Roadtrip Guadeloupe!

Here I am on Guadeloupe!The Lesser Antilles island of Guadeloupe felt a little like Italy’s Amalfi drive as I drove along the circuitous western cliff road at sunset.

Often I felt like I was in Paris, surrounded by lilting French speech. 

I looked at the misty offshore rocky islets and thought of Ireland’s Atlantic coast.

But I knew I must be in the Caribbean because I ate the most decadent coconut ice cream of my life!  (it had crunchy shreds of fresh coconut in the creamy slush)

Here’s my road trip on Guadeloupe…

That curvy coastal road encircled the bottom lob of Guadeloupe’s figure “8”, also called Basse Terre.    This is where the national parkland is located, where I one steamy afternoon took a hike up stony steps that turned into dirt trails that picked their way through jungly forest up to an overlook, Marmelle de Pigeon, where I looked over vast swaths of green canopy to the next door piton, all the way down to the coast.

Another hiking trail took me alongside the Herbes River where I cooled myself under a bursting cascade aux ecrevisses, or waterfall.

There’s not much gastronomical refreshment in the national park, though, so I was grateful to find a roti stand by the side of the road selling fish fritters and a hand pressed juice of pineapple and fresh ginger.  Wish I had bought bottles of that!

Dine with your feet in the water on GuadeloupeThe top lob of the “8′ is called Grande Terre – lowland, beaches, and at the far eastern end, the Pointe des Chateaux.   We went to the end of the road and parked our car, then walked to the end, til we could go no further, then up a steep short trail, to the 10-meter tall iconic cross, topping the summit.

Afterwards, we were rewarded by the most amusing cafe whose sign offered:

Manger les pieds dans l’eau

In English:  “Eat with your feet IN the water”

And so we did!  The food truck made a toasty cheesy quesadilla which we enjoyed, “dans l’eau”, while we watched a wall of rain overtake the island, starting at that end point, enveloping the cross, and marching on straight at us. Thank goodness for the sun umbrella!  We huddled underneath with our little picnic, now more water-y than ever, and laughed!  A rainbow appeared.

Between the 2 lobs is an isthmus where Christian, our B&B host, slipped his boat.   For $40, he motored us out to a private island!

Picnic on a private sand bar in Guadeloupe

Really not much more than a small sandbar, it’s a popular place to picnic and sunbathe.  As we swam around the circumference, he mixed us the local rum drink:  a heaping teaspoon of raw sugar and a big squeeze of lime, with the island’s home-brewed spirit poured on top.    Floating… sipping… just another day on Guadeloupe!

 

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