Back on French Soil

St Pierre and its anchorage sit on a saucer rim surrounding an emerald bay with the awesome mount Pelee towering
over the land it has dominated and devoured in the last 199 years. St Pierre was very prosperous town in the 1900's its wealth created from the production of cocoa, coffee and sugar cane financed many fine buildings including a grand theater the remains still visible. There's a great museum here with lots of photos and relics from before and after including part of a huge church bell which melted.
A pattern is emerging, we are hireling cars in drench speaking islands and using public transport and guides in English speaking ones!
Hireling a car here is much easier than Guadalupe. . Following the rough guide we drove to Grandee Terre a fairly wiggly route leading to the dead end village which had a massive multi million Euro EU funded full stop at the end of it in the form of a harbour wall for local fishermen. . . . . .We had lunch at Tante Arlette , those who ordered lobster where conspicuous by the plastic bibs they wore with a picture of a lobster on them . . . .good excuse not to order lobster.
On the way back we diverged from the guide book and took a road up to Aerolon at the foot of mount Pelee, the views were spectacular we could see the east and the west coast at (almost) the same time. .
The next day we traveled north (in the car) as far as we could go, this involved a cruelly spectacular drive on which we questioned several times if our rental car would be capable of going back up the hills , round the hair pin bends and back over the troughs in the road . . .but it was all worth arriving at a beach which has to go into our top ten. . . We arrived on the isolated beach with no swimming attire or towels. . their was just one other couple at the far end . the water was crystal clear and calm. . . .there was only one thing for it. . . .we left our togs on a fallen tree and made a dash for the emerald green waters. . . . Another lesson learned before we had swam 50 strokes a mass of people descended on the beach and deposited themselves on the log next to our clothes. . . . .

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