Friday, March 27, 2015

Ils des Saintes

The main mooring field on Terre d'en Haut
Or The Saintes as most cruisers call them, are wonderful.  Three tiny islands just south of Guadeloupe with beaches, hiking, forts, a quint little town and French food and wine.  What's not to like about that combo!
View looking north from town - Guadeloupe in the background

This year we explored the town more, checking out the architecture.  Scooters, golf carts and rugged four wheeler are the preferred method of transportation for the few locals and scores of tourist.  Narrow pathways only wide enough for these modes of transportation run up to small houses and holiday bungalows from the main waterfront street.
One of the many narrow pathways that act as streets among the holiday bungalows

Another pathway lined with lush vegetation

Not the average run of the mill gingerbread trim work
Last year we hiked up to Fort Napoleon on Terre d'en Haut and enjoyed the museum.  This year we took our dinghy over to Ilet A Cabrit island and hiked up to Fort Josephine.  This fort is being watched over by a herd of goats so there was no museum to tour and the fort is not being kept up other than as the "go to" place for island goats.  But it was still interesting to wonder among the ruins and think about the role it played in the history of the Caribbean;  French, English, Spanish....back and forth they fought for hundreds of years.
Tom checking out the view back east where s/v Honey Ryder is moored
The goats were weary of us.  My guess is that members of the herd often go on holiday across the baie (French for bay...see, I'm learning and using my French) to Terre d'en Haut, never to return again.  Can't you just hear it.....a random goat to other goats -"Hey, has anyone seen George?  He went over to Terre d'en Haut on holiday but I have not seen him since?"  Another random goat -  "I haven't seen him but Gladys went on holiday over there as well and must still be there as she has not returned either.  Maybe they ran into each other.  I am sure they are having a grand time.  Oooh.  Do you smell that?  It's coming from some cafe on Terre d'en Haut.  It smells like curry something.  I just can't quite put my hoof on what exactly it is but it smells yummy."
Anyway, if you rattle some paper, packaging or a water bottle, they do take immediate notice and cautiously come in for a look.  So someone is watering them.  I just hope they don't get out of control and ruin this lovely little island like the goat herd on Ile Fourchue up near St Barths.
Keepers of Fort Josephine

Keepers of Fort Josephine
Part of the ruins of the fort

Small mooring field to the SW of the Ilet a Cabrit
We also explored an small abandoned property project on this island.  Several single and duplexes obviously for holiday rentals were near completion at some point when the money dried up.  Now they lay in ruin and the goats have take over in force.  Probably one of the most expensive goat barns in the world.....goat poop 2" thick inside.  Gross.
Free holiday house anyone?

Needs Work

LOTS of work

Tom also hiked way up to the Le Chameau lookout tower on Terre d'en Haut one morning.  I opted to window shop as my cardo. - oooh, shiny!  Yes, yes....I know.  Not really cardo.  I was joking.
Almost there

Le Chameau lookout tower

View SW towards Terre d'en Bas - the 3rd island of The Saintes

Selfie with Ilet a Cabrit in the background

The money shot.  Looks like a postcard doesn't it?
The winds were still high so it was rolly on our mooring but oh well.  The fresh baguettes, cheese, and wine helped.

1 comment:

  1. How charming! Love the style of the island and the gorgeous views as well. Deep goat poop not so nice, though.