After breakfast the mistiness persisted as I read my book. I was distracted only by the hummingbirds frolicking in the bougainvilleas and by the happy chattering of the room maids. The manager offered me the services of the plantation driver to get me to the airport, where my suitcase could clear customs only with my presence.
The driver, Hugh Paul, made the journey pass quickly â€“ we talked about West Indies cricket, Arsenal Football Club, and the devastating effect of the previous yearâ€™s hurricane on the banana crop. When we arrived at the airport, Hugh waited without complaint. Apparently no people could be in the arrivals hall when customs searched my case. After five minutes of admiring my clean clothes and souvenirs, I was allowed to wheel my suitcase outside.
On the return journey, Hugh showed me the landslides and the places where houses used to be before the hurricane. He knew many people on the road and stopped to talk many times.
After returning La Haut helped me organize trips to La Soufriere and the DiamondFalls Botanical Gardens for the following day. Everything now felt under control. What a relief! I could have swum in the pool on the terrace, but instead I decided to stay on my verandah, read some more, and let the ambience of the plantation wash over me. There was no sunshine but the air was warm. It didnâ€™t matter.
The gentle breeze and flow of the palms carried me away to a satisfying sense of complete relaxation.
Julian Worker has written articles on Middle Eastern and European architecture for the US magazine Skipping Stones. He has written travel articles that were published in The Toronto Globe and Mail, Fate Magazine, National Catholic Register, and Northwest Travel. Julian has also written articles for the In The Know Traveler, Go Nomad, InTravelmag, and Go World Travel websites. He has also taken many photographs that have appeared in travel guides by National Geographic, Thomas Cook and The Rough Guides. Examples of his work can be found at http://www.photographersdirect.com/sellers/details.asp?portfolio=13734