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Greetings from Point A Pitre on the Island of Guadaloupe,
In the previous postcard from French Guyane it looked like my next destination would be the French island of Martinique. The $436 flight heading for Martinique made a brief stop on the island of Guadeloupe. A quick check of the airline magazine map revealed it is somewhat closer to Cuba and Florida than my originally intended destination. So, off I hopped and spent four days exploring. Guadeloupe has been a French possession since 1635. Today it is a fashionable Caribbean tourist destination with idyllic beach resorts and outlandishly high prices on everything. Once again I experienced pervasive, barely concealed Anglo-phobia during many encounters with the French speaking inhabitants. The French have just never gotten over the fact they no longer possess the world's principle language of diplomacy. The resentment is palpable everywhere French!
Tropical Guadeloupe is called the butterfly island (two islands divided by a narrow sea channel looks like an injured butterfly from the air). Though hot and humid, it provided a delightful respite with its sandy beaches, coconut palms, roaming iguanas, diving pelicans and tree climbing native boys harvesting coconuts for the giggling female tourists. The Arawak Hotel dining-room serves as an open air aviary; wild birds fly freely about the tables cleaning scraps of food generously discarded by guests. Internet cost 6.50 Euros or about $8/hr in the only cyber cafe I could find on the island. Saturday night everything closed. Four nights in paradise proved enough for this restless wanderer and I grabbed a $294 Air Caraibes flight heading west and one step closer to the US mainland, planning to island hop through the Caribbean for a while.
This is the first place I spent time on the island of Guadaloupe. Dissatisfied with the high hotel prices I started my scouting expedition around the island on foot.
Fred L Bellomy