Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Tropical Waves and the Chameau (Camel)

Yesterday, the first of two tropical waves forecast for this area went through - the next one will hit us on the weekend most likely.  We haven't see a full day of wind and rain in quite a while so a day on the boat was not amiss as a lazy rainy day.  Watching the wind whip through the anchorage we were happily tucked in behind a little hill, although some boats headed out like some charterers we met who had a deadline to get back to their base for flight on Monday.  Sucks to have a schedule when you're sailing!

We're located on the blue dot with all that green mess coming at us for the day.
You can barely see the island just a few hundred yards behind the boat as they make their way out through the surf coming into the bay.
Today dawned a bit brighter so we decided to tackle Le Chameau (The Camel) which is the highest point in these islands at 1,014'.

Of course as soon as we set out, the heavens decided to open up too so we headed for what looked like an interesting old fortification on Tete Rouge.  Turned out to already be occupied so no shelter to be found here.

See the little tiny block on top of the hill - that's the fortification on Le Chameau.  While it sprinkled on us we rambled over these fortifications that have now been taken over by a herd of goats.

Hand's down the best hairdo on the island - and with all his nannies in attendance, he has a smile on his face too!
We found the road that wound it's way up to the top of the hill and after a bit of huffing and puffing found ourselves up by the old fortification that was a watch tower built by the French at the end of the 1800s.  The way the wind rattled around and through the edifice had a distinctly spooky feel to it and I sensed that we might be walking among some ghosts.

Not the easiest ascent to the 2nd level with the hope of some spectacular views.

Well, there were views, but they were only what you could see through these narrow gun-slits in the walls.

From the top of the hill we could see back down into Bourg des Saintes, the little town on Haut de Terre.

Fort Napoleon (we explored there yesterday) with Mowzer anchored below the hill in the bay.

Boug des Saintes and their little airport.

For the descent we decided to take the trail rather than the road back down.  This wound steeply down over the back of the hill and led us back past some of the northern bays on the way into town.

Henry gets another bouldering workout.

Follow the dotted line - yellow dots clearly marked the trail all the way down.

We passed through one area of intricately twisted vines and trees ...

... and little fonts of fresh water nestled into the rocks.
 We were only about a third of the way down when ouch! .... ouch, ouch, double-ouch!!  I rolled my ankle over on a small rock, wrenching it painfully.  Once we ascertained that it wasn't broken (thank goodness!) I slowly continued on the way gingerly placing my foot down among the rounded stones all the way to the bottom.  Never was I so happy to find the FLAT concrete road back into town.  Phew!

Everyone step encounters a nicely rounded ankle-turning stone and a moment of inattention on my part was my undoing.

Just before we got to the end of the trail this snake crossed our path - the first one we've seen in the islands.

These cubes of compressed bottles, cans and cardboard reminded me of brightly coloured fabric prints.

This huge public space with a very sophisticated kids playground seemed virtually unused - perhaps a bit of a political boondoggle?

The little park across from the town hall featured this locally created sculpture dedicated to Saintois sailors and fishermen who have lost their lives at sea.  Compared to the other park, this one is much more used.
Not a bad adventure for the day but now time to get my foot elevated and hope I can walk on it tomorrow.

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