We motor sailed to Deshaises on a grey morning and we're lucky to find space to anchor in the middle of the bay. Due to the exceptionally strong winds, a lot of boats had holed up there, rather than head North to Antigua. The changes in wind direction meant that all the boats were swinging in interesting directions during the day, which meant that where there seemed to be a large space, it soon closed as the boats moved. This meant that during the day as more boats arrived there were some fractious conversations between skippers and much re-anchoring, but it did provide us with some entertainment.We enjoyed an afternoon snorkel around the headland and an afternoon tea of French pastries with our friends whilst watching the comings and goings.
The plan was to hire a car, so we could spend a few days exploring the delights of Guadaloupe and doing some hiking. Obviously this being another French island, we ended up having to use the bus to get around, no cars to hire locally, at the Capital or via the Internet! Now the good thing was that there was a bus timetable so we could plan ahead and the buses were fairly reliable.
So we had a day out in Point a Pitre, the capital, and walked across to the marinas there. The bus journey took us around the North end of the island for some glorious coastal views as well as farming landscapes, maily sugar cane, framed by the volcanoes. The town has a European feel, but has retained some areas of character despite some of the modern development areas..
We then went up into the National park on the road that traverses the centre of the island,where it is mountainous rainforest. We were dropped off by the Rangers hut in the centre and we walked a few of there well marked trails through the rainforest and along the river. Very different from other rain forests we have been in, as the trees were younger allowing more light through.