Further in Point-a-Pitre, Guadeloupe!

Submitted by eagle on Tue, 03/24/2020 - 17:34

Some more pet peeves about Guadeloupe: No plastic bags at most stores, including the supermarkets. The fruit and vegetable bags that are sometimes there, are often not on their rolls, but in random places. Also, the wifi usually doesn't work, as in many other Caribbean places.

One thing I like about Guadeloupe is that here in the capital there are several free public toilets. They even seem fairly clean in their automatic maintenance. Even more so in a place where there aren't tons of restaurant chains, this is much appreciated. More places should have this!

As often happens with me, Guadeloupe continue to grow on me the longer I'm here.

After my first infatuation, which I admit was in part just because the previous places had been so difficult, I had something of a sophomore slump. But as grow together, Guadeloupe and I, we're finding each other's passions.

These days I've been using a baby stroller to carry my stuff. I've been walking and running. Tons of fun! Way different than biking, backpacking. I'm thinking of strollering for much of the rest of the Caribbean!

Tons more rain.

I ducked under a shelter in a busier central location. Someone came by on a bike, and asked how much for something, I didn't quite hear what. After I told him I was confused, he asked if I wasn't the one selling powder. Oh, wrong person.

Rock & Roll!

Eagle Gamma in Guadeloupe!

Plants & Animals of Guadeloupe!

Submitted by eagle on Mon, 03/23/2020 - 16:58

Things generally seem to go wrong, break, fail, etc., during complicated processes. Important to keep at it anyways!

Even as people scream or throw stuff at you, or whatever, just keep going! :)

I love the feeling of finishing a task, or even an important step!

Also, the feeling of idling happily in the sun! :)

So far, I've liked the coconuts I've had here in Guadeloupe. Sweet, large, juicy!

The mangos have been so-so. Flavorful but not my favorite. I've only had a small number.

Bananas have been rich.

Breadfruits have been delicious!

At my present campspot, one day as I approached I could see a cow. The cow seemed wary of me, so I didn't get too near, and

I avoided making much motion. A later day, the cow came right near me, and started eating leaves! Over time, the cow got

nearer and nearer, until I was worried that it would accidentally crush me! I moved to a different area, but it kept coming

closer, eating its way over. Cows can eat a ton! The following day, I could see that I was right under a tall coconut tree,

laden with coconuts! I moved to a different place.

This past week, Point-a-Pitre felt like a ghost town. Or, rather, a zombie town. Or a zombie town with homeless people. I'm

guessing it's going to be somewhat more of the same this week. Coronavirus.

I'm excited for another week of work, chores, eating, and other activities!

Monday!!!!!

Point-a-Pitre, Guadeloupe

Money & Guadeloupe

Submitted by eagle on Fri, 03/20/2020 - 17:26

There's often an inverse relationship between cost and benefit:

Free: air, water, sex.
Cheap: bread, butter, beer.
Expensive: caviar, jewelry, boat maintenance.

Another Coronavirus day. Another Corona?

The supermarket was open for a half day. They had a deal on cheeses, so I bought a huge number. Delicious French cheese at less than the cost of many bland cheeses!1

Much quieter town. Maybe there should be regular Coronavirus pandemics?

I'm feeling much more comfortable now about the overall travel situation. After a large series of small islands with hardly any services, I was getting somewhat stressed. Here in Guadeloupe I've had tons more chance to recuperate.

Looking forward to spending a while longer here, then carry on to some more southern islands.

Let's go!

Bird in Guadeloupe

Some Further Stuff in Guadeloupe

Submitted by eagle on Tue, 03/17/2020 - 21:36

WarmSpot (n.): A piss-poor WiFi connection.

Plausibulloney (n.): Barely believable BS.

So the surgical masks were for Coronavirus.

Seems fairly serious, dozens of people are reported as having died from it globally.

Most shops here are closed. I just about didn't have any food yesterday! Found a few open places, though. Picked up some baguettes, cassoulet, and stuff. Also, I've been eating local fresh foods. Grilled some breadfruits this morning, and had some coconut and mango.

I love the tropics! You can go outside year round. Also, so many of my favorite fruits grow here, and are widely available.

Some of my pet peeves about this place (Guadeloupe) include: lack of available tap water, some loud motorcycles (as in many places), lack of dental floss in stores.

One side effect of Coronavirus is quiet public places!

Point-a-Pitre, Guadeloupe!

 

A While Longer in Point-a-Pitre, Guadeloupe!

Submitted by eagle on Mon, 03/16/2020 - 17:31

A new week in Guadeloupe!

I feel fresh, ready to rock!

It still seems like a big enough town, Point-à-Pître, as I thought before, to stay interesting while I stay here for a few weeks.

I'm working, doing chores, planning.

I'm becoming somewhat acquainted with the local culture. I now feel less culture shock than when I first arrived.

It's one of the more pleasant places I've been in the Caribbean. The people are often (though not always) sociable, and in a friendlier way than in some of the other nearby islands.

The food and music and other culture are different, softer, than some of the other Caribbean islands.

I think that a lot of how one sees a place has to do with one's own attitude and feelings at the time, in addition to the local climate. Set & setting.

Point-a-Pitre, Guadeloupe!

Over the weekend I learned a bit about engines. I was considering printing a diesel engine for my upcoming November challenge. It looks probably too complicated for one month, and not exactly what I want anyways. But I have more appreciation for engines!

I'm still seeing more bicycles around here than I do in most other places, which I like!

For some reason I've seen a number of people walking and driving around with breathing masks. Corona virus?

 

Guadeloupe Thoughts!

Submitted by eagle on Fri, 03/13/2020 - 14:30

Found another place to camp in a "wetlands" area, i.e. swamp. There are tons of these insects, which are smaller than mosquitoes, and more annoying, if that's possible.

Thankfully there's DEET, although even with that a few seem to find the uncovered areas.

Sitting in a park, charging up, some locals came and asked me what I was doing here. A short while later, they asked if I smoked, and offered me some drugs.

SDF: beggar. ("sans deux francs"???)

Camped in a forest instead of a wetland. Much better, insects-wise.

Woke up. Had breakfast of Coulommiers cheese (yum!!!!!!!), dark chocolate, cake, Suriname cherry juice, fresh local mango, tomato.

Now going to work on Eagle Eyes goggles. Goal: fix the text for printing.

The goggles, as with many things, are improving from exposing mistakes to other people's opinions.

Finally!

After many months of trying, thinking, failing, I think I have the text decent enough for a first print run!

I like drafting 3D models, text, audio, and more.

I feel much better in quiet environments, although I understand that it's often important to work in noisy environments anyways. As I've already remarked on.

I often find that writing prompts make it easier for me to write. Whether a question, a topic, or even a sight or sound. It spurs ideas, emotions.

Such a pain to get things done here. Phone hotspot doesn't work, most wifi here only work on occasion, and slowly at that. Tons of noises.

Still, at least it's nice out!

My feelings about many small islands on the Caribbean! :)

Guadeloupe!

Back to Point-a-Pitre, Guadeloupe!

Submitted by eagle on Tue, 03/10/2020 - 15:34

I'm looking forward to trying some more foods in Guadeloupe. Fast foods, fancy foods. Bokit, crêpes, couscous, and more.

After my first week in the main town of Guadeloupe, I spent the last week in a smaller town on the outskirts. This weekend I've been walking yet further away.

I feel like I'm finally starting to fix up the financial issues from previous islands. Did some shopping.

There are products here from France and other European countries. I bought some brioche, which I far prefer to the baguettes. (Although I did have a delicious baguette sandwich earlier.)

Also, tons of French cheeses to choose from. Camembert, brie, chevre, and more. For far more reasonable prices than in the US.

Seems tougher to find certain products like insect repellent, but still there. I have yet to find a place where I can buy a phone card, which surely must exist since people here have phones.

The commerce is petering out here. I'll probably turn around tomorrow. Take a different route back to the main town. It doesn't seem like there's enough service out here for me to get any work done.

Instead, probably look in town for a phone card, spend a few more weeks there. Also look for a bike, which I think is far more likely to be found there than here.

I tried an anise-flavored iced tea. They put anise flavor in tons of things!

I've been getting rid of tons of things that I've acquired during recent months. Feels so much better to travel light. Still tons more to leave.
11
A few laptop bumps, but still working!

I had some more tomatoes from Guadeloupe. These were far tastier than the previous ones. They've varied hugely, even from the same batch. Some tomatoes here are flavorful, others watery, all juicy.

Also, tried some Guadeloupe guava nectar. Quite delicious!

Still tons more local foods to try.

Step by step, traveling, learning, trying, doing!

I didn't see any DEET-containing insect repellent, so I bought a bottle of the other stuff. It doesn't work. I don't know why people don't just buy DEET. I think that DEET is one of the greatest chemicals. It produces so much human happiness. Forget about street drugs. DEET actually keeps stinging insects away, and lasts.

I'm going to go looking for more DEET!

Guadeloupe seems fairly flat, with one large volcano, instead of the more regularly mountainous other Caribbean islands. Seems way easier to get around!

Walking through the countryside, Guadeloupe is one of the more beautiful places I've seen. It reminds me of the Cuban countryside.

 

Guadeloupe!

Photo gallery!

My brain is readjusting to the metric system, which makes way more sense for measurements.

Can we get a metric clock and calendar, please?

I've often had difficulty overcoming my own laziness/self-indulgence. While I still do, these days I'm more often finding myself getting up and active early. I like the results, and honestly once I'm going I don't even mind the discomforts so much. I want to continue this way!

The French foods are so creamy, rich. Not just the cheeses, also deserts, sauces.

Made it back into town. Went looking for a phone shop. Bought a phone card. The wifi hotspot doesn't seem to work. The mobile data shows old 2G. The wifi spots from the company don't seem to work. Etc.

Things often don't go per plan, adapt and go on!

Went to a restaurant, had some bland fish on rice. Wifi hotspot still didn't work. Went to another place, had a salmon sandwich, tastier. They had wifi, which I connected to while there. After eating, wifi doesn't work. After much of the day, and a few dozen euros, still no internet.

My symbol for this place is a person walking around with a few baguettes in hand.

Went back into the restaurant a couple of times. Staff said it wouldn't work, shrugging. Finally, gave up and started to walk to another place where I remembered there was wifi. It started to rain. I ducked under a building overhang. An open wifi network! A loud homeless guy walked by. Now, the rain's stopped, and I'm online!

Maybe. Now it's not working?

On/off.

Idea: Write olde time style day. For a day, write in Olde English, for business and personal writing, as if it were normal.

Monday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Cycling seems quite popular here in Guadeloupe, which I appreciate!

After trying another chemical insect repellent, it worked somewhat for mosquitoes, but not so much for other, smaller insects. DEET did the trick, right away.

Somewhat annoying, after buying phone service specifically to use a wifi hotspot from my phone or from the network, neither works.

Back in the main town on Guadeloupe, called Point-à-Pître, it seems both large and small. Fairly small area, yet quite dense. Has visitors from tons of different places. Interesting enough to stay around for a while!

 

Le Gosier, Guadeloupe!

Submitted by eagle on Sat, 03/07/2020 - 12:57

After a while of hurrying up from one place to another, because of various travel pressures, I feel like I'm now in a place (le Gosier, Guadeloupe!) where I can take care of a bunch of chores, get some work done, and do other activities that I haven't had a chance to do for a while!

Each day develops as we go along. Each week, each place.

There's a rude undercurrent here, not sure to what extent it's French versus Caribbean.

I'm not sure whether I prefer the French or Caribbean aspects of Guadeloupe. I think both, i.e. the combination.

Tropical plants and animals and weather, Caribbean and French food and drinks. Nice!

I think it's a Caribbean rudeness. Oh well. Nice food and scenery, and some of the people!

Getting some writing done here in the outskirts of the main town on Guadeloupe.

I think that the rudeness I've noted here is Caribbean rather than French. It seems like the same that I've noticed on other small Caribbean islands. I think that these small islands have large numbers of rich tourists (in this case, French). As a result, everything becomes commercial, and what manners there were fall by the wayside.

Picture the French and the Caribbean together. Not very promising for bureaucracy, eh? There are tons of offices for political candidates (at least they're interested), the banks seem often closed or out of service, etc.

Trying some beers here, kind of plain, not that high quality in my opinion. Maybe they'll have fancy French wines?

Let's go!

Le Gosier, Guadeloupe!

Thoughts from Guadeloupe!

Submitted by eagle on Mon, 03/02/2020 - 19:25

So far, I'm overall digging Guadeloupe.

It's a mix of France and the Caribbean.

My French is holding up basically fine, but I'm making numerous mistakes.

I like the food and music!

Some rude people, but not nearly like other places.

Overall, much quieter. Fewer (but some) loud motors, dogs, people.

One of the funnier things I've noticed so far here is the mix of languages. I often hear French, Spansh, Creole, English, and more.

As I noticed before even arriving, Guadeloupe seems like more of a "real" country, compared to some of the other islands down in this part of the Caribbean. There are farms, residents in jobs outside of the tourism industry, and more. It doesn't feel like JUST a tourist attraction, despite having numerous visitors.

Going back through my calendar, to catch the things that slipped through the immense cracks, it's been quite a journey just to get to Guadeloupe!

Overall, I feel much better in these more European-style places than in American-style places. People out and about, walking, biking, instead of just driving everywhere. Less aggressive, more friendly, in my experience.

Things grow in spirals, often. Growing out in one way, then turning back on themselves, then reversing direction again, continuously. Often we feel setbacks, but I think that those are part of our advances.

I'm now planning to stay in this central town in Guadeloupe for at least a week, maybe three or more weeks.

[Ed.: I've already wandered out, but I'll probably head back soon.]

It takes tons of work, time, risk, sacrifice, support, and more, to do many things!

Some huge discoveries so far in Guadeloupe: delicious, affordable, plentiful French cheese! Likewise for chocolate spread, French bread, and other goodies!

There's an anise-flavored soft drink!

There's also fruit punch soft drink, with fruit juice. Tastes good, but I think it gave me indigestion.

Woke up. Found a free public bathroom. Automatic cleaning. Seemed like a decent invention. However, the door opened automatically before I finished!

Found a café with wifi.

Tons of mistakes along the way! :)

As I'm seeing more of Gouadeloupe, I still like it, and I'm still extra glad I came. However, some of the realities are setting in. It's somewhat limited in size, although still way bigger than I'd expected before arriving. I like the food a ton. The music is mixed for my tastes, some that I like and some that I don't. The architecture's different than anything I've seen before, somewhat playful but also somewhat ugly. The people seem friendlier than in some other recent islands I've been to, but still somewhat rude. I guess it's a mixed bag, like anywhere!

There are tons of vines growing in Guadeloupe.

I've been swinging from some like Tarzan,

Many plant and animal species resemble other Caribbean islands. There are banana, guava, coconut, and other fruits. Snails, lizards, birds galore.

It seems maybe wetter, swampier than some other Caribbean islands?

I had some tomatoes grown here. They were big, juicy, but somewhat lacking in flavor, watery.

The mosquitoes don't seem so bad here, for some reason. Maybe just the season?

I'm feeling strong, fit.

I like walking. After biking, it's refreshing. Different mode of transportation takes you to different places.

The more cars I see, the less I want one.

Planning to spend a while here. A few weeks in town, then a few months exploring the rest of Guadeloupe.

Wrapping up many of my unfinished tasks and projects from the last year of travels.

Then on to the other southern Caribbean islands. Martinique, Saint Lucia, Dominica, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad & Tobago. Not sure exactly which, or in exactly which order. Probably depends on conditions, mood.

Then I'm aiming to hit Venezuela (finally!), the Guyanas, and Suriname.

The Caribbean seems to produce some messed-up societies, but beautiful geography.

Tons of crime, poverty, political turmoil. But also tons of tropical fruits, beaches, sun.

Seems like a decent tradeoff for a while.

I'm already looking forward to the mainland, while still liking the islands.

I like the varied mix-up of the Caribbean. French, English, Spanish, Dutch, American, and more. You can often find different foods, music, and other culture than you've tried before.

Common themes run through all the Caribbean islands. Especially rice and beans.

I'm getting accustomed to Guadeloupe. Still much more acclimatizing to do.

Maintain! :)

It's been quite a year! Less than a full year ago (around eleven months), I left Miami. Since then, I've seen numerous countries in different languages, some of which I didn't even speak beforehand.

It was a difficult feat to get started again on the travel, after becoming accustomed to the comforts of one place. After getting going, one places leads to another.

This upcoming year is looking huge! I plan to see several more countries in the Caribbean, and a large swathe of the mainland Americas.

Also, outside of travel, I've finally gained something approaching a consistent yet flexible job.

Some of my hobby projects are even showing signs of taking off!

Je suis maintenant français : je mange mes baguettes !

Things take a while to develop, with ongoing efforts. Keep on givin

Trying some local fare, a few of the prepared foods (like breads) have disappointed somewhat, while some of the groceries have been delicious.

Now eating at a Lebanese place (of which there are many). Super delicious patties, one with chevre.

Another crab, another chicken.

The sliced bread here tastes different, richer to me.

So far the baguettes have yet to overwhelm me. I prefer Puerto Rican and some other Caribbean breads, which are softer. I've even had better baguettes elsewhere. However, so far I've only tried a few, mostly from supermarkets. I'm now starting a brioched baguette from a boulangerie!

Baguette briochée avec pâté a tartiner de chocolat et noisettes!

Whew! Found a place with wifi. And decent sandwiches, too!

[Ed.: And nice scenery !]

There's a catchy jingle on the radio: "Philosophie! Philosophie!" You know you're in France when...

Un autre jour en Guadeloupe !

More Guadeloupe

Submitted by eagle on Mon, 03/02/2020 - 19:10

Now that I'm here, which was a rush to get to, I'm taking things slowly!

Things came out far differently than expected on my first full day here in Guadeloupe.

Walking into town, went by a bank. It was closed. Extended lunch. I guess we're on Caribbean time here.

Kept walking. Went to a supermarket. Didn't accept American cash (I hadn't exchanged yet). Didn't accept my card.

Also, they told me that it was Carnaval, so shops would all be closing soon.

Went further. Tried a taco place. Weird toppings available.

Other shops were closed.

Went by an open restaurant. Walked in. Small place, Spanish language television. Horse on the French-language menu. I asked if they'd take American cash, they said yes. I asked to charge up my laptop, they showed me an outlet. Oops! The outlets here are different, French-style.

After eating, I asked for change from a twenty. They said there wasn't any change, even though it looked from the menu (and the food) like there should've been plenty. Finally they gave me some, I think they still ripped me off but not a big deal.

Along the way, I ran into a few people with bikes. I offered to buy, some people were willing to sell, but the bikes were too new and expensive for my getting-to-Guadeloupe budget.

Kept walking. Not much open, but street vendors setting up for the event. With the change from the restaurant, I bought some cheese, soda, chips, and a coconut patty.

Rested a bit out of the off-and-on rain.

Carnaval got started!

Music, marching bands, dancing.

Then, went and found a place to camp.

After a solid night's sleep, woke up. Walked by the opening shops. Exchanged cash. Bought some groceries. Bought a travel adapter. Found a place with wifi.

You often have to fail a bunh of times before you make it anywhere.

Let's go!

Guadeloupe

 

 

 

 

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