S/V Delilah

A Blog to track the wanderings of the S/V Delilah, a 37-foot Tayana sailboat.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Volcano? What Volcano?

Saturday, January 6
Anse Mitan, Martinique

Thursday and Friday we dug deep into our pockets to bankroll a two-day car rental and "see" Martinique. Normally when we go ashore, we spend most of our time within walking distance of the anchorage. That works just fine on small islands, which are frequently only a mile long anyway. Some of the bigger islands, like Grenada and Trinidad had fantastic, if death defying, public transportation systems.

Martinique is one of the largest islands in the Windwards, with one of the worst public transportation systems. As I have been enjoying our hikes along the St. Anne shoreline so much, and since there is a great big volcano on the northern part of the island with, we were told, a fabulous hike up to the crater, we felt it was worth the money to drive up there.

There is something about the combination of the French road system, a compact European car, and narrow, winding roads that brings out the Jacques Villeneuve in Dean. We had been warned about the "traffic jams" in Martinique, and about the "terrible congestion" in its capital city, Fort de France. But after living beside the big dig for more than a decade, we laughed at these minor impediments. And once we got into the more steep and rural part of the country, Dean put on his driving gloves and zipped us up Mt. Pelee in no time.

The hike itself reminded me quite a bit of our honeymoon trip to a remote portion of the Great Wall: steep, muddy, and viewable only ten feet at a time, on account of the thick clouds converging at the peak. The plant life on either side of the trail was certainly beautiful, but anyone reading this blog has as good a sense as I do now of what the crater from the early twentieth century eruptions of Mt. Pelee might look like. We also forgot to charge our digital camera, so we can't even show you pictures of what we didn't see.

Shortly after we began our descent, I discovered that my light rain jacket is no longer waterproof in a downpour, and that my flip flops, though made by Merrell, really aren't up to steep hikes along rocky terrain.

Then, as we passed the halfway mark on the trail, the rain stopped and the thick clouds just disappeared. What had been a wall of white turned into a spectacular view of the southern half of Martinique, including both the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea.


Post a Comment

<< Home