May 16th, 2023
This place is really nice. I may be a little biased due to cycling being their number one sport.
I have enjoyed a couple of bike rides, they have a number of high end bike shops (no new bike for me, but parts are easily available!), and the roads and drivers are good, if not great. What’s not to like?
They have amazing baguettes and croissant and speak French with some English. The marina (Bas-du-Fort) is well run and the prices are amazing. We could stay longer, but hurricane season is coming and therefore we will move on very soon.
We are experiencing a lot while we can. There is a small but well appointed aquarium, Jinhee did a day of work while I rode my bike and did some shopping for boat bits and some maintenance items. Today we drove around most of the west ‘wing’ of the butterfly to see some sights and we are impressed. [Guadeloupe is shaped like a butterfly]
On Sunday, there was a bike race that I almost got caught up in. The island was covered with cyclists out for a ride, and I felt safe despite the lack of meaningful shoulders. I did suffer three flats in a 60km ride, so by the time I returned to the boat, I was a bit fed up with the roads, but still it was nice. I did a similar ride on Monday, but in the opposite direction.
One thing I try to do while I ride is look for something ‘new’. That new thing was the way they handle grazing cows here. Coming from farm country, I am used to seeing herds in fenced in pastures, but I suppose there is a certain herd size where that makes good economic sense (fences are expensive to build and maintain in both time and money). Here the cows are chained to the ground with 100 or so feet of chain and the anchors are moved at some interval. Very interesting approach to grazing.
With a car at hand on Monday afternoon we checked out a larger grocery store (Carrefour) and a bike store. The food here is inexpensive and pretty plentiful, although the lettuce doesn’t seem to be in the large markets (perhaps it is at the local outdoor markets, we’re working on diagnosing that missing vegetable problem), and the labels are a complete mystery for the item that we would call coffee cream, or half-and-half or 10% cream. We now have a lot of creme fraiche that doesn’t make coffee better!
Today was about exploring the island with the car and visiting the national park. We made four stops, and saw some water falls, walked through the heart of the rainforest and even went to a couple of spots that were too busy for our liking.
In the end, it was a good day to be outside and seeing the world at large.
I had to look up a bunch of nature stuff on return to the boat, but these Heliconia were nice to look at (both orange and red varieties), but the real treat was when a hummingbird came alongside for some nectar while we watched.
The featured image is from our anchorage, last week while the sun set and bathed Terre-de-Bas in shades of blue. The one above is from our hike up to the top of Ilet a Cabrit.