I will only milk my trip to St Croix for a few more blog posts. I promise. One of the best things about this island and event as I already mentioned was the laid back attitude. Laid back, but full of life! Lots of races have a pre-event dinner and maybe even some sort of banquet for athletes in a stuffy hall somewhere. One that charges an exuberant price for non racers. Not this race. Instead of lining us up to eat some soggy pasta dinner with iceberg lettuce salad we got a ticket worth $13 at any of the restaurants listed on the back. Imagine my GREAT pleasure that one of the choices was the towns vegan restaurant! Lalita was not only vegan it specialized in raw, living cuisine. Do you think I was in heaven? It was phenomenal! I managed to get there for a few meals!
Lalita's courtyard seating
Lalita's Bar and Open Kitchen
Everything was fresh to order and made with all organic ingredients. Things were so fresh that I smelt basil and looked up to see the chef picking it from a plant. After a delicious, leisurely dinner for two it was time to partake in the rest of the evenings events. St Croix puts on a street festival called Jump Up four times a year, one being the Friday before the half ironman. The streets are lined with entertainers and merchants. One giant street party Caribbean style. It was a lot of fun and the performers were so good that I was so engrossed, I barely took any pictures.
These guys got the party started!
One of the highlights of any Jump Up is that the Mocko Jumbies come out to play. Many of these dancers are young children but you would never know it. They are very impressive on the stilts.
One of the most popular vendors, with a huge line, most repeat customers, was making a fancy rum drink concoction with fresh pressed sugar cane, coconut milk and rum. The people in that area of the street fest were really having a good time:) Of course, rum costs about the same as bottled water so why not drink the rum? I had already won a bottle of rum on our moonlight kayak and gotten a bottle of rum in my race packet. Rum, not gatorade in the race packet!
The source of the Rum
I was a little disappointed that I was at a festival called Jump Up and not once did I hear 'I get up, and nothing gets me down. You got it tough, I've seen the toughest around. Ah, I might as well jump. Jump! Might as well jump, Go ahead and jump! Jump!'. I was disappointed to not hear this Friday night, I guess that explains why it was the soundtrack in my head on Sunday. 'You say you don't know, you won't know until you begin'. JUMP, you might as well JUMP!!