We managed to find a hire car (they are very scarce) to do a drive and see through the countryside from the west coast all the way to the east coast and back across the inland to the Sothern part (Fort de France) and then all the way up the west coast following a wonderful winding seaside road!
Our first stop was Depaz Distillery! What a place! It is very visitor friendly with great explanations of every facet of the distillery! The estate house is a MANSION! And very European and just absolutely beautiful - The 350 year old estate and plantation was completely destroyed in the Mount Pelée volcano outburst in 1902 and was rebuilt by other members of the same family in 1924. It is absolutely fantastic well organised, clean and surrounded with beautiful gardens! I have taken many pictures and will have it on my website soon!
The country road was mind blowing pretty! It was like driving through a botanical garden with super large trees, ferns, bamboo and heliconias and anthuriums growing wild and in abundance!! Now I know why they call Martinique "Island of Flowers").
It was a fairy tale Alice in Wonderland rainforest to die for! The beauty continued just about ALL the way - that was at least 4-5 hour solid driving through this dream! Just fantastic! The wrong side of the road did tense Johann up a bit (it was my job to constantly remind him to keep right after we have stopped for a while! HaHa!...habit got us on the wrong side quite often!!)
My limited physio skills was in demand for some mayor neck and shoulder massaging when we got back at the yacht!...not my favorite pastime but a small price to pay for a great day!!
Happy that we have made the most of our stay here...we are getting ready to take on the seas leading us to Dominica!...the first of the Leeward Islands!
A cute little town at the foot of Mt Pelée Volcano. On Ascension day, the 8th May 1902 - the volcano wiped out the entire town of St Pierre and the then population of 30 000 people!(except for 2 people - a man that was busy in his cellar and a prisoner!) St Pierre was then called the Paris of the Caribbean...with a great cathedral, a fantastic elaborated theatre and obvious wealth around with all the rum, sugar, cocoa and coffee exports and many multimillion dollar estates! The ruins are everywhere in town - most forming a wall in a garden or just a feature wall of a shop or house. There are now only about 3 000 inhabitants in Mt Pierre. It is amazing to see the destruction caused by the volcano! It was mainly caused by rocks and hot ash (that set fire to all the wooden buildings and forests) and not lava. The museum has an excellent exhibition and the town is now a history and art centre - with a lot of artist around with studios that form part of their shops!
A very quiet (and sad) little town that once was the Paris of the Caribbean has a history that makes it enormous in many ways!! Well worth a visit!
01/23/2011, Le Marin
By far the most yachts I have seen in one spot in this huge marina! It is buzzing! It is beautiful and well laid out for boaties! The Marina is great! It is the main base of over 17 charter companies and all trades are in abundance here! That is exactly why we went there (as it is also a place much closer with an easier sail for our trip back to Rodney Bay to pick up the parts!) A very friendly electrician helped us out on a Saturday afternoon at 4.30pm!! He could fix the anchor winch only....that same day Johann and I got stuck into the manual of the deck winch and found the loose connection! And it fixed that problem! Hallelujah ! Finally!!Now we just need to get the wind indicator part tomorrow and Bob's my Uncle!
The next morning early we were back in Rodney Bay (with a very quick sail in great winds!) The parts were there ...customs were nice enough not to force us to go and get visas again! And things are looking up at this stage! We connected the wind indicator part up on top of the mast - and it all seems to work fine! But...always a but....the other part (zinks for the props) were the wrong part! Johann was less than thrilled...that will have to wait till the next big centre to sort out...and it cannot be good for the props to be without them - we will have to avoid Marina's in the mean time ....where electrolyses is more likely to affect a prop without a zink! We left very early (5.30am) the next morning to go back to Martinique - this time St Pierre...up the north western coast of Martinique. A long 5 hour boisterous sail in 25-30 knot winds and huge swells!
Just to find out that the anchor winch is still not working all the time!! So...back to square one!...at least it is sort of allowing the most important operations...just no chain counting on it...!!!Well...we will wait for an English speaking electrician this time!