop your skills. I am an experienced novelist, but there were people who had no experience, and they found it useful and uplifting.
It starts with simple word games and develops slowly until you write fluently. You will not write a novel while you are there, but you will leave with a suitcase full of ideas.
In addition to writing, we also spent time at the hotel where the course is based. East Winds is a 12-hectare boutique resort on a private beach near Rodney Bay in the north of the island.
It is run by Judith Milne, an English businesswoman who moved to St. Lucia to manage the hotel. She talks to guests and is ready with tips about the island and its heritage.
St. Lucia has been passed back and forth between the French and the English over the years, while the two countries fought for ownership. This explains the language: many things have English names, others French.
The resort has a beautiful outdoor swimming pool, as well as a gym, yoga and pilates classes and water sports that interest you.
Mud Larks: in the volcanic mud bath in the Pitons, the two volcanoes that have become the symbol of the island
Everything became food for writing. The gnarled roots of the elephant's foot tree and the spiky leaves of a plant became characters on their own while we let our imagination run free.
What if someone was found murdered in the mud baths? Can the volcano erupt? What would happen if it happened? Or maybe those chickens will find themselves a charismatic leader and take over the airport?
This is a vacation you will never forget in a beautiful resort that might help you on your way to penning that bestseller that you have always promised yourself that you would write …
Tropic Breeze (tropicbreeze.co.uk, 01752 880880) offers seven nights at East Winds from £ 3,309pp, based on two adults on an all-inclusive basis, creative writing course, garden tour, cooking class, private meditation session, private boat trip to the Pitons, Sulfur Spring mud baths, snorkeling and lunch on board .
Also includes return flights from Gatwick and return transfers. Price includes a 20 percent discount for bookings made before October 31.
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