Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Day Eight - Heading for the airport

6.5.11 : 156/365



In an effort to make the most of our final day, we went on a final little tour prior to packing up the car for the trip to the airport and handing over the keys.

Joséphine de Beauharnais aka first wife of Napoleon Bonaparte, was born Marie Josèphe Rose Tascher de La Pagerie in Trois-Îlets, Martinique to a Wealthy, white Creole family who owned a sugar plantation. La Pagerie and the ruins of the sugar plantation were our destination during our last few hours of vacation.









In summary, our short week vacation was really quite fantastic. We got to visit several different, and gorgeous beaches, some beautiful natural sites (I've now climbed that volcano twice), and some real island culture. We had an amazing time, and truly cannot wait to return!

I hope this re-cap really showcased some of the islands natural beauty and appeal. I'd love to hear stories if anyone decides to go.

Thanks for sticking around, even if the re-cap did take forever! :)


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Day Seven - Our final full day

6.4.11 : 155/365




I know I shared the pictures of the village we were staying in, but as you can see that is my picture for this day since it was actually the day I took them... I'm all about getting this project, right.

This was just another day spent at the beach and walking around to visit. We did head back to Fort de France to pick up the things we weren't able to the first time at the market. I still didn't take a pictures, but that was apparently a ball I was destined to drop the whole time. We picked up a few things to bring back with us but there were a couple local things that I would love to introduce to you;

The first and most well known item was local and pure vanilla extract. You can get a big bottle of this for pretty cheap on most of the islands and it's delicious and aromatic.

The second is a West Indian/Creole curry blend called Colombo spice.
via

Colombo is orange in it's raw form but cooks up almost olive green in colour. This is definitely reminiscent of curry but different and so very delicious.

Another little 'something' that I would like to introduce you to, is our little buddy for the week we were there.





You see, in an effort to avoid any theft in the village we were in there were dogs that pretty much held down the fort. This guy here lived in the parking lot of our rental and while he snapped at us the first time we met, we all quickly became friends. He was such a sweetheart! We watched him take off after someone one day, so he certainly was no pushover... he took his job seriously.

There were other dogs around the village, and they were amazingly well behaved. They would walk along the sidewalks, safely cross the roads and just go about their business, not bothering a soul... they were amazing!

For this entry, I leave you with some scenery pictures that we took on our last evening there;









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Sunday, July 17, 2011

Day Six - A little piece of paradise

6.3.11 : 154/365



On the sixth day we made our way back to the beach that we had checked out earlier called 'Le Diament'. This name covers a town, beach and that rock you see up there in the distance. The rock itself is 2.5 miles off the coast and stands proudly out of the water for everyone to see. The beach is very long and the water is active and yet crystal clear. Thanks to the sheer length of the beach, large portions of it were virtually secluded - fantastic!

Here were the fruits of my shutter happy labours, it was just so beautiful;










I'm pretty sure this is where the crazy waves took the goggles clear off the mister's face!






When we got back to our village, there was a really pretty sunset;





What a relaxing day!
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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Day Five - Mmmm Chicken!

6.2.11 : 153/365



Thursday, June 2nd, 2010 was a stat holiday in France meaning there wasn't much to do by way of relying on businesses in Martinique... no trouble at all, we are very versed in entertaining ourselves!

To start we went for a drive. We were told, the evening prior, that because it was a stat we would be able to find that marvelous road side chicken that I promised the mister I would find for him. Turns out, this is really just a weekend thing (I was starting to panic when I couldn't find it), but stats are like weekends, so this was our day. So yes, went for a drive and purchased a road side smoked chicken, six cod accras, and a pineapple, all just outside of a roundabout (I'll show you more pictures of this in the next installment).

After all of this though, we spent a fair bit of time at the beach. It was busier than most days because the locals were out in full force, spending time with friends and family on the beach, swimming and playing a little 'football' (read: soccer). After a relaxing morning, we decided to go for a drive to explore the south Caribbean portion of the island that we had yet to discover.

Here are some pictures of Le Diament in the distance (more to come);



After a long afternoon drive, we went back to the flat and settled in for dinner;



Fresh pineapple from the roadside stand...Delicious!-

A totally relaxing and awesome day!
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Day Four - Major Activity in Martinique

6.1.11 : 152/365




Day four was an incredibly busy one. We took off early in the morning and went for a scenic drive around the island. Basically, the way that the highway works in Martinique is that it hugs the water for most of the trip around. Plans today were a very easy; Climb the volcano and visit a distillery... no biggie, right?

Here we are coming up on Saint Pierre near the north Caribbean sea area of the island, home of black beaches and the original capital of the island that was destroyed by lava in the 1902 eruption of the Mont Pelée.

Here you can see the Mont Pelée in the background as we start to approach it;

This was just a nice church that we found along the route;

Here is the first picture of our trek, taken from the parking lot situated at 824 metres above sea level;

You can see the aforementioned parking lot in the background here;


There's the parking lot again;



And again;

A sign!

Saint-Pierre (remember that place?)

Another sign! (This is as far as we made it... even with two large bottles of water, we ran out!)






There is that parking lot again... we had to start heading down again to be able to see it;

Here are some signs that will help explain the 'route';


After the volcano, came ice cream, but after the ice cream came the distillery!



I remembered Saint James from being there 15 years ago, so I was looking forward to bring some back!


Here are some pictures of the rum museum;

(that's all the residual sugar cane from making the rum)








So the day was a scorcher and we probably lost A LOT of weight via 'sweat out' on the volcano itself but it was amazing... truly fulfilling!!

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