Monday, June 9, 2014

St. Lucia (3) Morne Coubaril Plantation

 Morne Coubaril Plantation House
Morne Coubaril is St. Lucia's oldest French Creole estate. And it is still a working plantation.
 The entrance way is lined with bougainvillea.
 Walking Palm, commonly called the walking tree, does and does not "walk" through the jungle. When the palm meets some obstacle, new roots grow and the ones behind die. Thus, a tree may move three feet in one year.
Certain connoisseurs will immediately recognize this tree. The COCOA tree.
This working estate still grows cocoa, coconuts, and manioc.
 For me, one of the highlights was the explanation of the processing of the cocoa bean.
 The cocoa is fermented, dried on racks in the sun, polished by "dancing" on them, crushed, then formed into chocolate sticks.
 Fermented. Look under the table by the wall. At least something was fermented in there.
 Dried in the sun on a rack.
 And polished by dancing on them.
Then crushed.
The only thing wrong with the tour and explanation of the processing was that we didn't get to sample the chocolate sticks.
 Next we were shown how coconuts are opened.
Coconuts are opened the same way at the Polynesian Culture Center in Hawaii. We never have been told if the method was passed from island to island or if the method was instinctual. The difference: this man used an iron spike and in Hawaii they used wooden stakes.
Whereas I whined that we didn't get a chocolate stick from the other exhibition, this one let people drink the coconut milk and had pieces of coconut for one to sample.
 Time to walk around again. Bay view from the point.
 Another bay shot.
 There were old huts to show the way "villagers" used to live.
 I forgot to look closely at this interior shot. I bet the sewing machine was a Singer.
 One room efficiency?
 This one at least had two rooms.
 All good hostesses know the way to keep people happy is to feed them. I don't remember what the choices were but I do remember being pleased. Must have been desserts.
 Stomach full, it was time to walk around again.

 It was getting late and around quitting time. These horses were headed for the barn without having to be told.
 About quitting time and one tired, happy tourist.
 If one recalls, we docked in Castries and then took an all day tour of the island. We ended at Soufriere. Logistical problem? No. The ship left Castries and sailed along the coast to Soufriere to pick us up. The passengers had some great coastal scenery and we had some interior scenery. We were picked up by a tender and ushered to the ship.
And a fond farewell to the Gros and Petit Pitons.

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