Les Saintes in bloom

We sailed down to Les Saintes to break our journey before going further south to Martinique. A small archipelago of five islands which along with Marie Galante are part of Guadeloupe, Les Saintes had been a short stay with Rob and Sally but we hadn’t visited the island of Haut de Terres very much apart from a stroll down the main street. It was great to explore it a bit more and to climb up to Fort Napoleon and to the top of Chameau, a trip which reminded me of Saba as we didn’t see another soul all the way up and all the way down, a trek of an hour and a half. This island is really so pretty I understood why so many folk take a ferry to visit from mainland Guadeloupe. It feels like a postcard dream of a Caribbean island with its many bays and picturesque houses and gardens. It is almost a pedestrian island in low season. We only saw one rental car in two days of walking around the island. In high season the electric bikes and golf carts which tourists rent must detract from the charm, as I remember there was a roaring trade in these for day trippers. However, in low season there is only the occasional tourist who zips past on a buggy.

View from the top of Chameau park

That’s Guadeloupe in the distance… honest!

The downside of the rainy season? I was prepared for increased humidity but somehow imagined there would be showers bowling through and blue skies between the showers, much as there is in the dry season. However, so far in rainy season, blue skies have been precious and increasingly rare with overcast and grey skies becoming the norm and replacing the jubilant blue of my winter photos. With the magnificent views over the bays and islands from Fort Napoleon and Chameau park, I could only imagine how stunning the same walks would be on a clear day. Correction… I didn’t have to imagine, as promotional videos shown in the Fort Napoleon taunted me with them. One upside is that the island was covered in incredible flowers. Everywhere we went we found flowers and blossoms out, from cultivated to wild flowers. I took photo after photo only occasionally taking pictures of the same species. The red and yellow flamboyant trees are absolutely magnificent.

This is one flower, not a bouquet

We sat in the cockpit surrounded by these beautiful islands and decided we would like to come back again. The winds were gentle, the sunsets were soft, the anchorage was no longer rolly. When we got hot we plunged overboard for a swim. Not such a hardship! We looked at our weather apps dutifully for storm warnings, read the blog entries of friends who have travelled across the Atlantic in the cold and wet, drank our sundowners and enjoyed the quiet that comes after a storm!