Eastern Caribbean Cruise - Jan/Feb. 07

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The islands were all similar in topography - volcanic mountains with beaches and inlets. Depending on the height and east-west positions of the mountains on any particular island, rainfall on each island ranged from 30 inches to more than 200 inches.

St. Lucia is about 20% rain forest (>160 inches rain/year). Elmeda's must-do shore excursion was a tram ride through the canopy of the rain forest.

We saw many interesting plants and trees and a number of tropical birds. The ride is less than a year old so the larger animals have not yet returned.

After the tram ride, we got to take a short but steep walk through the lower part of the forest.

Our guide was a real expert in the plants and birds - Latin names for everything on request. On the right is a plant that starts growing on the sides of trees, finally enveloping it's host and becoming a tree itself. I thought she said it was a Ficus Virens but that comes up as a normal fig tree.

 

We got to a Batik factory where we bought several items.

 

Most of the ports had a dedicated duty-free shopping mall on the pier to extract money from the tourists - and people really obliged them. Some people were spending thousands on jewelry. 

Another ship in port.

 

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