So far, two islands have really enchanted me. One is Granada, where we spent long enough to start to feel at home. The other is Guadeloupe that we visited briefly with Rob and Sally. Having left to sail north to Antigua, we found ourselves a mere day sail away and realised that we had a few reasons to return.
- Catch up with Chris
Chris had arrived in Saint Lucia and was making his way up the chain to Antigua. We thought we’d intercept him.
We met up at Deshaies in the north of the island and sailed down together to Malendure point, home of the Cousteau National Park. It was good to see Chris back on Freecloud again (when he wasn’t having time off the boat).
2. The croissants
I have decided that there should be more information about cruising in the Caribbean which involves access to French pastries. The croissant route starts in Martinique and involves Guadeloupe, Saint Barthélemy, and currently, Saint Martin.
Martinique and Guadeloupe are officially departements in France. As such they offer some amazing benefits. They have French subsidies which means a pretty good standard of living for the local population, nice roads and infrastructure, cheap supermarkets (maybe thanks to subsidised supply chains?) and of course, delicious food!
3. The pretty fish
A return to Malendure point was a treat. The snorkelling in the Cousteau national park is truly stunning. Swimming between the islands is like swimming in a living aquarium. I saw my first Porcupine fish there this time round (although didn’t have my camera with me to take his pic) as well as scores of stunning parrot fish.
4. Visit the rainforest
We finally managed to hire a car in Deshaies. It’s easy when you know how.. book online at Hertz, Deshaies then take the bus (10 minutes, 2 Euros) to the car rental place. This allowed us to drive along the gorgeous Rue de la Traversée which crosses the island from west to east and to take some of the excellently signposted and maintained hiking trails (without having to be escorted by a local guide for a fee).
5. Basse Terre, Grand Etang, south of the island
Having a car meant that we could explore the whole of Basse Terre, basically the left hand side of the butterfly. This means that we have only visited half of Guadeloupe, Grande Terre, the flatter side of the island is still to be visited..
6. Beaches to die for
We have been to some lovely beaches by now, it’s true. However, I would like to nominate the beaches in the north of Basse Terre (that’s the left hand side of Guadeloupe’s butterfly wing) as certainly being among the most stunning in the Caribbean. Just the right mix of being uncrowded yet not totally abandoned. And not such a shabby place to have an expresso coffee in the morning.
7. Buy a microwave
Or at least we would have if I had remembered to bring the measurements with me..
Guadeloupe has an enormous shopping centre in the north of the island with a Darty, a French electronics store. A super range of microwaves… shame about the measurements. Never mind… we will just have to come back!