Mont Pelee

Tue 18 Apr 2017 20:46

Mount Pelee was a great walk, though some of it involved hands and rocks as well as feet. When Caroline saw some people climbing she thought we would never make it.

me pelee


People on a lower peak disappeared under cloud, as the clouds went past below and above us. The maps for hiking were all in French; the English map and smartphone app ( didn't have the road we used to drive up to the Grand Savane.

lower peak

a lower peak


 one of the refuge huts

Apart from some very large horned cows chained in the road it was fine.

Lovely walk/scramble up the Grand Savane to the circular Caldeira walk, of which we did about a third. Mount Pelee is a weird mess of peaks from various eruptions with lots of ups and downs.


 our yacht at anchor from Mount Pelee.

Having started before 8am, we made it to Habitation Ceron for lunch; expensive but tasty and with a lovely walk around the gardens where they have the tree of the year 2016.



Finally we visited the strangest of places, miniature totems with carved stone heads and a big rock with heads stuck all over.

The natives of this island had shaman who used to go to other islands and kidnap young adults for sacrifice. The prisoners were fed and looked after, then once in peak condition were thrown from a rocky outcrop to their deaths in the void. When Europeans took the island the people were bullied, enslaved and decimated by 1658. The 12 surviving shaman decided to sacrifice themselves rather than be slaves.

The site information board says: 'It was not a collective suicide because the people were very respectful of life, they used to kill and to die fighting, which was considered an honour, but never committed suicide because their life was more precious than gold.' Seems a bit biased to us?