After leapfrogging my way across the Caribbean from Curacao-Aruba-Miami-Dominican Republic in three days, I finally made it to Guadeloupe on the fourth. The Miami detour was necessitated by the cancellation of a flight and the subsequent suspension of PAWA airlines, an inconvenience that was further exacerbated by a demonstration in the airport in Santo Domingo. A large group of people were making a great deal of noise in the arrival area, thus disturbing exhausted travelers such as my self, and leaving the offending airline unscathed. Combine that with a crappy hotel room, and the perfect day was complete.
By the time I returned to the airport for the last leg of my trip I was pretty much over my nomadic ways. Normally unperturbed by air travel, my patience was used up by Miami. I arrived in Guadeloupe by nightfall, and secured an overpriced cab that took me to a restaurant near the homestay I had booked. Unfortunately the house didn’t have an address, and the number for my host was incorrect. Fortunately, I still had the number for a taxi that knew where my host family lived. I had failed to reach him before my arrival. But fortunately after eating at the restaurant, I reached him by phone, and he supplied me with directions just 150 meters away.
I met Claire who showed me to a clean room with a comfy bed, and I settled into an evening of Netflix.
CENTRE CARIBÉEN DE LANGUES – The next morning, I began a week of French classes with our wonderful Guadeoupéen teacher, Stéphanie, pictured second from the left. She was a ray of sunshine that arrived in our class every day. There were six of us in the class, and I was the only guy and the only American to be found. The classes were a little bit early since I had become used to staying up late in Curaçao so I got a bit bleary eyed from time to time.
CLUB MED – Just about ten minutes from my studio was Club Med Caravelles…..
…..featuring the usual watersports and activities.
The occasional iguana (5 feet long) can be seen crawling past sunbathers on the beach.
This handsome fellow even managed the odd mating dance for a female climbing a coconut tree.
Off to town for lunch and a homemade, hand-cranked coconut sorbet.
NEMO’S GRILL BOATS – This is a delightful concept that I’ve only seen here in Guadeloupe. I think it is meant to appeal to the French love of food surrounding all activities. It’s a round boat with a table and grill in the center.
For 200 euros, a group of six can scoot around eating sausage sandwiches while enjoying the beautiful scenery and turquoise waters. A visit to a reef or two affords the opportunity for some snorkeling as well.
After another tasty lunch, I strolled back toward my apartment only to be interrupted by an irregularity in the sidewalk.
I took a dive, smashing my nose, chipping my tooth, and cutting my lip. I felt a right idiot. Funny how falling feels like flying, for a little while. The lip thing was just shy of stitches. So it’s ibuprofen for the nose, lip and sore shoulder and some awesome French antibacterial, pain-killing spray and a bit of serious chilling until I leave. I’m sure by morning I’ll look like I’ve been in a bar fight.
Life……….one second you’re walking in the sunshine next to the ocean, the next minute you’re face down on the pavement bleeding out of your nose and mouth. I will say this, the people who came to my aid were lovely. Offering cups of water and paper towels.
The fall really rang my bell, and it took me a minute to get back on my feet. Bugger. I did get to use my French medical terminology to cope with a problem in a foreign language. Initially, I was so disoriented that I was incapable of releasing my usual torrent of vile invective which has so often served as a balm for sudden pain.
Stay tuned more of LIFE: The Agony and the Ecstasy.
I’m all done with classes so I can heal up until my flight to Boston. My latest mishap has left me with a little reticence toward this year’s world tour. If I’m already running into troubles, what calamities lay ahead? Then again, perhaps I’ve covered my yearly tumble and dental issue quota in one fell swoop just six weeks into my journey, and its smooth sailing from here on out.
I guess I’ll just have to get back into adventure mode, so there will be plenty of blog material, rendering future, self-destructive exploits unnecessary.
It took nearly two days to get the smile back on my face. As you can see I picked up some new Hugo Boss glasses. I’ve been overdue for a new pair and was in dire need of some sensible retail therapy.
On my way back from town today having regained my positive outlook, I managed to avoid any further chin music from the sidewalk and encountered the old fella who was sitting on the same wall when I hurtled through the air toward him two days before.
We had a hearty laugh about my moment of indignity when I came to a stop bleeding at his feet. A nice dentist has agreed today to take care of my tooth restoration on Friday near my brother’s house in Boston.
Something strange has also transpired. Aside from becoming increasingly clumsy, my vision has improved as of late. It doesn’t make sense, but it should be confirmed when I get an eye test in Tel-Aviv. I’ll keep you posted if I have experienced some sort of medical anomaly.
A couple of groups of French folks indulge in a friendly game of boules. Perhaps, I’ll be allowed to squeeze in a game in before I leave.
Hopefully, my next visit will involve more fun and less falling. As the pain and discomfort fade, I am left only with the memory of the nice group of people who took time out of their day to help me out. Fortunately, I am not in need of my damaged lip to kiss anyone tomorrow on Valentines Day. How’s that for finding a silver lining?
Also, the weather in Boston should be around 50 F during the day so at least I won’t have to suffer for a couple of days. Providence will be a little colder, but I will try and stay indoors. This doesn’t usually happen since I try and skirt unpleasant temperatures in my travels, but a wedding has drawn me into the fray on this occasion and should give me pause to appreciate how good I’ve had it.