Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Escaping The Crowds In Martinique


















Two days after our arrival the small town feel of Fort De France was completely over taken by the arrival of the cruise ship Disney Magic. She berthed with her stern no more than 200 meters from our anchor position, so we were able to watch the inevitable invasion of very white skinned tourists as they marched down the dock in their thousands, each group following a host carrying a large placard above their head, off into the wilds of French Martinique. There goes the neighbourhood ...

The Porcelain Rose
With the old town now humming to the cries of children heading for McDonalds and the buzz of electric powered chairs carrying (surprisingly young looking) tourists around the streets, we rented a car and headed for the hills.

In the mountains just north of the city we visited Jardin de Belata, a private botanical garden with exotic plants from around the world, a treetop walkway & mountain views. The Porcelain Rose Etlingera Elatior was everywhere, along with fields of cactus, massive palm groves, Japanese gardens and even a Bamboo garden. We finished our tour with a very nice luncheon at the adjacent restaurant La Luciole, a perfectly French establishment, relaxed and confident, with a small but beautiful menu. Oh joy, again.

Next day we toured north along the coast, heading for one of our essential volcano visits - the Admiral does love her volcano's - stopping along the way to drink coffee and watch fisherman work their catch in peaceful cooperation with the local pelicans.

We were also able to visit some original "Creole Era" ruins and plantation village , with truly stunning homes, as we climbed away from the coast towards the volcano.

As it happened the volcano caldera on Mount Pelee was accessible only if we were prepared for a four hour mountain hike, and that looked more like a scramble when viewed from the base of the trail.

So no, let's have lunch, this is France, there has to be a decent restaurant around here somewhere ..... but alas it was not to be, for the admiral had packed food, and we headed back to the coast to share lunch with friends Phil and Linda aboard SV Windora in the anchorage at Saint Pierre.





















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