Monday, May 18, 2015

Rental Car Guadeloupe - Day One Exploring Grande-Terre

Cliffs of the NE shore and flat, agriculture interior of Grande-Terre

Saturday May 16th, 2015
Or the eastern butterfly wing of Guadeloupe.  We rented a car for 3 days and set off east.  

Tom had a blast driving the five speed.  Zoom, zoom. I navigated.  
Southeastern shore

Grande-Terre is relatively flat.  Beaches line the south side while cliffs edge the northeast and north shore.  The west side of the eastern butterfly wing is of course mangroves that make up 1/2 of Grand Cul-De-Sac Marin 
Eastern tip of Guadeloupe

We drove all the way to the eastern end and then hiked out the cliff edge to the very end. Next stop Africa.  Wow!  
Next stop Africa?

Wind power

Medium size, two blade wind turbines dotted the eastern as well the northeastern shoreline.  Sugar cane fields cover most if the landscape.  We witnessed fields being cut, some freshly planted and many huge bins (carts) filled with sugar cane stalks being delivered by tractor or truck somewhere.  However, we have yet to figure out where.  No doubt some is going to the various rum factories around the island but with so many sugar cane fields, it seems like some might be for molasses or even refined for sugar.  Beef cows are tied up at the edge of nearly every field.  At dust we saw dozens and dozens of people tending to these cows.  This sure saves on fencing and the cows seem happy as they munch along throughout the day with white egrets near by to keep them company.
Tom above the cliffs
James Bond 007 in Little Nellie?
We stopped for lunch in the town of Saint Francois at a little cafe just off the beach and had some of the best French fries we had all season.  *My friend Molly would have loved these!  
Black and white cemetery
Occasionally we missed a turn or took the wrong turn but we usually knew it pretty quickly and got back on track fairly easily.  Of course 99% of everyone we met speaks not only French but English too. The added bonus was that getting a little lost at times allowed us to see things like residential areas with Kewl gates and fences (Tom's fav) or more agriculture like pineapple fields, banana plantations and callaloo patches.

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