Martinique by car


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Central America Caribbean » Martinique
February 16th 2008
Published: February 16th 2008
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This past Monday, we rented a Clio for 43 Euros, split the bill in half with Cheetah II, including the gasoline which was 32 Euros. For those of you coming this way, we have found out there is a company worldwide called interrent.com. This company has cars for 12.99 Euros a day plus gas. The problem is you have to do the reservation 30 days ahead of time. Which for us cruisers represents a problem.
We started our trip to windward, yeah is not a boat, to find Salines. This is where a huge beach is located with a park. The 1st beach we are told is a gay beach, 2nd is a lesbian and 3rd nude.
We did not get out of the car, we actually went to gate, realizing then we had made a wrong turn. We then headed the correct way, whew. Almost immediately we all realized that Martinique has great roads, and wide, not like the English islands. Well marked as well. We stayed on the Coastal Road. Vauclin has this huge college, goes for miles. A well defined channel entry, and a small marina. Sainte Marie, you could bypass it, other than the Rhum Museum is here. The museum is free, and the tasting is free! Pete was driving, so he could not taste, pay backs! It is a private entity, set in a colonial house, it is the Sainte James rum, a traditional square glass bottle. We bought 2 bottles, an aged one and a coconut.
In Trinite, we deviated to the Eastern peninsula, to Tartane. Where we bought lunch at a patisserie. We took it to the beach and sat on the sand had a picnic! We went North after lunch.
In Basse Pointe we were lost into a sand or dirt road, Pete made a U turn, got us out of there. Supposedly you can get to Mt Pelee on this road, but you need 4 wheel traction. So we then took the road going inland, to Morne Rouge, and a sign directed us to another road for Mt Pelee.
Mt Pelee, wow, there is a monitoring station here, a restaurant (I would not want to work here), a 360 degree spectacular view. We could even see Fort the France. This is highest highest point in Martinique.
From here we headed West to St. Pierre. Here we found 30 USA flags boats waiting on weather for crossing to Dominica. The winds have been bad all over the area, not just this island. And the seas 10 to 15 footers with a chop on top. We expect to move our boat to this town Friday or Saturday of this week, we are told there is a big laundromat there, we have 3 1/2 weeks of laundry plus T & J sheets and towels. The French really know how to check you in and out fast. There are some internet cafe's through the island, hook up to their office, where you just sign in or out. They do not stamp your passport, matter of fact, didn't even look at it, only the documentation for Paper Moon, which is in order, as I made sure I had 2008 before leaving the US, as well as dinghy registration.
Headed South on the West Coast, we encountered "RUSH TRAFFIC", can you imagine, wall to wall cars in 4 lane road. It was awful. We arrived in St. Annne, where we parked the car half on sidewalk other half on street. The night view of Fort the France is spectacular, no pics though, we were out of batteries on the cameras and don't believe it would have capture the vivid scene.
I didn't tell you but this island has cattle in quantity! Mainly Bramas (sp?).
In Marin, there are several grocery stores, our favorite is Champions. They have the best persil (parsley) and basil, all fresh, will last up to 2 weeks in seal plastic bag in fridge.
Several of us got together last week, the cruisers found out I could make Paella. Can you imagine making this in a 2 small burner stove? (Mike Morton licking his chops just thinking about it). I made it! We all shared into the cost of it. We had made a list, and the cruisers came by with their share. I had some boil the chicken and pull it apart. It turn out really well, I was so scared. I had no Vigo, but I had saffron, kind you have to "rayar".
Last week there was something going around, hit you like a ton of bricks. I ended up with it, sort of the flu. Head cold, aching bones ( some hurt all the time now days, hard to differentiate), fever. I spent 2 days in bed. We had 10 boats down with it at the same time. I went on antibiotics. Much better now. Jane came down with it yesterday. Seems to hit the women more than the men.

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7th June 2008

Hiring a Car is essential
We've just spent six months in Martinique. If you come to Martinique you MUST rent a car. Martinique is nothing like St Lucia and the other English islands. Public transport is not recommended, like the rest of the Caribbean and the taxis are expensive. I agree, driving in Martinique is a pleasure by Caribbean standards. In fact it is just like driving in France. For information on driving in Martinique and a list of car hire firms list website was useful: http://www.discover-martinique.co.uk.html

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