This lovely little french town in Guadeloupe had intrigued us on our last trip five years ago, we had stopped there on two differerent occasions, but only to overnight on out way to Martinique. So this time, we were going to stay for a couple of nights to see what was there. We anchored in a deep, well-protected pretty little bay surrounded by hills and mountains, with perhaps 15 other boats. The one thing we did notice was the wind that funnelled through, strong noisy gusts that blew for hours - in fact, on our first nite, it was so windy that a deep sleep was almost impossible, I kept looking out of the porthole - we were anchored parellel to a restaurant with a large blue neon sign, this was my landmark in case we dragged anchor during the night - around 1AM I looked out and saw a boat floating very close to us - at the same time i heard a horn blowing - the wind was howling so loudly it was hard to know where the sound was coming from - so I alerted everyone, we went up on deck and saw a power boat - a tour boat that had been moored in front to us, it had broken free from the mooring and hit our anchor chain, then was being blown towards a large sailboat behind us - beyond that was the open sea. John blew the conch shell and alerted a nearby boat, John and Jamie got in the dinghy, at the same time as the captain from a nearby sailboat got into his, and they sped off to try to stop the powerboat from hitting the sailboat. fortunately they were successful, they were able to get it away so that it would not drift into any more boats. They french captain boarded the boat, found a radio and called for help. Soon the owner was on his way and the boat was rescued and bought safetly bach to another mooring. The following day her owner had some tourists on board and did a tour as if nothing had happened - then later in the day he returned with a bottle of champagne as a thank you. he was very grateful!
So the next morning we enjoyed our coffee and some fresh chocolate croissants that were delivered to the boat around 7AM, we had ordered them the night before from a local who went from boat to boat collectiorders for the bakery and dispensing information about the town. We went ashore to clear customs and enjoyed a stroll around the pretty little fishing village. It has a nice variety of little gift shops, tiny restaurants that specialize in Creole food, several little grocery stores, lots of little produce stands and the heavenly smell of freshly baking bread.
We had heard about the Jardin Bontanique - a place we decided was a 'must see". So we climbed the 1 1/2 km uphill walk to the entrance of the gardens, and paid the entrance fee. We were not sure what to expect, but we were very pleasantly surprised. There are over a 1000 species of plants trees and flowers to be viewed in very attractive settings. it included a 40 ft waterfall, a flamimgo pond, a walk -in aviary where brightly coloured parakeeets will land on your shoulders and head, and a large pond containing hundreds of giant orange and white fish. The flowers were spectacular. I expecially enjoyed the orchids - so many colours and varieties. All in all it was a very pleasant morning, well worth a visit. We left with a few little hand-made items from the gift shop and some fabulous photos.
The town of Deshaises is very clean, well maintained and very colorful. there were some signs of 'lack of income" but not as poor as some of the villages we have seen. It was easy to see that it is a more affluent place where the government has more money to maintain roads, buildings and other infrastructure. Tourism counts for a large part on the towns income and they have have a lot of the services that the visiting yacht people are looking for when they visit a town. Such as easily accessable fuel and water, grocery stores, fresh produce, ice, and reasonably priced restaurans, and well marked walking trails and a bus service.
We spent the remaining time on the boat enjoying snorkling and swimming and the sunshine. Deshaises was a great place to be for a couple of days. We left there with very pleasant memories.
Some very friendly parakeets
very cool tree
Posted by Amoeba Sailing Tours on Sun, January 30, 2011 at 01:21 PM