Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Martinique. Land of baguettes, croissants and nude beaches.

It was a four hour sail / motorsail from Rodney Bay, St.Lucia over to Le Marin, Martinique. We were hit by gusty squall after squall, not a lot of fun in my books. Le Marin is a large harbour absolutely packed with boats; we have never seen so many in one place at one time. The check in / check out process in Martinique is amazingly easy. Where in most countries you are required to report to the Customs and Immigration office, here you find either the local tourist office, yacht broker office, or even the local Cafe ( Cafe Bou Bou in Ste. Anne). Fill in an on-line form, print it off on provided printer, have the staff person sign it for you and voila, you are legal!  No customs officers, no need to show your passport; the Brazilian bureaucracy could take a few lessons!!

 We enjoyed Martinique very much. At every anchorage we were able to find a bakery with croissants, pain au chocolate and baguettes ( we are now in withdrawal in St. Lucia ). The French also have THE best frozen veggies. Just empty the bag of veggies ( potatoes, green beans, mushrooms, carrots ) into a frying pan and heat. The veggies have been frozen in either garlic butter or duck fat, which when heated melts over them with delicious results.  Fortunately, with all this eating, we were able to find some really nice walks.

Anse D'Arlet.  We anchored nearby at Anse Chaudiere where there is excellent snorkelling. We walked the hilly coastal trail to Grande Anse D'Arlet

Anse D"Arlet
Cute village church St. Anne.  Great anchorage, bakery and coastal walks past nude beaches!

Jardin de Balata - beautiful gardens in the mountains above Fort  de France

Fort de France.  Easy anchorage with great dingy dock.
Coastal walk towards Anse des Salines.  Martinique has a well developed  trail system
St. Pierre theatre ruins - over 30,000 people died in 1902 eruption with 1 survivor - an inmate in adjacent jail!

Zooropa approaching St. Pierre with Mt. Pelee looming in the distance.

Back to St. Lucia to pick up Joanne and Cliff then heading South to the Grenadines.

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