Guadeloupe 16:18.37N 61:47.9W
Serenity of Swanwick
Phil and Sarah Tadd
Wed 17 Feb 2016 22:28
Two more days with a car enabled us to tour this half of Guadeloupe, driving over the Route Traversee which cuts across the middle of the island through the rain forest stopping to view another waterfall and the Maison de Foret, an information centre about the rain forest. Then round the north and a very nice beach before coming back down the west side. Plenty of view points to stop at on the way. All in all a nice island to visit.
Sunday started very wet and windy so it looked as if our plan to go to the top of Soufrierre, the volcano and highest point of the island, would be scuppered. Sarah consulted the metoffice forecast which was giving heavy rain, Phil looked at a local mountain forecast which said getting drier with only 0.1mm of rain in the afternoon, off we went! Drove to the end of the road by some sulphur baths, found a parking space and set off along the trail. There were an amazing number of cars parked here and we had to go back quite a way down the road to find a space.
The path starts as a well made track through the forest but once clear of the treeline it becomes a rocky but well worn path. It was not dry, luckily we had brought waterproofs but were walking in shorts, when we reached the top it was cloudy and it poured down. Amazing though how many other people were doing the same walk. Because it was so wet we came down fast, and the supposed 4 hour walk took us 3hours 15 minutes.
Sunday evening was spent on board a 50ft charter yacht with a lovely group of Americans. We only went round to say hello and then Sarah helped them out with a bit of interpreting (none of them spoke French and the security man was getting stroppy about them not having paid, the office was shut how could they?). We were then invited to stop for dinner. It is evenings like this that really make this trip.
Tuesday we left the Marina and sailed north to the anchorage at Deshaies, where we spent the afternoon worrying about the anchor dragging in the strong winds that funnel through here. Ours didn't drag but another English boat was drifting off out to sea with no one on board. A number of people with dinghies and powerful enough outboards went to rescue it and bring it back and the very grateful owners arrived back in time to see all this happening and to take charge of re-anchoring. The wind died at about 10pm and we were able to spend a peaceful night.
Today we have been ashore here and visited the botanical gardens, quite expensive but very well laid out and looked after.
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