Airs Saturday, April 28 at 8 p.m.
Globe Trekker Zoe Palmer travels to the spectacularly beautiful islands of St Lucia, Martinique and Montserrat. Steeped in a hybrid of English, African and French culture, dotted with volcanoes, lush with tropical rainforest, surrounded by turquoise oceans, and teeming with marine life, these islands are a real picture postcard.
Zoe starts in St Lucia's capital Castries exploring the famous Castries Market and picks up some goodies before heading out of town. From Castries she travels to Fond D'Or Bay, and on to Pigeon Island where she learns about St Lucia's history of slavery. Her journey takes her on to Soufrière, where she hikes the majestic Gros Piton, sacred to the Arawak Indians, it provides fantastic views from its summit of St Lucia and the Caribbean Sea beyond.
From St Lucia, Zoe takes a short ferry ride north to the French island of Martinique and its capital Fort-de-France, one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the French West Indies. Here she visits the remains of the birthplace of Martinique's most famous colonial daughter, Empress Josephine, and explores the La Pagerie sugar cane plantation. Her journey takes her on to St. Pierre, the economic capital of Martinique and a flourishing port city in the early 20th Century. The city was tragically devastated by the eruption of Mont Pelée. Today Mont Pelée provides a scenic and peaceful backdrop to St. Pierre, as Zoe discovers on a steep climb through lush green vegetation to the crater of the volcano. Zoe cools off with a fascinating dive in St. Pierre's harbor where approximately 18 ships were devastated by the volcano. She explores The Roraima which is the largest wreck in the bay, whose 50 passengers and crew lost their lives when the vessel sank during the eruption.
From Martinique, Zoe travels north to Guadeloupe, switching ferries at Pointe-a-Pitre before continuing her journey to the remote island of Marie-Galante where sugar cane production thrived in the 1800s. Today the island's countryside is dotted with the scattered ruins of 100s of abandoned sugar mills, Zoe makes a visit to the only working sugar mill on the island which supplies the island's 3 main rum distilleries. She visits the Bielle Distillery where she learns about rum production methods and gets to sample the finished product.
Zoe continues her journey northwards by boat to the infamous volcanic island of Montserrat. She embarks on a helicopter trip around the southern exclusion zone to witness the destruction wreaked on this idyllic island by its volcano. She also gets special permission to trek through the area on horseback and visits Belham Valley and the former capital of Plymouth which is now a ghost town.