Tuesday, May 18, 2010

May 9, 2010 - Ile des Saintes, Guadeloupe

Ile des Saintes, a small group of islands on the south side of Guadeloupe, were a favorite stop of ours the last time we came through the islands. It was one of the only places from last time through that we knew we were going to return to as we worked our way up the chain. We had an easy morning sail up from Dominica, and anchored off of Pain de Sucre, a 200-foot high mini-piton, just before lunch. We spent the afternoon snorkeling and enjoying the scene. In the water I spotted two octopus and a puffer fish. I kept trying to get the puffer to puff, but then I realized that it must be the most harassed fish in the Caribbean, so I left it alone. We were pretty content and tempted to spend the evening on board, but when we realized that it was Saturday night, we decided to get off our lazy bums and dinghy into town.

Bourg des Saints is a charming Gallic town. The narrow lanes are lined with colorful old houses, topped with red roofs, trimmed with gingerbread and filled with boutiques, galleries and restaurants that cater to the tourists who arrive daily on ferries from the mainland. Tucked between the shops are family homes. Kids on bikes swerve between the knots of sunburned, window-shopping vacationers. Any time of day there is bound to be someone out and about.

We joined the families and tourists strolling around town, and made our way to a bar that we remembered fondly from our last time here. The customers at the Coconut Bar are an entertaining mix. Between the rastas, vacationers, yachties, and local families, the place always seems to be busy. As we arrived the song "I've got a feeling" was blasting from the speakers. That ditty really has staying power. It was in high rotation on the local radio stations the whole time we were driving around South Africa last winter. Since we arrived back in the Caribbean, we've heard it on every island. Though we must say that our favorite rendition was performed on steel drums in Barbados.

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