Travels in Guadeloupe Part 1: Getting there.
I am back. And as promised I have a new blog about something sexy and interesting: Guadelopue. Where my missus and I have been on holiday for the last two weeks. We have been wanting to go away to the Caribbean for quite a few years now so for us this really was the holiday of a lifetime.
The town of Deshaies
Why Guadeloupe you ask? What is it about that specific island that made us want to go there? Well I'll tell you. Guadeloupe is where they film the BBC murder mystery Death in Paradise. And we love Death in Paradise. We even made sure that we went to the part of the island where the show is filmed. The theme tune is an instrumental cover of the classic ska track "You're Wondering Now" by Ruben "Andy" Anderson.
And, as it's a ska track, it's been covered at least once every generation. As we all know ska, like EM radiation, comes in waves. The Specials version, The Skatalites version and most recently Amy Winehouse's version.
Guadeloupe is also a pretty interesting place. It is a French overseas colony, governed by Paris. The local currency is Euros and the plugs are European. And so even though it looks, feels, sounds and smells just like the Caribbean it has a very French feel to it. I'll give you an example: on the first day I needed to go out and get some breakfast. I was instructed to head to a shop a little way down the road, which was lined with palm trees, land crabs and tethered goats and chickens, to a little shack which sold remarkably good (and I mean this in the literal sense. I did actually make a remark about how good it was) freshly baked croissants, French bread and pain au chocolate.
Very French start to the day
We started our journey by travelling to Paris. If you want to go to Guadeloupe fly from Paris. Tickets to the island are much cheaper than tickets from London because there are loads of flights that leave from there. It is a very popular tourist destination... For French people. And it's easy enough to get to Paris from England. So we hopped on an Easyjet and were off.
Flying through the air. Like some Greek God.
It's worth noting at this point that people in Guadeloupe speak French (as you would expect). And, according to everything we read, nothing else (unlike most places where you can generally rely on at least some people speaking English). I told my girlfriend that this would not be a problem as I speak passable French. This was a lie. I can just about order something at a restaurant and if someone says something to me I'm screwed. For example: On the first day a woman on the Paris Underground (a very good public transport system by the way. Incredibly cheap, simple and fast.) started to ask me something in French. To which I replied. "Desole. Je suis Angleterre" Which literally translates as "Apology. I am England". Things were looking hopeful.
Paris was as lovely and romantic as you would hope. We stayed in a place called Hotel Cler on Rue de Cler which is within spitting distance of the Eiffel tower.
It was a very nice part of the city. The surrounding area looked like the set of a Wes Anderson film. Complete with super rich Americans in designer clothes, who were trapped in Paris by the massive blizzard on the Eastern Seaboard.
We stayed for one night and then were off! On a very comfortable 8 hour flight chartered by Air Caraibes where I had my first taste of Damoiseau - a 50% strength white rum that they make on the island.
We arrived at 8:30 PM on a Sunday night and hopped in a taxi to our place. Taxis are eyewateringly expensive on Guadeloupe (this ride cost us about as much as our hotel in Paris) and should only be used in emergencies. But hey, we had just got in on a Sunday night, there were no buses and our hotel was on the opposite side of the island from the Airport. We woke up in the morning to this:
Jess and I are simple people. We are not the sort who are always looking for things to "do" and "see" while on holiday. We tend to just find a patch of beach with very few people and lots of wildlife that we like and just laze around there for the duration. This, as well as where we stayed and a brief explanation of exactly why you should stay there too will be the subject of the next blog!
Thanks for reading!
What's new with Team Candiru?
We are getting ready to launch out latest crowd funding campaign to raise some mone to make a film for the AEECL about lemur conservation. To help us with the film we have enlisted the help of Jamie Brightmore. A very talanted guy who makes some awesome aerial and timelapse films. We aim to launch the campaign in the beginning of March so do please help us spread the word and donate what you can.