Saturday, December 17, 2011

Day 159- Deshaies, Guadeloupe

We are enjoying a change of scenery and culture. Guadeloupe is very different from Antigua on both accounts. Counter to our expectation, daily life here in Guadeloupe seems to operate fairly efficiently, especially considering that most places of business are closed for lunch between noon and 4pm! This suits us surprisingly well. Especially after the first night as Pablo and I were up on anchor watch all night because a cold front passed through kicking up high winds and significant swell. We spent the morning exploring, the middle and extremely hot part of the day swimming and taking a siesta to catch up on sleep and then went back to town at 4pm to find stores just starting to open up again. There is less of the "Yah mon, no problem" eastern Caribbean influence which may help with the functionality.
Even though we read and were told "don't worry… everybody will speak English", we have found that it just ain't so…. Maybe all the English speakers are in the bigger cities and but certainly not in the smaller fishing villages, like Deshaies. If you discount 'bonjour', 'merci' and 'croissant' and we speak NO French. People are very friendly and patiently help us figure things out. For example, when Pablo was filling out the customs forms, all in French, a kind person helped him figure out that he was from 'Etats Unis'. Probably thinking, "Stupid, Americans don't even know where they're from!" But, kudos to the French on common sense and efficiency on clearing the boat into customs. It simply required filling out a web page at the local internet cafĂ©, the only obstacle being the 12-4pm lunch hour.
The French cheeses, baguettes, butter and wine are all treats. The prices in the grocery store are the best we've seen since leaving home. You can pick up a bottle of French wine for 3 Euros and fresh baguettes for less than a Euro! We picked up fresh bread from the bread truck and some Raclette from the supermarket and had a feast with potatoes on the side. The French definitely have figured out good food.
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Mia removing the Antiguan flag as we depart for Guadeloupe


  1. HI Hopman Family from The Stow Independent! -please email me if you can, about how you may spend your Christmas. We want to get something in Wed's paper, the last for two weeks. Looks like you are all doing great. If you have a special message to send to Stow, please do!

  2. Hi Borealis
    We are enjoying your blog - what wonderful places you are visiting!
    Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year of adventures,
    Old Rosie

  3. hi Hopman family it looks like you are all having fun and enjoying your journys!