Pointe-a- Pitre, Guadeloupe

Published: July 14th 2015
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Pointe-à-Pitre (P à P) is the largest city of Guadeloupe, an overseas region and department of France, located in the Lesser Antilles, of which it is a sous-prefecture, being the seat of the Arrondissement of Pointe-à-Pitre. Although Pointe-à-Pitre is not Guadeloupe's administrative capital (that distinction goes to Basse-Terre), it is nonetheless the region's largest city and economic capital. In 1999, it had a population of 171,773 inhabitants in its urban area, of whom 17,541 lived in the city (commune) of Pointe-à-Pitre proper. The inhabitants are called "Pointois. We arrived early on a Tuesday morning with a clear plan as to what to do, i.e. post blogs first, stock up on supplies and see what we could with the rest of the day, given we were leaving early evening.

The run in to P à P was pleasant enough but we found one cruise ship already docked, but with sufficient area in the Cruise terminal to cause no bother. As in all the French territories, this was clean efficient and modern and gave straight out on to the compact central area. We found a cyber cafe quickly enough but although we knew there were different, additional letters on a French keyboard did not realize it was not 'qwerty', with 'a' on the top line and 'm' on the middle line plus a few more differences, including numbers and full stops in upper case. This slowed considerably the cyber work and we needed an hour because M managed to lock herself out of a bank account!

After, went for an amble round town and thought about lunch out, but it was not cheap so we went back to the boat. On the way back we discovered a joke shop (good for theme nights) and later a number of others. We tried to rent a car - they were remarkably cheap to rent - but there were none left. With another couple we took a cab for a tour - they all seem to be standard itineraries - which took us to a waterfall on Basses Terre and a beach on Grand Terre over a two and a half hour period. The waterfall was OK but nothing special, although the rain forest was. We went up a fairly high hill for good views of P à P and onwards along excellent dual carriageway roads to a flash hotel complex - rooms over £100 per night - where we had a swim on a clean and pleasant beach before returning to town. More shopping at the joke shop and a couple of star buys for M - a linen dress for under a tenner and two black dresses for £2 apiece. Unfortunately, one will have to do some slimming before it can be worn. Finally, a quick shop at the supermarket for French wine at French prices and back to the boat.

We spent the evening at the regulation Caribbean Deck Party which was much the same as the E-W one. We could, at least, reuse our outfits. It was a good night.

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