The only pleasure I can think of when it comes to jet lag is waking up early when flying to the Caribbean. The mid-afternoon arrival time ensures you’re in your hotel in time for a swim, early dinner and bed. Then shortly before or just after sunrise there you are sitting on your terrace with that first coffee, wide awake refreshed preening at the thought you’re not going to miss a second of your holiday. Of course, if you’ve also planned ahead you maybe also slipping on your trainers so you’re in time for an early morning walk.
At beach level Tyson (bike to his mates as he also runs Bike St Lucia at Anse Chastanet) is waiting, a spare pair of binoculars in hand. In the half-light Tyson points out a Sandpiper playing in the waves, her long legs making her look slightly ridiculous as she scampers back somehow managing to avoid being washed out to sea. Soon after it’s time to head into Anse Mamin and by now its nearly fully daylight and time for breakfast as Tyson spots (hardly spots, he’s knows this forest like the back of his hand) a wild cocoa plant and breaks off a pod which he slices in half. He’s inviting you to stick a finger into the white goo and in embarrassment you gingerly tip your finger in and suck gently. And just like a Cadbury’s cream egg, this is pure taste magic. The faint taste comes through more strongly morphing from citrussy to sweet citrus to chocolate flavour, is there any more of that goo? Wow! Overhead Hawks and Kestrels circle, whilst closer in humming birds hover at the mouths of Caribbean blooms. As you gently meander through the forest you suddenly come across an exposed rock face and clinging to it is some 4 metres of wild honeycomb dripping with wild honey and attendant bees labour on in the early morning sun. The trail of wonders continues until you circle round back to the beach and one final wonder before a well-deserved full cooked Caribbean breakfast of salt fish and ackee (or in my case bacon and eggs). In a small boat you approach the cliff face that stands guard over Anse Chastanet bay, all chalk white, but on closer inspection there are nests aplenty. Brown Boobies camouflage their nests with white spit making the binoculars essential. On the short ride back you make a mental note to come and snorkel these clear waters to get an even closer look at the corals and fish just below your trailing fingers.