We have been looking forward to our next stop, Martinique. We stopped for a few days last year on our way south and enjoyed our stay but knew there was a whole lot more to see. We figured we would stay around two weeks and two turned into three. Again in part waiting for decent weather to travel.
While spending three months in France this past summer we became accustomed to enjoying deserts, baguettes, sweet rolls and Pain au Chocolat’s (our favorite). Pain au Chocolat translates to chocolate bread and is made with the same dough that Croissants are made with. So these tasty treats are sometimes referred to as Chocolate Croissants. They are similar to a Croissant but have tiny morsels of chocolate baked through them. Both in Martinique and Bequia there are people who come to the anchorage each morning to sell breads, muffins, baguettes and Pain au Chocolat. They are baked early so when they are delivered right to your boat they are still warm. This makes it hard to say no and we noticed that we put on a couple of pounds while anchored there.
Martinique has a large anchorage called Sainte-Anne that is fairly protected, has good holding and can be convent to town depending upon where you find a spot in the mile long anchorage. In the center of the anchorage you find a large well maintained dingy dock and is primarily where everybody comes ashore. From the dock you find yourself right in the middle of town and just a short walk from everything. There are small convenience stores for some groceries/supplies, bakeries, clothing shops/boutiques and a market on the weekends. The bus stop is also a short walk and with the bus you can travel to Le Marin for just 2.10 Euros each way. In Le Marin you will find several marine chandleries, a large marina and big modern grocery store. Also in Marin is our favorite lunch spot, Elite Kebab. It is located across from the marina and is by far the best Kebab’s in the Caribbean that we have tried. Do not miss the chance to try one of these. They open around 11:00 am and when the Kebab meat is gone, they close until the next day. So get there early for lunch.
At the southern end of Martinique there is a Nature Park with miles of hiking trails. One day we took off for a hike not sure exactly what we would find and wound up walking 12 miles. We walked through forest, magnificent beaches and through the Savana of Petrifications. This area was once covered with natural petrifications of wood but over the years of weather and theft, it is now a bare desert like land. This part of the trail takes you along cliffs high over the Atlantic and the view is breathtaking.
We spent our days hiking and visiting the beautiful beaches of Martinique. For a couple of days there was an issue with no water being available throughout Saint Anne . So we had to ride the bus to take our laundry to Le Marin and of course grab a Kebob. Here is Renée waiting for the washer to stop with one of the local dogs that was hanging around.
There were several buildings in Saint Anne that are painted with murals. Here is one of the larger ones.
We decided to rent a car for the day and make a loop of the southern part of Martinique. We stopped at CAP-110 which is a monument erected in memory of slavery. It was built at Anse Chaffard during the sesquicentennial of the abolition of slavery in 1998 by Laurent Valere, a painter and sculptor of Martinique. The choice of Anse Caffard is not trivial. This is indeed the edge of the Anse Caffard (which owes its name to Jean Caffard a colon) a ship carrying 300 slaves ran aground in a storm on the rocks of the coast on the night of April 8, 1830. Now at that time, the slave trade was illegal since 1817. The boat was completely destroyed what prevented him from knowing his name and find its source. Only six bodies were recovered. The 15 busts of white concrete have different symbolics. The white symbolizes mourning in the Caribbean. The triangular shape is the triangular trade between Europe, Africa and the Americas, orientation heading 110° East, the Gulf of Guinea where the boat would likely come.
Our day trip took us all along the south western coast of Martinique through tiny fishing villages. I needed to have some papers printed so we decided to stop at the Galleria Shopping Mall at Fort-de-France. Definitely shopping overload from what we have been accustomed to for the past several months.
Our next planned destination will be Terre-de-Haute, one of the islands of Les Saints.