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Two Month Trip to Guadeloupe

Introduction   First Week-Dampierre      Second Week-St. François    Third Week- Port Louis
Month on Basse Terre-Deshaies    Last Night

Second Week/Saint François

St François "Camilou" (Airbnb)

From Our Hearts





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.

First Days

First evening at the Beach
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.
Saturday

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 of fish.

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 trick.
First evening at the Beach
Food truck seating
These are the tables 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.
Stephen
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 trail.

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.
Dawn
Saturday 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 leaving.  (Dawn)
Dawn
Beer Face
The aforementioned Affligem.

I may be praying to it or playfully peeking through the glass at you, but I do know that I enjoyed it.
I 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.
Hiking gear



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

Stephen

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.

Dawn


lost sole
lost sole lost sole
lost sole sole lost sole
beach Sole sole


L'Entr'Acte, part 1

Entr'acte
Night Time
Entr'acte
Day Time

Wednesday: We started out for the restaurant "Les Pieds Dans L'eau", 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.

Au Revoir

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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