Tuesday morning facing the rain we thought we would go ahead and get the twenty five minute ferry ride across the bay to Trois Ilets to see the birthplace of Marie Josèphe Rose Tascher de la Pagerie - aka Josephine and learn more about her by visiting the Pagerie Museum. It made us chuckle waiting for the ferry to arrive, we couldn't see across the bay to where we going. Then when the ferry inspector came for our money - the fella in yellow, he asked us where to, we said Trois Ilet "Are you sure". The rain was so hard it was difficult to see out of the window.
Trois Ilet, in southern Martinique is a town different from all others found on the island. This seaside resort is ideal for "away from it all" holidays, with white sand beaches of Anse Mitan and Anse a l'Ane. There are mangrove swamps here, La Vatable a state owned forest and Imperatice golf course. All within walking distance of a naturally protected anchorage. There is also a coffee and cocoa museum, pottery village, slave swamp and architecture of a military design.
The walk from the ferry dock showed the village had had as much rain as we had, the tree will not want watering for some time.
Leaving the ferry dock we walked up the hill past this cute little house, an unusual water feature and a little house in need "of a bit of TLC"
The commune owes it's current name to the three small islets in the bay, Charles, Sixtain and Thebloux; name of their last owners who exploited lime kilns on them. The town dates back to 1683 and was part of a parish covering River Salt and Benits Three-Islets. Then it was served by a church built by the Jesuits on the site which is now the pottery. In 1716 the two parishes detached themselves and Trois Ilet had it's own new church.
Notre Dame. A flower feature by the village square, opposite the tourist information office. We picked up some leaflets and went for coffee and cake, to see if the rain would lessen. NO and the coffee was bracing.
Located in the central square of the town is the church of Notre Dame de la Bonne Deliverance. The church was built in 1724 on land granted by Sieur de Montigny and was listed as a historic building on the 5th of January 1993. Three famous ceremonies have taken place here - the marriage of Josephine's parents in 1761, her baptism in 1763 and her mother's funeral in 1807.
The anchorage. The lady in the tourist office said it was a twenty minute walk to the museum. She must have been running. A liberation statue outside a block of flats but we knew we were going the right way.
Past the golf course she said. Birds were bathing in the bunkers.
We turned off the main road and passed the Parc des Floralies, closed for some four years. Sad to see it in such a sorry state.
Even from the road you could see the park was once beautiful, hopefully it will re-open one day.
Time to sit and dry out the Bill and Ben hat. Take a look at some of the fabulous plants and sit in the comfort of the museum admin foyer.
Where is Jump Jet when you find a big dongle?
The gardens here are stunning, lots of birds enjoying the flowers. In the first photo you can see this little Colibri with his back to us.
The colibri (hummingbird) is a sacred symbol for the Taino Indians. It is sacred because the hummingbird is a pollinator and therefore disseminator of new life. It symbolizes the rebirth of the Taino Indigenous Nation in the Caribbean. The bird is found on many Caribbean islands, but the most sacred species is the Guani, which 500 years ago inhabited all the islands, but today is confined to Cuba. Although the smallest of the Caribbean hummingbirds, only about the size of a penny, it is known by the mountain people as the most noble warrior of the valiant Colibris. In the Caribbean the Colibri is also called Zoom Zoom, Zumbador, Pajaro Mosca and Guacariga. It is greenish blue in color. The ancient Taino stories call him the Guaracacigaba or Guacariga, which means the "Rays of the Sun." They say that the Colibris at one time were flies that were one day converted into little birds by the Sun Father.
13:00 came for our appointed tour. Carole was our very knowledgeable guide.
The perimeter wall showing where the house once stood. The ruins of the sugar factory and the kitchen where the artifacts are on display - I was not allowed to take photos inside.
The death mask of Napoleon. A display in the admin foyer and a plan of the sugar factory.
Inside the ruins of the sugar factory, looking up the hill to the sugar building and the man who made the renovation possible, Dr Robert Rose-Rosette
It had stopped raining by the time we had spent an hour with Carole, we cannot thank her enough for her patience, knowledge and interesting tour of the artifacts. Being brave we decided to walk back rather than get a taxi. An ice pole and another little sit down put us right for the task.
En route back to town we watched this baby butting her mother expecting mum to kick her away, when she had had enough she just turned on her heel and trotted off.
Formerly called "Bottom of the Cow Bag" because of its situation at the bottom of an udder shaped bay, also because the first inhabitants of Trois Ilets devoted themselves to breeding these quadrupeds.
The town even boasts one of those fancy toilets that does everything except make a cup of tea.
The last look. Skipper deep in his own world and the empty bandstand pavilion.
We sat and chatted waiting for the 15:30 ferry back to Fort de France. 6.50 euro's return.
The dinghies on the quayside looked as sorry as Baby Beez had.
Passing the anchorage - a hurricane hole - Trois Ilet. Watching a container ship being filled taken from the ferry.
The industrial part of the city taken from the ferry
Clouds still threatening as we watched this plane come in to land.
Fort Louis from the ferry
We disembarked and Bear fancied another bimble around the shops. We were standing outside the Cathedral watching a hearse and mourners leave, quite surprising as the vehicle pulled away with music blaring, granted it was in keeping with the event- then I was shocked even more when Bear went flying behind me, across the road, ending in a judo roll. I leapt to his side to help him up. My knee gave way, I didn't fight it, I went with it to do myself less damage. "What about cars coming" Oh I checked for them. That's the first time I have experienced anyone falling and doing their green cross code as they go. Bear had offers of chairs, help and people were very kind. He reassured me all was well. Nonetheless I frog marched - no pun intended - into a chemist to buy a knee brace. He bumped his gums all the way but tough. First mate's orders.
Spot the difference. After his falling in the road shock, we needed "happy food" and a sit down. A couple of nice photos of Beez taken from the Ferry.
Back to the girl for a swim off the back, shower, supper and a CSI episode.
ALL IN ALL A REALLY ENJOYABLE DAY OUT EXCEPT FOR WATCHING BEAR FALL. Don't do it again. I'll try not too.