It’s 2017 and I still want to write one final post about Guadeloupe. I saved the best for last: our trip to Petite Terre. When I heard about the island I was sold on turtles and lemon sharks. The young ones like to hang out in the shallow water of Petite Terre. They are small and harmless. Even the grown ones that don’t come close to the shore are not considered dangerous. The name comes from their colour – they blend in well with the sand.
As the name suggests Petite Terre is a very small island. Actually it’s two islands: Basse Terre and Haute Terre, again named not after their topography but their position relative to the wind. They have been declared a nature reserve and one of the islands is closed compeltely for visitors. Turtles lay their eggs on the beach and they understandably don’t want tourists walking all over them.
The second island can be visited by up to 200 people per day. Which tour operators go there is well regulated. We went by catamaran and snorkelled onto the island while the dinghi took our bags.
The island is uninhabited. There used to be lighthouse keepers, but that’s all automated now. With the supplies for the lighthouse rats were imported to the island. Other than that, there are no land mammals.
We also saw a big hermit crab, which I learned is called bernard l’hermite in French. And fish, or course, we saw lots of fish. After almost two weeks of avoiding it, I managed to get a sunburn. It was on the back of my legs of course and complemented my mosquito bite scratches nicely. After these two weeks I also finally got to grips with the mask and snorkel, just in time to forget again until the next holiday. Next time, I might just shell out for the full face mask we saw everywhere. It looks ridiculous but apparently it’s easier to deal with. A friend who knows France just nodded and said “Decathlon” knowingly. It’s the Intersport or France, I believe.
We went on the trip on Saturday. Suddenly it was only one day left before we had to return.