15:25N 061:26W Salisbury
Bob and Elizabeth Frearson
Tue 8 Jan 2013 22:42
Sometimes I will read a blog entry and laugh out loud. Yesterday’s is a case in point. We motored happily in the new dinghy in to the, rather shabby, marina and tried to follow the directions from the Cruising Guide to find the lovely seafront walk that would take us into the main town. The instructions were not very clear and we had to ask the only person we could find to ask them for some handy hints which included “Turn left at the mango tree”. We walked along a very dodgy pathway, chattering gaily amongst ourselves as we passed sinister groups of men lurking on the periphery until it did indeed turn into a very smart path with pineapple palms and a very curly, fancy lamppost every 5 yards and not a soul in sight. It would have been better if the lampposts had been alight and the trek more than one and a half miles. The heavens then opened but fortunately we had had the foresight to bring along our kagouls and the Team GB umbrella so it wasn’t the end of the world. The end of the world appeared to be a further one mile beyond. The centre of Basse Terre was like a ghost town, once we dripped our way there, where everyone had to stay in their cars to be safe. There was enormous amounts of traffic but just no people, anywhere. Neither were there any restaurants. Or bars. We asked a Chinese Guadeloupian man, who spoke French, “ou est les restaurants?” He pointed down the road. We trooped down the road until it became so dodgy that we felt too imperilled to go further and found two Chinese takeaways and a Macdonalds. Sad to say that the new mini Windy was christened with a big mac and large fries washed down with coke. We didn’t fancy the dodgy pathway back and attempted to find a taxi. There were no taxis. We asked. We went to the taxi rank, but still no taxis. We solemnly marched back and had a well earned beer once we were safely back on Windy.
Today made up for it with a cracking sail, past the Isles des Saintes and over a long stretch of sea exposed to the Atlantic Ocean with ocean sized waves. The wind whistled, a good blow of 30 knots, the rain rained but we bowled along bouncing over the waves like riding a grid at 8 knots climbing to a record 8.9 for the day. Fran hid in “the pram” and cackled some more as Bob and I were rained and splooshed upon with happy smiles on our faces as we enjoyed such a great run.
We ended up at Salisbury. It is nothing like our local city, indeed it appears to be a small colourful village clinging to the cliff and below it a very bohemian dive shop and restaurant on a tiny beach that looks as if it has been built by Tom Hanks in Castaway entirely from Fedex deliveries. It is run by a splendid French couple and, having checked that we can eat there tonight, we know the menu is going to be good because she was checking Google for the recipe for Isles Flotante. We went for a walk along the fantastically beautiful river, past the cricket field, the outfield is in need of a good mowing, the sugar cane fields and the rum factory and enjoyed seeing the lizards, land crabs and birds that look a bit like swallows swooping over the rustling canes.
On our return, Fran had a really successful snorkel along the reef and saw all sorts of glorious fish, anemones and coral. And then it rained again so we are hunkered below supping rum punch. God knows what is in them but methinks they may be rather potent. We should sleep well tonight!