Have just stepped off a Liat flight from St Lucia via Barbados to Grenada. Other flights are delayed and so we hang around on the tarmac waiting for other passengers to arrive in a tin-can sauna in the midday sun. “Hey darlin’ put the cool air on” – the stewardess pushes the airplane door open a little further – “that too cool for you??” cabin collapses into laughter followed by general chit-chat now the ice has been broken.

I’ve been meaning to visit St Lucia for 15 years now and am delighted to confirm that the wait has not been in vain. The Pitons are hugely impressive, as expected, rainforest and bird life fascinating as anticipated, history, culture and villages all vibrant and engaging as detailed in any guidebook but what can prepare you for a people as welcoming, smart and witty as these islanders? I’ve been lucky because I meet a huge amount of people as part of my job but the Caribbean is a place where no introductions are necessary and every other person is more than willing to air a view and trade a joke.

Both St Lucia and Grenada are old-school Caribbean islands. Politeness and a keen sense of comedy and the absurd will make you a lot of friends.

I spent my last night in St Lucia with a hotel manager who has “lived” and, like most St Lucians, is not backwards in coming forward with his experiences and views. Almost missed my flight through late night discussions over Chairman’s rum discussions about life the world and everything but certainly worth the fuzzy headed dash to get to my tin can sauna.

Have just met up with old friends in Grenada and dined in a remote Atlantic coast lodge where the manager/chef just happens to have trained under the Roux brothers……only in the Caribbean.

By all means secrete yourself away in a fantastic Caribbean hideaway but if you want a little company, just step out your door and allow yourself to be engaged in some of the most colourful and imaginative conversations that you could ever wish for.

Rainforest hike with a 72 year old “living legend” blog to follow soon.