On the Road Again in Guadeloupe!

Submitted by eagle on Sun, 08/02/2020 - 12:05

Finally, left Point-a-Pitre!

Went earlier in the week, instead of on the weekend as I had initially planned. The weather forecast showed rain storms over the weekend, which I didn't want to get stuck in. Turned out not to be rain storms (there's the weather forecast for you). Still, may have improved my outcomes to have left earlier as I did since I ran into some problem along the way.


Eagle Gamma in Guadeloupe!

I was getting quite frustrated staying in such a small town, as nice as it was in some ways. Also, I had many troubles getting out of town. Leaving during the week had more stores open, which may thus have enabled me to get going.

Some thoughts before leaving:

This place (Point-a-Pitre) kept surprising me at how big it is. Looking at the stats, I see that it's actually a way bigger city than I thought it was.

I'd been planning to carry on this weekend. However, it looks like rain and maybe thunderstorms this weekend. Now I'm thinking of going as soon as tomorrow. Not sure that I'm ready yet!

The history of Pointe-à-Pitre is marked by many disasters: the fires of 1850, 1871 and 1931, the earthquakes of 1851 and 1897 and the hurricanes of 1865 and 1928. The city also experienced several epidemics of cholera.

From <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pointe-%C3%A0-Pitre>

Seventy percent of residents of Pointe-à-Pitre resided in subsidized public housing in 2009.[10]

From <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pointe-%C3%A0-Pitre>

Widely varying forecasts, some saying tons of rain, some saying not much, this weekend. Probably depends on whether or not storms develop.

I'm dying to leave!

Often the problems are benefits, as I've noted many times.

I have an encapsulation theory. This compares with how later species, such as humans, go through stages in the womb that compare to the shapes of earlier species. Instead, I'm comparing the stages of an individual life to the hominids. As a baby, one is dependent, as most apes depend on instincts. In childhood, one starts to walk and make friends, like australopithecines. Later, as a teenager, one fights with tools, like early human species. As a young adult, one makes fires and travels, like Neanderthals. Then, one goes through several "industrial revolutions", depending on jobs with more serious machines. In later adulthood, it's like more developed societies, where one becomes increasingly dependent on machines and weak, until eventually the machines take over (life support).

I think I remarked on this before, but so far Guadeloupiens seem to me like some of the friendlier Caribbean people I've met. There's also considerable crime.

The first day was disastrous. Overnight, I was awoken by rain, and some crunching sounds which turned out to be a rat eating some of my chips. In the morning, just about as soon as I set out, a wheel on the stroller I was using broke. It was the same wheel that had previously been hit by a truck while I was walking in town. I'd thought that it held together, but apparently the extra weight was enough to crush it.

As I struggled to push the stuff out of town, the stroller fell apart further. I found a discarded luggage on wheels, and switched to it. I stopped in at a restaurant, eating a delicious courtbouillon de poisson avec racines (a fish stew with root vegetables). Waited out some rain, then kept going.

The luggage also had broken wheels, not sure if they were already like that or if I did that by overpacking it. Soon I was dragging it on the case itself, rather than on any wheels, with great difficulty.

Also, I had to go the bathroom several times on the way out of town, which was inconvenient due to the rain and being out in edge of town.

Before crossing the bridge out of town, I got stuck in another rain shower. While waiting, I thought it made more sense just to stay in town another night, then head out the next day. My phone was out of data. I recharged. Afterwards, I started looking up places, but the phone was too slow to show any. It still had the problems from since I arrived in this country.

After the rain died down, I decided just to keep going anyways.

It turned out to be a pleasant evening stroll. I walked through some challenging wet grounds, then got to a site to camp.

The place was swampy, infested with insects. However, I got some sleep.

You can experience different parts of the past from the present. E.g., phone not working? Go back to the days of 2G! Camping? Go back to before buildings, electricity, etc.!

In the morning, I went looking to buy a phone that would work in Guadeloupe, so that I could work. A few stores were closed. I finally found a phone.

Next, I went looking for a bike or other luggage. After some long, arduous walking, I was getting extremely sore, hardly able to go on any more. As I was getting close to a bike shop, struggling to drag the luggage with broken wheels, a car pulled up. The driver asked if I wanted help. She drove me to the bike shop.

There, it turned out to be one of those expensive road bike shops, not really appropriate or affordable for what I was looking to do. I kept walking.

With just about my last energy, I made it to a mall, the same one where I bought this computer that enabled me to work in P-a-P. In the mall, I bought a bike and some accessories. Kept going!


New bike!

Felt way different walking with a bike instead of the broken carriers. Instead of feeling slowed down, I felt like I had an ally.

I'd forbidden myself from riding the bike until I got rid of more weight, because it seemed unsafe. When I came across a long downhill, I spontaneously decided to ride it anyways. Nearly died due to some oscillations from all the weight on my front wheel. Still, fun!

Since then, have kept riding as well as walking. Still risky, but I'm covering more ground, and feeling better. Keep at it!

As I kept going, I tried to rent a place. Not much available out here. An Airbnb that I rented, the host didn't provide an address, so I kept going. Did finally make it to another place, where I'm writing now.

Along the way, I've had a tough time carrying on, with so much stuff. Because I left town before I had expected, I still had tons of stuff. Much of it's food, which I've been eating my way through. Still, carrying way more than I should. One of the more important travel lessons it to travel light.

Gorgeous countryside. Coastal hills. Some tough climbs (which I've largely been walking, overweight with stuff). Amazing descents.

Despite all my mistakes, I remember what it's like to bike tour, and why I like it!

A few developments already from this Guadeloupe touring. I now want to rent more, camp less. I now plan to switch to an electric bike as soon as I'm beyond the area where I expect to have to fly off an island soon and get rid of a bike. The hills are a pain while loaded. Also, I want to be able to get places faster. In general, I'm now aiming for somewhat more upscale touring, rather than just winging it.

I'm now thinking of my approach as to have a somewhat normal stay in a place for a week or more, then to ride rapidly to another place. This contrasts against an earlier way that I've traveled, more often traveling. I'm now more interested in work and other activities, but still want to see places.

Also, I'm going back to drinking largely water. It's a refreshing and convenient drink. In North America and some Caribbean islands, it was also the easiest to get, from taps in the US or from the large bottles in other countries. Guadeloupe doesn't seem to have large bottles, so I'd figured I'd get medium bottles of soda or juice instead of medium bottles of water. However, I think that all the sugar and acids in those drinks makes me feel worse, so I'm switching back to water (which also costs less, but not that much).

In the Caribbean, it's often too hot and humid, and also rainy and stormy, for bike touring to be pleasant. I'm now aiming to stay a while in a place, then go on a cloudy but not rainy day to another place, instead of constantly riding.

Made it to another place, where I've extended my stay a few times through some storms. Now it's been a week. I was thinking of heading off again, but having thoughts of staying even longer.

Photo album of leaving Point-a-Pitre here.

I feel like I've finally used up or gotten rid of enough stuff that I can go ahead without needing to get rid of more! While still far from perfect, of course, I feel much better now, having left. Having reupped, in terms of bike and phone and other stuff. Having seen many people and places. Having survived!

At any rate, keep going!


Working to Leave!

Submitted by eagle on Fri, 07/03/2020 - 13:30


There are tougher times. Slog through!

It's not just me, affected by the weather. On cloudy days, different people come out than on sunny days. People act much more rowdily in some weather than in other weather.

Continuing through the week!

Each step takes a while.

Idea: porn involving extinct species of humans. Have people dress up like Australopithecines and others, and act crazy!

Finally, after months of delays, the package is in P-a-P!

Still not available for pick-up.

It's Monday! Power's back off at the place where I've been charing up.

I'm dying to leave, but still waiting on the goggles to arrive, getting a phone, and more of civilization to open up again.

It seems like more stuff continues to get back to normal.

I can now feel from the weather what sort of day it will be.

For example: hot, muggy day: tons of loud activities, me feeling tired and sensitive.

The heat and humidity are extreme.

Keep going through the tough stuff!

Motivation power strength!

Things happen differently than one would expect. Important to adapt!

Rainy morning, sat in a café/restaurant, had breakfast while charging up.

Went to the phone shop after making an appointment (it's still by appointment only, due to Coronavirus). Showed up, but they said their systems were down. At any rate, doesn't seem that likely that they'll be able to do much. Maybe I'll get another phone, although I got the impression that they won't let me test it beforehand.

Tons of stuff seems broken here. Caribbeanitis. Things often don't work. But it's relaxing.

Seems like this place is at a see-and-be-seen location, at a corner on the main boulevard. Tons of styles and fashions going by.

This town (Point-a-Pitre, Guadeloupe) seems quite fashionable. Numerous fashion stores, people like to dress up.

It's one of the busier places I've seen in the Caribbean, even though it's not huge.

Going on!


Dealing with Oneself!

Submitted by eagle on Tue, 06/23/2020 - 18:29

Eagle Gamma in Guadeloupe!

For years in temperate countries, I yearned for warmer climates. Now that I've spent years in the tropics, I'm starting to yearn somewhat for a cooler climate!

Probably only for a while, then I think I'd quickly get sick of it again and want some sun!

Apparently Northern Europeans like to go to the far north for recreation. I guess it's like people further south going to the tropics for vacation.

Sitting here in a bar, nominally Dominican.

Catchy French-language music, reminds me of Haiti.



Some ongoing frustrations. Still haven't found a fully working phone solution. Seems like both the phone and the card that I have are showing issues, and the shops haven't solved it yet.

Power went out at the public place where I've been charging up. Also, more stores are opening. I'm planning to rent again!

Then probably get back out there, when a few more things are open and I've wrapped up my stuff here.

There are some delicious smells around this area.

A recurring theme: often when things don't work out, it's for the best.

I feel like I've become substantially better at many aspects of travel, which also improves my abilities in other areas like work, over the years. I suppose that's part of the process.

I still have tons of areas that I want to work on. Many are psychological.

I still struggle with the basics, after so many years. That's one of my ongoing areas of work, is to get better at taking care of paying work, important chores, and more.

Seems like we're on the way out of Coronavirus territory, but I've thought (and written) so much before, and been wrong.

Often, during work or other activities, I get so involved that I forget why I travel. However, on stepping back, I can see the rewards again!

Music, food, people, places, culture, geography!

I feel like I haven't had that much to say lately, because I've largely just been working. Much of my thought comes from going different places, seeing and doing different things.

There are often occasions when I'm uncertain what to do, and have to act anyways.

Presumably a common situation. I guess we can take chances, do our best!

Still camping out. Maybe rent next week?

After a long week, relaxing w/ a tropical rum punch!

Caribbean music on the loudspeakers!

(Or is it French? I think it's French Caribbean.)

Feeling better!

Each day, week, month, year is different than the last!

We have to adapt to carry on!

Feeling high, tired, happy after a long week!

Things continue to turn out way differently than I expected, but that's what I now expect!

There's always something! :)

I think that some stimuli that annoy me when I'm trying to work don't annoy me when I'm trying to relax.

Jamaintenant (n., Fr., jamais "never" + maintenant "now"): when things happen in the French Caribbean. :)

It still seems so weird to me to be in a French Caribbean place. My impressions of French and Caribbean cultures is somewhat divergent. Both are definitely sense-oriented. But the French seems so refined, the Caribbean so coarse. Anyways, fun!

My feelings are all over the place!

Like the weather!

It feels funny to be human. Like it's normal, but at the same time sort of weird. We handle stuff that we can't make all the time. We don't know a fraction of ourselves. We're just born here. It seems so normal, yet it's so far beyond us. Weird.

I'm somewhat appreciating being middle-agedier.

It's sort of strange having all these capacities, desires, etc., some of which are biological many of which are cultural.

The place where I had been charging up, which was turned off last week, is now back on.

Don't worry excessively. There's tons of false anxieties. Focus on positives!

A bird went flying by with a ribbon or something attached to it. Looked funny!

A cooler, cloudier day. Feels great!

I think that the tropical weather has been tough on my body.

Jeje, now my body feels hurt in a different way from this weather. Stiff joints.

Continuing here in Guadeloupe for a while longer!

Rock & Roll!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)



Submitted by eagle on Fri, 06/05/2020 - 17:30

Busier day.

Yesterday, someone I know told me she got robbed.

Later, when I got back to my camp place, I found that someone had rummaged through my stuff and taken a few things.

Seems like a criminal place here, as in much of the Caribbean. I've had far more attempted robberies in the Caribbean than anywhere else.

Another week ahead!


Another While Longer in Guadeloupe!

Submitted by eagle on Thu, 06/04/2020 - 13:05

I continue to like Guadeloupe. It has gorgeous environmental scenery and architecture/public art. The people are quite friendly. The food is delicious.

I occasionally whine about the noises, which I recognize are the same as anywhere, when I get annoyed. Overall, it's quite a pleasant place.

The culture and geography aren't exactly a match for me, and I do still look forward to leaving, but I also know that it's going to be a place I'm sad about leaving.

Looks like it's going to be rainy for a while, and I still have more stuff to do here and am liking it. Also, many things remain closed. As such, it's probably working out for the best that I not leave as soon as I had thought -- as often seems to happen!

Maybe not even leave the following weekend!

Probably go by around the turn of the month.

I'm guessing that some people probably lucked out by the virus shutting down migrations, and they're "stuck" in a country where they would rather be.

Eagle Gamma in Guadeloupe!

Slow Slog through Guadeloupe!

Submitted by eagle on Wed, 06/03/2020 - 13:43

Stuff seems open again. Unpredictable?

I'm looking to leave ASAP, maybe this weekend!

Some rain.

Quiet again. Are stores only opening on occasional days?

A few more days here. Is the "confinement" over?

While there are numerous pleasant things about this place, it's also full of annoyances. I want to go but it seems like stuff's still shut down.

Still does seem somewhat unpredictable what things will open when.

The French government website didn't have an obvious thing saying if or when the confinement is over.

Nicer weather. More stuff open. Things opening on even days?

Every society should have laws against overly loud motorcycles, cars, trucks, etc.!

(And loud yelling!)

As I was working, a guy came up and asked me for a light. As I was answering him, the police came up and asked him if he didn't also have anything illicit. As they continued questioning him, I jumped down from the surface to the ground, but I landed on a broken bottle. It cut into my foot, but luckily not too far.

The other evening, when I took out my earplugs, a lizard jumped on one and bit into it! After, I moved the earplug back to where it was.

Idea: a commercial for an earplug company, showing an earplug as a bullet, destroying noise.

Midway through the week!

Eagle Gamma in Guadeloupe!

When to Leave?

Submitted by eagle on Fri, 05/29/2020 - 15:26

Midway through the week.

Craziness all around.

Things seem closed again, after a short period of being open.

There's now a public concert, though, seems like some Arican music.

I think I have two bands of interest, above the rest, which go horizontally through Meso-America in the northern hemisphere and through Brazil in the southern hemisphere.

Probably leave either Saturday: May 30 or June 6.

I often feel pressures of dirtiness, noise, criminality, and such here in Point-a-Pitre. While there are some pleasant placetimes, I often want to go on.

Goggles not yet here. Looks like I'll be here another week!


Getting There!

Submitted by eagle on Tue, 05/26/2020 - 20:10

In my head, I'm already gone from Point-a-Pitre.

I'm tired of seeing the same stuff. Looking to get back on the road ASAP!!!!!

I think I've seen as much of the people, the places, and such, as I can around here.

At least it's exciting to have an upcoming departure. I feel slightly nervous, but mostly ready!

Each day, busy. Then go!

I like the French food here (cheese!!!!!). There are some decent and interesting people. The architecture's quite something.

I find it somewhat noisy.

I think that I can now identify and say a few things about just about every resident of Point-a-Pitre, and the pigeons too.

A thicker plastic container seems to have kept the rats out. Then the ants came! Also, the rats still seem to be hanging around.

Tried some of those fast foods, they're basically as I thought. Dough, baked or fried. Sandwich fillings.

There remain enough interesting things for now!