My toes sank in the black sand as I stepped toward the water. My right hand embraced a cool glass of Ti Punch, a local drink made with rum, sugar cane, and lime, that I must confess was my drink of choice during my visit - I had it everyday with lunch and dinner, and as an afternoon snack. My other hand cupped the end of my long, flowy dress as I continued to follow the direction of the sun. Each step felt like an awkward, clumsy waltz. The wind picked up, and it whimsically pulled the dress from my hand and I watched it sway away in its direction.
My mind shifted to the small family of four I crossed paths with while hiking La Soufriere Volcano earlier that day. I admired how their happiness changed my mood from being anxious to relaxed. Both the mother and father carried a baby on their shoulders as they walked past me. Their older child could not have been more than three years old, and she was already so curious about everything. I listened to how her sharp voice started each question with "Maman..." And each time the mother had a thoughtful response to the little girl's unintelligible words. I wondered if I would be that kind of mom, and if my family would be as colorful as theirs.
My trip to Guadeloupe lasted five days. It was a place I knew nothing about, other than it was located in the Caribbean, and the official language was French. But during my visit its colors not only grabbed my attention, but captivated and inspired me beyond imagination. When I was approached by Guadeloupe Island Tourist Board for this partnership I was thrilled! Not because I wanted to leave the cold and go twirl on the warm caribbean beaches, but because I knew it was a Kreyol and French speaking country not too far from Haiti, and I've always been curious about its culture and history.
Guadeloupe is nothing like Haiti. Not by a long shot. It is an overseas department of France, which makes it part of the European Union. The archipelago (a grouping of related islands) comprises two main islands: Basse Terre and Haut Terre, which are surrounded by the adjacent French islands of La Desirade, Les Saintes, and Marie Galante. I had the opportunity to hike the base of the Soufriere in Basse Terre, to visit the Parc of Roches Gravees in Trois Rivieres, and to look down from “Pointe des Chateaux” in Saint Francois located in Grande Terre. I twirled in my colorful outfits in Les Saintes, ran all around Fort Napoleon, and enjoyed the wonderful views from Les Saintes Bay.
This short trip to Guadeloupe was so magnificent and full of color and discoveries, I could not fit it one post. I absolutely recommend the trip to anyone looking to get lost under the caribbean sun. The following travel post will include my top things to do in Guadeloupe when you visit, and my favorite hotel I've ever visited. Stay tuned!