It’s now three weeks since our arrival in Martinique so I feel like drawing a line regarding our adventure so far, what we found here, joys and frustrations.
As said before, we visited the island by car, on which occasion we went to a short of botanical garden, Jardins Balanta, just to find out that the admission price for the three of us was equal to the price of any European zoo, somewhere close to 50 EUR, but the offering considerably smaller. We soon realized that Martinique is an expensive place to be…at least as a tourist.
The same day we visited a waterfall, spectacular in photos but in fact quite small. However, going there through the forest was interesting as it was really a tropical forest, humid and thriving with life, trees with huge leaves, flowers.
We went up close to the peak of the highest mountain, Montagne Pelée, à former volcano, and the views were spectacular.
Unfortunately the path to the top was to long and to difficult to be walked with Paul, who anyway was asleep when we reached the end of the road.
Next stop: an old rum distillery, Distillerie Clément. Even if the visit was paid it was worth the money. Very nice and well maintained, very interesting history good rum.
We became big fans of rum and we’re now at our third bottle, when at home one bottle lasted for six months. We mainly drink punch as neither of us drinks strong alcohol. I have to say that the last purchase was in the form of boxed, 3 litter, bag of rum, the same way wine is sold back home.
We tried the local market and bought christophines, something like potato but firmer. We cooked it with good results. We also tried some local fruits for which I can’t tell you their names, but they were good. Local oranges and lemons are green in color and look “bad” by our usual standards, however very tasty.
The disappointment was the price. Everything was around 3 EUR a kilo, and that’s a lot for something local. Tomatoes, even local were 5 EUR, avocado 3 EUR (but at least very tasty).
On December 17, our port days were over so we moved with the boat in the nearest anchorage, where we stayed for more than a week. The longest I’ve stayed at anchor so far. The good side is that finally I could jump in the water in the morning and swim. The not so good side was that going to the village meant going by the inflatable boat for about 500 m, and if the wind was blowing stronger, it also meant ending up on the shore, wet.
We went to the beach every day and ate fish at our favorite beach bar: Abdelito’s Paradise. Abdel, the owner, treated us very nice, prices were more sensible and fish fresh and good.
We took a few walks and saw in the evening, tens of red crabs, coming out from under every rock, root or other hiding place. Like all tourists, we marveled at all the fruits that seem to grow everywhere… coconut, banana, passion fruit, bread fruit and a lot with local names which I don’t remember.
We’re now into another anchorage, Grande Anse D’Arlet, surrounded by high hills (more than 400 meters hight) covered in green forests. Proper tropical surroundings.
Tomorrow we go back in Le Marin, where we will leave the boat for a month to pursue a different way and place to explore.
My frustrations revolve mainly around the lack of time to myself. With a four year old kid, my attention was seriously distracted and boat stuff takes also its share. I hardly manged to finish a book I started reading in Barcelona. Obviously I didn’t learned to play the flute, nor did I manged to make a planned introspective inquiry into “who I am, what I know, what I have and who I know “. When I was in Spain, I met am old man, the grandfather of a friend, who, when he was in his forties, decided he won’t work anymore but decided to retreat to a farm, and dedicate his life to…thinking.The meeting was very interesting as any meeting with someone who has seen a lot in life and left me with a “homework “. But about this on anther occasion, when I’ll have more time (for me :)).
The blog had an audience far beyond I ever thought. More than a thousand visits in one month and more than 200 visitors, from 15 countries. Thank you all. This is very supportive and encouraging.
Two more things: photos will come soon and more important I wish you a very Happy New Year!