Monday, June 27, 2011

Day Three - We took a boat to get a little fresh air.

5.31.11 : 151/365

Fountain and interesting houses across from Fort de France cathedral

I can't complain about the heat, I really, really can't. Take my word for it though, Martinique is HOT!! Just to give you an idea of the heat, daily temperatures ranged in the 30's (generally mid to high) plus humidity. Most, if not all days came in over 40 degrees, at least. This didn't let up either. In my experience when I've dealt with heat like that during the day, the night provided significant relief, but for at least the time we were there it was hot and humid 24/7. Again, I am totally not complaining but want to make sure that anyone considering going has the full story. After our week, it was nice to have a fresh summer evening to come home to but we'll most certainly go back.

The hottest of the hot was Fort de France, the capital of the island. It's densely populated and bustling, so without a slight breeze, you had to plan on 'melting'. On our third day, we hopped the ferry from the harbour in front of our apartment and crossed the bay to FDF. The breeze on the boat was everything we hoped it would be and more, but we had no idea what was waiting for us on the other side.

As we disembarked and started heading into the city, we passed a sign with the temperature boldly listed at 41 degrees, and it wasn't even 10 in the morning! Well, if the breeze off the water was only keeping the harbour front at a balmy 41 degrees, you can just imagine what it felt like in the busting market, right?

I'd love to tell you that I got these awesome pictures of the market filled with Martiniquaise ladies selling their spices, sauces, flowers, produce and souvenirs (for good measure), but I can't. I was so hot I just wasn't thinking straight. I didn't buy a damn thing because I was so overwhelmed by it's busy'ness' and the heat!

Luckily enough, I found some to show you anyway. My hat is off to the people that had the piece of mind to take these, I just wasn't that 'on top of things'!

Here are some pictures that I did manage to take-
Heading towards Fort de France from la Pointe du Bout:

The cathedral area in Fort de France:

Heading back into the Pointe du Bout harbour:

After we got back, we jumped in the car (after a heat inspired nap, who am I kidding) and took off to visit my uncle. My uncle (husband of my father's younger sister) is Martiniquais and after spending many years in France, meeting and marrying my aunt and settling her into her home nicely, he now heads back and forth to Martinique to work on the house that they will retire in. This is what we went to visit, his property and the current house progress. The outside is looking nice, the work (in my uneducated opinion) left to do on the outside seems largely cosmetic. I believe he is now concentrating his efforts inside.

Here are some pictures of our visit-

G with his coconut stick.
He knocked a coconut each out of the tree for us:

Took the top clean off of them so we could drink the coco water:

The mister, doing this for the first time:

G's goats, there is a mom and tiny baby in the first picture, and the dad in the second:

The house and property:

One of the banana trees:

Finally, one of the views:

That was our busy, busy day three!
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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Day Two - A little exploring in Martinique

5.30.11 : 150/365

On day two of our trip we spent the morning at our little beach down the street from our apartment but then decided to head out and see what the 'nicest beach on the island' was all about. We went driving from our little spot towards the very south of the island and ended up at 'Les Salines' beach near Ste-Anne.

After doing a little swimming in the turbulent but nice Atlantic water (this was on the bottom east corner of the island or the south Atlantic coast), we were hungry. There was a little food 'truck' across the parking lot from the beach and while we were having a bite, this little guy poked the mister in the foot. He looks cooked, right?

After the beach, we took off on an impromptu hike in search of 'La Savane des pétrifications' (the petrified savanna).

All those little things that look like rocks are the edge of the water are tiny crabs


And again as they were fleeing!

Cabrits Island with the Cabrits 'lighthouse'

'The Devil's Table'

Almost lost my flip flop in that tiny bit of water while crossing the rocks

Across this bridge is where the savanna is said to begin. I've looked and looked for a reasonable explanation of what this place really is, and it's near impossible to find. I must say even while we were visiting it, we still weren't sure just what it was!

Here's what little about it I could find (in french);

Au sud de l'île entre la plage des Salines et l'anse Trabaud, vous trouverez une zone aride, un véritable désert : La savane des Pétrifications. Il y avait avant une forêt qui fut engloutie sous la lave lors d'une éruption volcanique particulièrement violente. Les anciens troncs d'arbres ont peu à peu disparu, mais le spectacle est resté impressionnant. (via)

Essentially, what this is telling us is that once upon a time a volcano engulfed a forest and what we are left with is this;


The mister, checking things out

There you have it... day two was great!!

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