We left Dehaies Guadeloupe Friday morning after a very rocky ride in the anchorage the night before. A front had blown through in the night and the wind and waves shifted sending everything mother nature had right into the calm bay. Several boats came into the bay in the middle of the night to seek shelter from the storm and a few turned around and left after experiencing the rocky conditions. Luckily, our anchor held but we lost a lot of sleep.
We arrived at our next stop, the islands just southeast of Guadeloupe called Les Saintes, late in the afternoon. This is a beautiful set of seven islands that are part of Guadeloupe. The main island, where we are staying, is Terre-De-Haut. It was not very long before we knew that Les Saints were going to be at the top of our favorites list. The place is gorgeous. Most people were riding bikes or scooters. We saw one car in the whole town. The streets of the main town are lined with restaurants, boutiques, bakeries and people just watching people, in French style, sitting at a street side café sipping a cup of espresso and smoking a cigarette.
Yes, they speak French here but some are a little more able to communicate with us than those in Deshaies, Guadeloupe. I learned that speaking broken English using an Inspector Clouseau accent does not help with communications. Honestly, that is what you start to do. We want to thank all of you who commented on the Blog and sent emails in French. We are doing well on the translations but on the accent, not so good.
It took us 30 minutes to check out
of the grocery store. First, we knew we needed some euros to make to process of buying groceries and anything else easier. But the bank was closed and all 3 ATMs on the island were out of service. So we had to use the master card. Do you know that French islands are unfamiliar with our American credit cards? Apparently, the European cards have embedded chips, not magnetic strips. They are inserted into card readers, not swiped like our cards. In the grocery store and almost everywhere else, we had to show the cashiers how to swipe the card. The cashier and the head cashier at the grocery store could not figure this out and had to call the boss at home to confirm the process. The other customers were very patiently waiting in line. Of course the language barrier had a huge impact. It all was pretty comical.
Those of you who know Janet, know she dislikes seafood. Well, at the restaurant we were having a hard time communicating with the waiter to order our meal. After a lot of effort, Janet gave up and said, "I'll have what he is having" pointing at me. The waiter understood and brought Janet what I ordered, grilled fish and French fries. The news is that she loved the fish. She may be open to changing her opinion about fish which is good because I appear to be quite the fisherman.
We both agree that Les Saintes are beautiful and a must see place. There are some more photos of Les Saintes in the gallery. Peter, you will be interested in seeing the wind surfers flying kites. We are leaving today for Dominica where we intend to boat up the Indian River and hike to some spectacular waterfalls and spring fed pools.