There was no march on January 21 here in Guadeloupe in support of the Women's March on Washington, so we took a long
hike, meditated on the meaning of the march and made this
short video. It is in English and French. We are both in solidarity
with women and all human beings worldwide.
| The First Day in Town
We didn't really have anything for dinner when we arrived, so we walked
down through town until we found a woman selling vegetables and fruits.
We bought five Euros worth and then headed for the beach. It turned out
to be this nice one. It is in the middle of town but still beautiful
with lots of trees to sit under.
That is Dawn wearing her croakie at the end of a long day. This is my
favorite beach so far. We weren't there long because it was the start
of a long hike to and from Pointe des Chateaux where we made the short
video. You can see that Dawn is still a little pensive. The water was
great on the feet.
I got out my snorkel and mask to see if there were any fish to see. I
walked out maybe ten feet where the water was up to my chest and put
them on and plunged forward into
the middle of an amazing school
I was right in the middle of them. Had to be the most amazing
snorkeling experience I have ever had. It was like some video editing
|These are the
and chairs for a food truck that parks along the road at the Pointe des
Chateaux. The guy on the far left is the waiter. The truck is behind
me. We ate at another place with more shade.
|We missed the trail at some
point and ended up here. The point is in the distance. We had to pick
our way down the rocks that we had climbed up thinking that it was a
Vive la Différence!
On the way back, we managed to get lost again. We met an old islander
on the trail who noticed our confusion. He asked if we were looking for
the beach, Plage Tarare. I told him we were looking for the path back
to Anse à la Gourde where we had started our hike. He kept inviting us
to the beach and said he would help us find our way back afterwards. He
asked if we were Naturistes,
which I mistakenly thought was Naturalistes.
Well, yes, we love nature, the birds, the foliage, the sea. Then,
having noticed several nude beach goers at the Plage Tarare, I realized
he was asking us of we were Nudists!
Just one little syllable of difference in those two words! This all
took quite awhile as he had a heavy Creole accent and said also that if
we had parked at Anse à la Gourde, it was really a long way back. We
knew that, but he finally confirmed that the path we thought was the
correct one indeed was. And yes, it was a long walk back.
night and we were out on the town. Dawn was not too happy with me
because I wanted to walk down so I wouldn't have to park. If we hadn't
got a little lost it would have been a ten minute walk.
The only reason I didn't want to walk into town was because my feet
were killing me from the four-hour hike we had done that day! (Dawn)
This was at the Marina, The heart of touristic Saint François. There
seemed to be a lot of affluent French tourists. I had a half liter of
Affligen and Belgian beer and Dawn had a Mojito.
We abandoned the Marina and ate dinner at the Pirate Burger.
This place seemed to be run and owned by women. It was a good meal.
when we went to thank the cooks and the person we thought was the
patronne, I said "you know this is a really important day for women..."
and they did know, so we had a little solidarité salute before
|The aforementioned Affligem.
may be praying to it or playfully peeking through the glass at you, but
I do know that I enjoyed it.
am really trying not to get burned by the sun so this is what
wear when I am going to be six hours in the sun during the midday. So
far it has worked.
On this particular day, what you get a glimpse of here is what we saw
all day. Miles of ocean waves and not a building in sight until we got
to the chapel that was our destination.
My Thought for the Day
I think that we are wired from an evolutionary standpoint to see the
differences between ourselves and other beings that come into our view.
It is a survival technique to be able to recognize what is the same as
us and what is different. Different might be a predator or a warring
tribesman. And you had better be quick about it or your genes might not
make it any further.
So I keep working on developing my skills in seeing what I have in
common with other beings. It is always easy to see what is different
between myself and others and it is ususally the first thing that I
think. I get around to realizing how much I have in common with others,
but my aim is to recognize this earlier
Lost Soles (Souls?)
I have been struck by the number of soles, and sometimes entire shoes,
that we have seen on various paths. They are not only on the beach
where they may have been washed in with the tide, but they are also on
forested paths and over craggy rocks. Some of the surfaces are
pretty rough around here and may cause "premature" wear and tear on
soles. I couldn't help but see them as "lost souls," wandering in
search of some kind of "meaning" or "redemption." In addition there are
two places in Gwada named "Porte d'Enfer" meaning The Gate of
Hell. Although I am not personally a believer in Heaven or Hell, I
couldn't resist the play on words between sole and soul and wondered if
these lost souls were running away from the Porte d"Enfer.
The sampling below are only some of the soles we saw on only one of our
hikes. It was, after all, the hike to the chapel on the bluff so maybe
those souls were running towards that chapel.
L'Entr'Acte, part 1
Wednesday: We started out for the restaurant "Les Pieds Dans
the feet in the water. We were ready. We had consulted Thierry and had
learned what to order, what questions to ask, when to go. Imagine,
again, our surprise when we get there only to find that they are cloed
on Wednesdays. So this isn't a story about our dinner, but about some
tapas and drink at another place, L'entr'acte.
We had seen it the day before coming back from the fish market where
the fishing boats pull up and we had bought some Dorade for dinner.
It was a friendly place, one of the clients helped us with our
selection of table, suggesting one with the scoopy chairs you see on
the right. We had stopped to watch a bit of dance video on the screen
and he wondered should they move a speaker so we could see better.
Explanations followed and it turned out that he was from Avignon, the
most famous dance town in France with its renowned festival.
The mussels were good along with the tuna and drinks and more
conversation. We noticed that the next Friday there would be live
music, a guitar duo, perhaps in the style of the gypsy kings and were
told that we could dance then but we would need to make reservations.
On the way out we asked for the "Patron" to thank him for his place and
quickly digestifs were being ordered for us, chairs were being brought
and welcome kisses from his wife were being exchanged. The other
customers were from Nantes, (our server was from Montreal) but we
didn't find out where the patron was from. But we will tonight. We made
reservations for four because we have invited our Airbnb hosts to join
us. They get up early, so they may not stay too late. We will have some
Ti Punches here and then walk down and see what happens.
Curiousity is my new "Thought of the Day". I want to be curious about
everything. About now, the past and most importantly about the future.
L'Entr'Acte, part 2
We are back down to the two of us as our
hosts had some cerviche last
night that did not agree with all of the especially their son, Maxim,
who was to baby sit their seven year old grandson of their daughter. We
met Arnaud, the perfect seven-year old gentleman. We stopped by their
place for a ti punch before we headed down. The walk seemed shorter
because we knew the easiest way and we arrived approximately on time.
The music was great, the drinks and beer good and the food okay. There
was a small space in front of the musicians to dance although no one
did. We finally got up and danced and then again later, but that was
all for Dawn. She developed a little timidity about "performing" rather
than just dancing. This was the source of some conflict between the two
of us, but we worked it out with gentle attention over the next day. As
you will see on the next page, this was a good thing because we were
going to need our our attention to deal with our next town.
At the end of the evening a group of women got up and danced and we
joined them. It was a pseudo flamenco number and Dawn enjoyed dancing
as a group.
We were sad to say good-bye to Katherine and Thierry.
In fact, we have made plans to see each other again at the Botanical
Garden on Basse Terre in another week or so. Not sure we mentioned that
it felt like living in a menagerie there, with their two rescue dogs,
five or so rescue cats, a visitng raccoon every evening, many birds and
iguanas. Fortunately, my cat allergy never got very bad as we were
essentially living in the fresh air and kept the door to the bedroom
closed so the cats couldn't get comfy on our bed. "Au revoir" literally
means "to re-see." So we are glad that we really will see them again.
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