GMSTLUCIA162x120Travel Weekly's Gay Nagle Myers is in St. Lucia, touring the island following the devastation wrought by Hurricane Tomas in late October. Her first dispatch follows.                     

Getting from Williamsburg, Va., to St. Lucia is a daunting task. It took about 17 hours from alarm going off to stepping off the plane at Hewanorra Airport in the south of the island.

Trust me, it was worth it.

Ninety minutes after stepping off the American Airlines flight from Miami, I found myself at Jade Mountain, a AAA Five Diamond resort that caters to and coddles honeymooners and couples.

Okeda, my major domo (private butler) escorted me to my Sanctuary (Jade Mountain’s term for suites), which I mistook for the resort’s lobby due to its immense size.

It’s difficult arriving at a resort in the dark, particularly this hillside resort. I knew that one of the two Pitons, the island’s signature twin peaks, was dead ahead of the view from my private balcony but I could not see it because the sun already had set.

I joined owners Karolin and Nick Troubetzkoy for dinner, an eight-course chef’s tasting menu with different wines at each course.

The wine flowed, the courses followed, each a culinary masterpiece, and I gleaned history, perspective and anecdotes about Jade Mountain and its place in the tourism importance of St Lucia.

I’m here to see the state of the island following the devastation of Hurricane Tomas, a Category 1 hurricane that hung over St. Lucia for 19 hours on Halloween weekend. The storm dumped an unprecedented 24 inches of rain on St. Lucia, wreaking havoc on an island not prepared for such a storm.

Tomorrow I’ll see for myself the progress made in the six weeks since the storm.

On the drive from the airport, I passed plenty of evidence of landslides now cleared. Jean Pierre, my driver, recounted the obstacles he and his four-wheel-drive vehicle encountered in traversing the main north-south road in the days following the storm.

For now, I’m climbing into a four-poster bed surrounded by delicate white mosquito netting and awaiting the sunrise and my first view of the Pitons in daylight.

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