Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Hiking Around the Peninsula

Nice shore-side spot for lunch

Is this a cute little beach restaurant or what?
LOADS of fiddler crabs in the mud
   We love hiking, and have done to little of it lately. We made up for it by hiking around the peninsula where St. Anne is located. First we stopped in the village and picked up a little pizza-bread with tomato sauce and pepperoni inside (kind of a French version of a calzone), then started south along the road. The paved road ended just beyond a small resort (we’re actually anchored off of this resort, but had dinghyed into St. Anne to start from there), and the dirt trail began. It followed the shore for much of the way, passing by fields of cows and through the woods.  The azure waters glimpsed through the trees was gorgeous, and we ate a shore-side picnic table. We passed a couple of beaches, one of them Gros Anse des Salines, a beautiful palm-lined stretch of white sand. It was crowded with cars along the little dirt road, and people on the beach and at the tables of the casual little open-air restaurants under the trees. We stopped for a cold drink before continuing on. At the far end of the beach, we walked on a boardwalk out over the Etang de Sardines (a salt pond), which was pretty arid now at the end of the dry season. The mud flats had dried and cracked into blocks, around which hundreds of fiddler crabs were feeding, popping into the water-filled cracks when we got too close. Continuing on our walk, we passed through a small campground, and stopped at one of the open-air showers to re-fill our water bottle and wet down our clothing, because we were pretty warm by now. One of the most interesting sites was the Savane des Pétrifications, a desolate patch of terrain sandwiched between foliage-packed areas. It was quite a juxtaposition, but we’ve seen similar areas during walks on other islands, such as Bequia, that look as though they’re just red volcanic rock and dirt with no good overlying soil. The shore-side portion of our hike ended at Anse Trabaud.  From here we walked the dirt road between fields and over hills straight across the peninsula back to St. Anne. At the intersection of the dirt road and paved highway was an archaeological dig. I took a picture of the sign describing the site, but I haven’t translated it yet. The last kilometer on hot pavement was uncomfortable, and we were pretty hot and tired by the time we got back to the dinghy.  Back at the boat, about six hours after we had left, we had a nice swim to cool off. A good day!
Bleak terrain of Savane des Pétrifications
Homeward bound past the fields and hills

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