|Marina Riviere Sens|
We found a car rental company that would deliver and pick up the car at the marina for €40 per day, mileage, insurance and tax included, which was a great rate! My skills at driving a standard transmission were audibly evident as my first uphill start resulted in some tire squeals! Well after a few of these I shook off my rusty skills and the shifting became much smoother and the passengers had less of the pigeon head bobbing! We took the opportunity to load up on provisions, beer and wine for Ambition at the “in town” grocery store, which is a treat as usually the best stores are not walking distance for us.
Day one of our land tour was north up the west coast of Basse-Terre to Mahaut , a trip that reminds me of driving Route 1 in California – the longest stretch of straight road was probably measured in a few hundred meters only! At Mahaut we joined the Route de Traversee, which cuts through the middle of the Parc National de la Guadeloupe – a 42,000 acre forest reserve and rain forest.
Stopped at Cascade aux Ecrevisses – a jungle waterfall dropping into a beautiful pool. The trail offered us some dramatic photo opportunities.
In Deshaies we stopped for a cold beer in a bar that was over the beach with waves breaking under our feet – very pleasant stop indeed.
Back on board Ambition a lighter dinner of pate, bagettes and wine finished off a great first day.
|The Captain wears red??? NOOOOO Chelle!|
On Les Saintes, we continued the hiking experience. Our first of three hikes took us to the highest fort on Les Saintes – a mere 300+ meters (ugh!) to the fort on a hill called Le Chameau. We timed it well as we were able to hide in the fort as a torrential rain squall blew through – timing is everything! For the hike back down we were not quite so lucky as the passing squalls continued to soak us quite well – the coolness however was appreciated.
Maryse was very happy, as our paths crossed with her sister and brother-in-law today. We have not seen Diane and Richard since August. Rodignard had sailed north from their summer storage in Grenada since December. We are so glad to meet up and share voyaging stories and catch up all the news.
|Never tire of sunsets....|
Our next fort was Fort Napoleon which is a beautifully restored site where we had a guided tour which was very interesting and highly recommended! The other plus was that it was only 100 meters high!
|Iggy the Iguana|
Our last fort was St Josephine on Iles Cabrit followed by a great snorkel off the beach. There were lots of fish and more live coral than I have seen in most places.
Michelle and Michel opted to an extra day in Les Saintes rather than spend a day on a very rough sail to Pointe a Pitre. So today their private ferry arrived at 9:15. Their private ferry turned out to be a 40’ cigarette boat with a couple of 350HP outboards on the back end! WOW They both had captains chairs to keep them comfortable and under the full enclosure to keep them dry! They were going to need this as the waves were 8 to 10 foot seas.
|All strapped in and ready for a ride!!|
We really enjoyed the the M and M's on board - great company!