Wind Surfing

On Tuesday, July 7th, Jill wanted to go wind surfing.  MJ thought it was going to be to hard to learn, but since we were at the beach and Jill was going, MJ joined her.

MJ of course had to translate the instructions from French to English for Jill.

 

But they both ended up getting on the boards.  The first 30 minutes were spent learning to balance on the board and lift the sail out of the water. They quickly got the hang of it and were able to sail away from the beach.

 

McDonald’s

On our way to Parc National de la Guadeloupe, MJ spotted a McDonald’s.

I was quickly over ruled and forced to stop.

Surprisingly the cheeseburger was really good.  Apparently a lot of the ingredients are locally grown on the island.  The cheeseburger had a real slice of tomato and onion.  The roll was not the life-less doughy garbage you get in the US.  Instead it had flavor, it was also square shaped.

Parc National de la Guadeloupe

Monday, July 6th, we visited the national park on Basse Terre island.  The national park contains an active volcano, some thermal vents and the Carbet waterfalls.  The Carbet waterfalls consists of three distinct falls that have drops of 410′, 360′ and 66′.  Pictured to the left are the first two waterfalls.

The actual volcano is not reachable by the general public.  The thermal vents can be reached by a very arduous trail from the other side of the park.

The hike from this vantage point to the lower falls was 30min.  To get the the upper falls was an additional 1 1/2 hour hike.  The hike into the lower falls had steep terrain.

As we hiked to the lower falls, the kids decided to take a brief swim in one of the many pools.  The water was very cool relief from the 90 degree heat and 74% humidity.

The drive to the starting point of the hike was an adventure all by itself. The road was considered a two lane road, but was wide enough for one small European styled car.  It was windy and very steep.  At several points I had to floor the gas and ride the clutch to get the car to move up some of the steep grades.  Adding to the adventure, there was really no signs pointing the way, no guard rails and several hair pin turns that turned everyone’s knuckles white.

Really love the new Camera

d5500For the Guadeloupe trip, I bought a new Nikon D5500 camera.  Our old camera was a Nikon Coolpix 5400 that was 12 years old, 5mb pixel camera.  The D5500 is a 24mb pixel with two lenses.  The primary lens is a 18-55mm Nikkor DX.  The zoom lens is a 55-300mm Nikkor DX.  This is a big upgrade from the old coolpix, which served us well.

The new camera has a built-in wifi feature that allows a smartphone to connect to it.  From the smart phone you can view the images on the camera and you can trigger the shutter.  Remotely triggering the shutter is great for taking long exposure photos.

I took this picture of the moon from our balcony on Sunday night.  Using the 18-55mm lens set to a focal length of 24mm.  The aperture was set to f/3.5, the shutter speed was set to 2 seconds and the ISO was set to 1600.  I used a tripod and the remote trigger from my smartphone.

 

I took a similar picture on Friday night without the moon. I used the 18-55mm lens set to 24mm.  The aperature was set to f/3.5, shutter speed was 5 seconds and the ISO set to 400.  I also used a Cokin 8 point star filter to add the starburst effect.

 

 

St Anne and St Francois

On Sunday we toured the towns of St Anne and St Francois.  The towns are about 20km apart and both are on the ocean.  We also drove out to the tip of Grand Terre island, Pointe des Chateaux.

St Anne is a small but up beat town.  The main street has plenty of shoppes and street vendors.  There are plenty of places to eat.  The food is a combination of traditional french cuisine and creole.

 

Streets of St Anne:

St Francois is a sleepy town with minimal shopping. The food in St Francois is outstanding.  The center of St Francois is the harbor.

Ask for the check???

Our first night we went out for dinner.  Cathy and I do not speak French.  However MJ is able to hold a brief conversation and Jill knows a few words.  Never realized how bad the language gap would be.  I figured they would speak some English.  Nope.  Notta.

We ate at a restaurant, Kamate, just outside the resort.  Dinner was excellent.

After dinner Cathy and Jill went back up to the room while MJ and I finished our drinks.

I asked MJ to get the check.  He spoke to the waitress asking for the check.   The waitress looked at him weird and asked him his age.  He told her that he was 19, but he was asking for me because I didn’t speak French.

The bartender walks over to the table about 5 minutes later.  He hands me a double shot glass.  I look at MJ and asked him what did he request.  He says he asked for the check.  “Obviously not” was my response.

At first the smell reminded me of a single malted scotch.  I’m thinking this could cost me anywhere from $8 to $30 depending on the scotch he ordered.  As I tasted the drink, it was very smooth.  I started to get worried that this could be a after dinner cognac and it could be more than the $30.

I drank 1/2 of the drink.  MJ finished the remaining 1/2.  Yes, the drinking age is 18 in Guadeloupe, so MJ could legally drink.

After we finished are surprise drink, I walked up to the bar to speak to the bartender who could speak some english.  As I paid the bill, I found out that the shot MJ ordered was a $6 Jack Daniels.  Whew.

We are still not 100% sure how the waitress thought we wanted a shot of Jack Daniels instead of the check, but the next day we did make sure to find out the correct way to request the bill.