Friends part duex
06 February 2019 | guadeloupe
Greg and Amanda
We had spent an extra day in Dominica and it would have been easy to spend one more night and join our friends for a big Barbecue held every Sunday evening but the bakery search compelled us to move on. That and it is more enjoyable to do two shot sails instead of one long one especially if weather makes a change for the worse. We were fortunate and the weather held as we sailed 18 miles to Il Des Saints, an idyllic French island. 20 years ago when I first sailed with Mary in Guadeloupe we asked the charter company where we should spend our ten days of sailing.
“Go straight over to Il Des Saints and don’t leave,” was his suggestion.
It is still beautiful but it has been discovered. Everyday multiple ferry boats filled with tourists invade the island.
We arrived around 1:30, grabbed a mooring ball for the night and headed in to shore. Amanda was in heaven with all of the french shops and the masses speaking French. We headed to the rental shop where they rent mopeds and electric bikes. We needed to wait 45 minutes before they opened so that allowed for a pastry stop and more browsing. Ahh yes, we are back in the land of French bakeries. The big one was already closed for the day so we settled in the corner cafe patisseries for some liquid refreshments and treats. mmmmmm so good.
Having fortified our body’s we headed back to the bike rental and hopped on the electric bikes. Amanda has never been on and the first one I had ever been on was when I was here last year. These bikes have improved over last year and they were rocket bikes. We headed towards a small sandy beach that I saw last year but never had a chance to swim at. It was wonderful and felt so good to be in the salt water. We had not done as much swimming this year as compared to other years so this was a treat.
Amanda was amazed at the power assist that the electric batteries provided. On a long hill, she was not quite convinced that her’s was fully charged. I was in the lead and soon I was standing up pedaling with all my might. There was no way I was gong to stop and let Amanda catch up. I would be eating crow for days or months if that happened, so I slogged on. I am sure my heart rate was close to 175 but I did finally make to the top first. Maybe I needed another chocolate croissant for fuel.
Well, Greg, you’ll have to wait until morning for that croissant. My radar, not some Francophone version of Yelp, tells me that closed bakery will be worth getting up early. Rise early we did. Put in some pushups on the foredeck and a few squats before heading by the dinghy into centre ville. We witnessed the village wake up, void of tourists. Parents on mopeds are zooming by to deliver their kids to school. Older elementary kids hammering on pedals determined to make it on time. As we walk and mind you my calves are screaming from the waterfall hike en pointe, I fret that the bakery will already be out of the good stuff if any of those kids stopped a la boulangerie. Alas we make it and I can tell by the smell it’s going to be good. In the display case were heaps of croissants. Greg was so taken back that he didn’t see the the pain au chocolat camouflaged behind the croissants. We decide to be good and order one twisty flaky delicacy, one pain au chocolat, and a croissant with jambon et fromage for a sailing snack in case lunch is pushed back due to the seas or wind. Yes, such restraint. It would have been so easy to have ordered a second pain au chocolat. Oh and don’t forget the daily baguette! We head out to the shoreline park and inhale the sweet goods while our eyes inhale the turquoise water. Poof! The pastries vanish. Oh mon dieu! They are the best all week. Let’s go back and claim another pain au chocolat. So worth the calories. And we do go back. Zut! We were too late! Well at least now we don’t need to do the rest of those squats or pushups.
As we meander back to centre ville, we pass by an atelier where the artist is cracking open the doors and shutters. We peer in, thinking it will be a bop in and out. The paintings are of classic scenes of paradise and island life. Then the artist’s style captivates us. His depiction of the hurricane balances force and chaos pulls you into the eye of painting or storm. Another image is a wave stopped in time, ready to curl and crash. Alain Joyeux sees our joy in his talent. He engages us in a mélange of Frenglish telling us the workshop was his grandmother’s. She was an artist of sorts, crafting dolls. And one of her most famous guests was Jackie Kennedy Onassis who dropped in and conversed in mais bien sur French with his grandmother over a cup of tea. The atelier had survived many a storm and if we had our guess would be passed down to Alain’s son, Martin. We were so enchanted with the haphazard cultural moment we decided to take a little piece of it with us. Greg has a small sailing scene by Alain on wood and I adopted a sailing scene on canvas by thirteen year old Martin. Oh la la! Quelle chance we had by venturing early to unearth treasures. My hope is Greg will continue to do bakery research this season. We all benefit from his dedication and sacrifice.