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Driving in St Lucia

westchester, NY
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Driving in St Lucia

Just survived a white-knuckle drive around the island, culminating in two hours in the dark from Soufrire to Rodney Bay. Previous replies to posts asking about driving here have asserted that "any confident driver will be fine," but between the road damage from the last hurricane that washed out sections of the road from Castries to Dennery, making the road single-lane in many places, and the incredible switchbacks and steepness of the road from Soufrire to Castries, driving here is very challenging indeed. Given how expensive renting a car here is, if we were to do it again, we would take taxis. I am an average driver, and I would have been sunk; my husband is an excellent driver, and he's exhausted. Before you decide to rent a car, look at the map of the road around Canaries.

Toronto
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1. Re: Driving in St Lucia

Driving in St Lucia is challenging. I drove that section of hurricane damaged roadway after dark - it is very challenging - I would have turned around but there was no place to do so safely. I normally advise people that driving from Soufriere to Castries after dark is not easy - no overhead lights and lots of hairpins, etc. Now you know why many people prefer not to drive in St Lucia. I also advise people to see what the roads are like before deciding to rent. And as much as rentals are expensive, taxi fares can really add up for short jaunts, but if you hire a taxi for a day rates are pretty reasonable. Glad to hear you survived ok and I hope you had a great time!

BC
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2. Re: Driving in St Lucia

I sometimes think that I attempt to signal my intentions with my windscreen (shield) wipers as often as I do with my turn indicators both at home (left hand drive) and in St Lucia. I am prepared for the teasing next week in St Lucia when I am certain that I will attempt to drive, at least once, from the passenger side.

gdbear is correct for suggesting that driving at night on the west coast highway is not the wisest thing for tourists to do. Also late in the afternoon (driving north to south) when the sun is low in the sky. Some of those hairpin turns can be blinding.

England
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for St. Lucia
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3. Re: Driving in St Lucia

Seriously, my husband is used to driving us around St Lucia but, with the state of the roads still bad in some places, we prefer to hire a cab driver and relax. It also gives some business locally too. There is no way I would drive the length of the island at night right now.... Some of those steep drops are quite scary. I was last on the island in June so had rather hoped that some of the more hair-raising corners had been sorted. But apparently not.

Deep Glory dive, you made me laugh with your comments re indicators and windscreen wipers. I always say people tend to drive in the middle rather than on the left in St Lucia!

Edited: 29 December 2011, 20:02
madison wisconsin
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4. Re: Driving in St Lucia

Personally, if I had to drive in SL, I think I would just pull the car over wherever I was at and start crying! Kudos to all who do, though!

Rocky Mountain...
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for St. Lucia, Castries
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5. Re: Driving in St Lucia

Okey, I'm with you. Even though we live in a place where we have steep and winding mountain roads, as well as significant drop offs and no guardrails, St. Lucia isn't my idea of fun driving. I much prefer to leave it to the locals.

BC
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6. Re: Driving in St Lucia

SLE

Many tourists when they drive in St Lucia rightfully demand half the road.

Unfortunately, as you suggest, it is often the middle half.

Toronto
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7. Re: Driving in St Lucia

Funny thing about driving in St Lucia - it takes a couple of days to get used to the reversal of the wiper and turn signal switches, I've come back home and found myself using the wipers instead of the turn signal in my own car!

Call me insane but I like driving in St Lucia. I'm used to crazy, unpredictable drivers in Toronto and the condition of some roads are very reminiscent of St Lucia, so driving there is not so bad. If I had to drive Soufriere to Castries everyday, I would get tired of it pretty quickly - too many curves, etc. And it is maddeningly slow at times, but for a few days it's fun.

8. Re: Driving in St Lucia

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