île de graff..

Trip Start Oct 01, 2006
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Guadeloupe  ,
Saturday, March 10, 2007

The ride over here from Dominica on the ferry went ok for my stomach, i managed to down a bottle of ginger ale to settle myself for the choppy passage between the islands. It wasn'nt so great for the young lady who decided to sit next to me on the journey, The first sign that she wouldn'nt have a great trip was she grabbed a see-through sick bag from the hostess at the start then not long after departure she was making strange groaning noises.. all this before we'd left the waters that are sheltered by dominicas coastline. The remainder of the 2 hour journey got rougher and so did she.. After being passed the first bag of bile and spit to dispose of in the bin next to me I offered to get her some more bags.. i doubt she was in a fit state to get up and walk to the cafe to get them also if she has now run out it is probably not wise of someone sitting next to her knowing that my legs and backpack are probably gonna get hit with the next round of vomiting.

Getting through the EU customs and immigration was a breeze.. they don't want proof of onward tickets, to know where you are staying, don't stamp your passport and there is noone standing at the customs desk. I decided to rent a car for here, maybe because i felt i could have done with one in the last two islands that i didn't want to waste my short time here. Driving to the resort town of Grosier from Pointe-A-Pitrewas quite dangerous, my first go at driving a left hand drive car had me reching with the wrong hand for the gear stick and having to keep fresh in my mind to stay on the right after junctions, obviously as always the local girls distract my attention when i'm driving but now here in Guadeloupe they have magnificent murals and pieces all over the town, i particulaly love characters in street art and here they are pretty common. The government don't seem too bothered to buff the graff so most urban canvases have been used up.

Gosier has two parts to it, one end holds the resorts which cater for french all inclusive tourists, and down where i'm staying they have managed to hold out from selling themselves to commercial tourism for now. The rates are still expensive, the first night i paid 61 euros for the one night, the hotel advertises all over town that it's rooms are 45 euros but when i got there they were apparently all sold out. The next day I took my little peugout 107 to Bassa Terre, the western side of the butterfly shaped islands, I visited the highest waterfalls in the eastern caribbean, the car park was packed full of french cars and access to the bottom of the falls is by a well develpoed staircase and walkway. Having just arrived from Dominica it was very disapointing to see so many people on this small trail, apperently the goverment of Dominica is trying to push itself to turn into something similar not realising that the tourists are in that country just for Dominicas unspoilt landscape.

The hotel i moved to is cheaper at 50 euros and has an amazing view of the sea but when i arrived i'd thought this place had closed down a couple of years ago, the carpark was pretty full but i thought maybe it was just beachgoes using it, the doors to the rooms looked knackered along with the walls and overgrown plants around the place. Later i found out that it was open but the owner probably hasn't spent a penny on upkeep in about a decade. Yesterday the local water company decided to strike leaving me without a shower or able to put my clothes into the local laundrette which resulted me in going for a drink on the friday night kicking out a right stink.

Today the water is sorted, but not my bank card.. Last week when buying my ferry ticket in Martinique for the dominica-guadeloupe leg the little keypad wasn't accepting my pin, when it came up 'last try' the lady let me sign for it instead.. This morning I bought a flight to Antigua from the airport for next wednesday, which is one day more than i planned as they don't fly that route on Tuesdays, the LIAT desk took all my cash as they didn't have a machine, I then went to the rental firm to tell them i need the car for an extra day and tried to pay on my card on their keypad. I saw 'last try' on the display but i knew my pin well as i'd been using it at the ATMs here.. I don't know if there is a different procedure for French transactions but now my card is blocked fom those card machines and have to inform my bank.. i was a bit scared i wouldn't have any money for a while but the ATM dispenced the more cash for me with the same pin half an hour later.

Today i'm planning on soaking up some sun on the beach and then maybe tomorow head back over to Basse-Terre to climb up their active volcano La Soufriere, I've been to so many places called soufriere (french for sulphur)in the caribbean i wondering how the explorers of a few hundred years ago could be so un-imaginitive.

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