The French Protectorate of Guadaloupe is where we are today and is where the BBC programme, “Death in Paradise” is filmed. We are docked with an MSC ship POESIA at Pointe-A-Pietre which from our port side view does not look particularly inviting and it is a Sunday so a lot of the shops will be shut.
We had tried to get on a tour that included some of the places where the programme is filmed but left it too late to book so we opt for a walking tour of Saint Anne’s on our own. Our guide today is a young guy who is softly spoken and speaks very little English, probably the worst guide we have had all cruise.
Off out of the Port in a coach and out of town, we get held up by some guys in masks who seem to be soliciting money from us but we pass quickly, not stopping on our way South Eastwards.
Soon we are held up again only this time for probably 2 miles slowly moving forward past half finished houses, dilapidated cars and buildings, past closed shops and factories, run-down apartment blocks interspersed with just a few modern ones until we get past Windy Beach and in sight of yet another road block by masked men.
With the opposite flow of traffic stationary in front of us, our coach driver suddenly pulls out and with horn blaring, rushes on the wrong side of the road past about 6 cars and right into the path of the masked men who try to stop the coach, only jumping out of the way at the last moment to avoid being hit.
There was banging on the side of the coach as it sped by the masked men and we continued on our way to St Anne’s, stopping just before a roundabout to disgorge us, and parked half on the road and half on the pavement.
Maybe the guide did say what the masked men were doing but with his poor English and lack of ability for us at the back to hear well, it was lost on us. The journey should have taken 30 minutes but in the end it took double.
Still, we have extra time in St Anne’s and we have our full 3 hours there which is good.
We wander to the beach market and to a small cafe and whilst it does not have Wifi, we are told, manage to pick up Wifi from the Pizza parlour opposite, despite it being closed.
Refreshed, we get some bottled water from a mini Carrefour, some shoes, a shirt, some Cinnamon sticks and a shirt for Harry from the market and return to the coach via a paddle in the sea, lunch by sea and an ice cream.
Lots of locals are on the beach enjoying a traditional Sunday which includes the provision of some fresh fruit.
Many boats are moored in the bay as well with lunch being served on board for the rich and maybe the famous.
Internet in the terminal absolutely useless, too many people trying so get back on board for some housekeeping (washing) before dinner, the final Damask Duo concert and another offering from comedian, William Caulfield.
The American astrologer who had been with the cruise for a few days was to give a talk on the stars which John was going to go to but when I got up there, there was no one to be seen and there weren’t many stars anyway as by now the Caribbean Clouds have come to cover the sky.
Now we get to hear that the masked men were in fact not anything sinister but were raising money for the local festival and is an annual ritual. Shame the guided didn’t tell us about it whilst we were travelling through them.
Wish we had more time there.