Distance from Fort-de-France, Martinique to Pointe-a Pitre, Guadeloupe: 112 Nautical Miles
Port Information. Like Martinique, Guadeloupe is a French Overseas Territory. Guadeloupe is composed on two major islands – Grand-Terre and Basse-Terre – separated by the Salee River. The population of both islands (and smaller islands) is about 406,000 . Pointe-a-Pitre, on Grande-Terre, has a population of around 200,000 people. The official language is French and the Euro is the currency. The TV Series – “Death in Paradise” – is filmed in Deshaies, in the northwest corner of Basse-Terre, which serves as the location of the fictional island of Saint-Marie.
We are up early again and having room service breakfasts as we have another early tour today. In fact, we were up before dawn to watch the scenic sail in to Pointe-a-Pitre. This is the first time we have been in Guadeloupe.
Pre-Dawn Sail In to Guadeloupe
Our tour today (we are the same one but different busses) is “Panoramic Guadeloupe”, a four hour bus ride (ran an extra hour) around various sites on both major islands.
On Our Way
We crossed over the Salee River to reach our first stop at Crayfish Falls on Basse-Terre. The Falls are in the National Park area and in a rainforest terrain. Once we got off the bus, the rain started coming down. It was a difficult surface for many of the passengers to negotiate and with the rain, it was nearly impossible. I got a little wet but I was most concerned with someone slipping. Fortunately, no one did and the rain stopped in a few minutes.
The bus then crossed backed over the Salee River
to the Morne a L’Eau Necropolis in Grande-Terre. What makes this an unusual cemetery is the use of black and white tiles to cover the graves and mausoleums.
Morne a L’Eau Cemetery
This cemetery has been used since 1827 as a burial place for the wealthy residents of Guadeloupe. Today, it can be used by any resident. Some of the mausoleums look like little houses and the black and white colors are a reference to the mourning color of Europe (black) and Africa (white). It would be even more impressive if they had a place for their refuse barrels, which were stacked right in the middle of the cemetery.
Our next stop was on the far Southeastern part of the Island of Grand-Terre and the village of St. Francois. This stop would give us a chance to do a little shopping as well as taste some snacks of Guadeloupe along with a free drink. This was a also a welcome rest stop for many of the passengers. We parked a few blocks away from the outdoor market, which offered all sorts of goodies and trinkets. What it didn’t offer were enough washrooms. Most of the time at the market was spent in the washroom lines. There was also confusion as to where to get the drink and snacks (turns out it was across the street in a little store). One vendor (a woman) tried to help me figure out things but her French and my English were not going to communicate very well. She did have good intentions and was very friendly.
We proceeded to Pointe de Chateaux (Castle Point) on literally the furthest tip of Grand-Terre. From there, we had great views of the Atlantic Coast and the other island in the group, La Desirade.
La Desirade Island (Right side of Picture)
The photo-shoot was awesome. Beautiful beach and beautiful waters.
The bus ride back to Pointe de Pitre was pretty long as we crossed the entire width of Grand-Terre.
After we got back on the ship, we decided it was too hot and we were too tired to go out and look around the town, which didn’t look all that inviting.
Instead we spent the afternoon on the balcony, people watching (we were docked very close to the city) – a cold beer from our fridge made it a perfect afternoon.
Tonight we took a meat break and ordered off the menu. We had pasta without ham (not as good as it sounded) – the soups continue to be very good and vegetarian (artichoke soup today). Overall, the dinner was good. We did put in our Kosher order for tomorrow.
Tonight the theater is featuring “Variety Showtime” with performances by the Dance Team (the girl is from the US), Melissa Megraun (a lounge vocalist), and Steve Stevens. I especially liked the dancers and Steve.
A nice, but somewhat confusing, day in Guadeloupe.