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mamielle Pointe a Pitre - A travel report by Marielle
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Pointe a Pitre,  Guadeloupe - flag Guadeloupe -  Guadeloupe
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mamielle's travel reports

La Guadeloupe or the butterfly

  19 votes
Guadeloupe is a French department in the Caribbean Sea. Continental Guadeloupe comprises two islands seperated by a sea arm - La Rivière Salée.If you look closely on a map you will notice that it has the shape of a butterfly.

Les Portes d'Enfer
Les Portes d'Enfer
Discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1493, the island is made a French Overseas Department on march 19th 1946, then a Region in 1974.
Grande-Terre in the East is mostly flat and the climate here is dry. Sugar cane plantations farm its limestone soil. The highest hills are in the Grands-Fonds to the South of the island; there is also the most luxuriant vegetation. Basse-Terre is a mountainous vulcanic island. The highest peak is La Soufrière (an active vulcano). The clouds, stopped by the mountains, provide the island with abundant rain all the year. The eastern Atlantic coast is more flat. You will find big banana plantations there.

Favourite spots:
Rain forest
Rain forest
At the heart of Basse-Terre, this national park makes for a great drive and/or hike through orchid-filled rainforests and fern-covered hillsides. Maison de la Forêt, in the middle of the park at the very centre of Basse-Terre, has an exhibit centre with displays on the forest. The large forest reserve is bisected by the Route de la Traversée, a lovely mountain drive that passes thick bamboo stands, enormous mahogany and gum trees, heliconia and ginger. Cascade aux Ecrevisses, a jungle waterfall in the centre of the park, is worth a visit.

What's really great:
Plage du Pain de Sucre
Plage du Pain de Sucre
Small, Terre-de-Haut is French in nature, Mediterranean in appearance and, all in all, one of the most appealing islands in the Caribbean. It's a tiny package with a lot to offer, including a beautiful landscape of volcanic hills and deep bays. Terre de Haut lies at a splendid bay with a sugar loaf almost like Rio.
His bay is the third best beautiful in the world. Many islanders still rely on fishing as a mainstay. You can often find them mending nets along the waterfront and see their colourful locally made boats, called saintoises, lining the shore.

Pointe des Chateaux
Pointe des Chateaux
Guadeloupe is justifiably proud of its spectacular beaches, many of which are well sheltered and ideal for swimming. The natural beaches, all beautiful to behold, range from the long white stretches of Grande-Terre to the darker sands of Basse-Terre. Standouts include those at Ste. Anne, St. François and Le Moule on Grande-Terre as well as Grande Anse / Deshaies on Basse-Terre. Public beaches are free, though some may charge for parking. The only clothing-optional beach is a small cove at Plage Tarare near Pointe-des-Châteaux.

Maison créole du Pain de Sucre
Maison créole du Pain de Sucre
You have many possibilities with prices largely vary according to weather you prefer a 4 star hotel as "La Vieille Tour" in Gosier or a little family style inn or a Colonial style mansion transformed in a creole guest house. Rural country inns are another possibility which offer a different perspective of the island as "Gite Bleu Vacances" in Capesterre.
Camping is not developped.

Vieille Tour beach
Vieille Tour beach
Guadeloupe has nightspots galore, discos and nightclubs in the larger hotels, and a variety of piano and jazz bars at the Bas du Fort Marina. Some hotels offer dinner dancing and performances by folkloric troupes. The hot dance music is continues to be Le Zouk, performed regularly by many local groups. Some of the most popular dance clubs for locals are in or near Gosier.There are two casinos on Guadeloupe, one in Gosier and the other in St. François.

Plage de Ste Anne
Plage de Ste Anne
You can't go on Guadeloupe and don't drink "le Ti'punch".
Agricultural rum is an alcohol obtained by fermenting and distilling pure sugarcane juice.The agricultural rum, mainly produced in the French West Indies (Martinique and Guadeloupe), is a high quality rum well know and appreciated for its specifics aroma and flavour, and its process of making.
What's the ti'punch ?
Wash a lime, remove top and bottom, and thinly slice into half rings. Add lime pieces to glass and crush with the flat end of a barspoon. Add rum and sugar syrup, top with broken ice, and muddle together. Add a short straw, and serve.

Dining in the French West Indies is always a memorable event. An exciting variety of restaurants take advantage of gorgeous settings to complement their culinary delights.
the famous creole cuisine : the "colombo" (pork, sheep or kid
- Season the meat, cut in pieces, with salt, pepper, 5 mashed garlic cloves, 1 chopped chili, the clovepowder and a little vinegar. Let it soak for about 30 minutes.
- Chop finely the chives, onion and the rest of garlic. Fry them gently in a bit of oil, then add the coriander, aniseed and thyme. Add the meat and the chopped mango and let brown the meat. Add the second chili.
- Chop the aubergine, the zucchini and the peeled potatoes. Add them to the meat with the massalé (or the Colombopowder), mixed with a little water, cover the meat with water, put the lid on the saucepan and let simmer about 50 minutes (stir from time to time). Rectify the seasoning.
- 5 minutes before the end of cooking, add the lemon juice.

Other recommendations:
Allée Dumanoir
Allée Dumanoir
Pointe-à-Pitre, the island's main city is located on the on eastern "butterfly wing" of Grande-Terre and can be interesting to explore on foot.Grande-Terre offers an abundance of beautiful beaches and many fascinating sights.
You can visit the historic Fort Fleur d'Epée, the Guadeloupe Aquarium on Gosier. After "la Pointe des Chateaux", continuing on around the coast, the road passes a stately colonial Maison Zevallos.Further north is the Porte d'Enfer. Returning to Pointe-a-Pitre, one passes through the towns of Port Louis, Petit-Canal and Morne-a-l'Eau.
Guadeloupe's western ''butterfly wing" is Basse-Terre. From Basse-Terre city there are wonderful views of the impressive dormant volcano, La Soufrière. A detour to the west brings you to the trails leading to the three magnificent Chutes du Carbet (the Caribbean's highest waterfalls) and the Grand Etang (Grand Pond).
Returning to Pointe-à-Pitre via Basse-Terre's eastern coast, you'll drive through the famous Allée Dumanior.

Published on Monday April 3th, 2006

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Sat, Feb 17 2007 - 09:53 PM rating by travler

This is one of my favorite Islands in the Caribbean. I thought your report did an excellent job of reviewing it.

Tue, Apr 18 2006 - 03:18 PM rating by magsalex

Great report. Loved the vivid colours in the pictures.

Wed, Apr 05 2006 - 12:49 PM rating by mistybleu

I've never been to any of the non english speaking Caribbean, but you've just brought it to life. This is a lovely report with great peaceful pictures

Tue, Apr 04 2006 - 09:05 AM rating by bear495

The report is very interesting, and the photos are marvelous.

Tue, Apr 04 2006 - 06:37 AM rating by gloriajames

Well done! Some beautiful pics and a recipe to try! Not nearly a 5* but nevertheless well deserved !!!

Mon, Apr 03 2006 - 02:11 PM rating by davidx

As good as I have come to expect from you - which means excellent! I wish your goats weren't against restaurants. I'm sure they'd taste great but I love them alive! [Only joking]

Mon, Apr 03 2006 - 11:03 AM rating by delfster

hi marielle,
once again, great report and marvelous pictures... amazing even.


Mon, Apr 03 2006 - 10:04 AM rating by rangutan

Wonderful, I like the romantic french accent in the writing which makes me dream to visit the place. I have a certain weakness for local recipes (rather than long lists of restaurants) and just have praise this report by a non-english speaker, very well done! (4.5)

Mon, Apr 03 2006 - 08:18 AM rating by frenchfrog


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