Martinique – Chateau Dubuc, Habitation Clément and the Beach
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is our first destination.
Shortly before we get into Fort de France we turn right. To our left the pointed peaks of the small mountain range Pitons du Carbet can be seen. Unfortunately, the clouds hang low and the mountain peaks are not visible. Through St. Joseph and Gros-Morne we drive at La Trinité to the peninsula La Caravelle. Gentle hills always leave a view of now quite lonely and empty beaches with white sand. Here, in Beauséjour some restaurants and cafes are still open.
Our destination is the
at Caravelle Nature Reserve. It seems as if the road suddenly ends at a parking lot. We drive to the end, where an open barrier allows a further ride on the gravel road.
We try our luck and slowly bypass the countless holes. Suddenly a red crab crosses the dust-dry road. What is it doing here? A school bus comes from the front. Now we have no doubt that we can still drive further on.
After a few minutes we reach another, already well filled parkinglot. Here the end of the road has finally been reached. From here, the road goes downhill to the Chateau Dubuc and two hiking trails start here as well. A moderate path to the mangroves of about one hour and another for which five hours are estimated.
First, we’ll set off for Chateau Dubuc. It is an old complex of a manor house, with cistern, farm buildings and a huge sugar cane press and Rum Distillery. However, there are only ruins left of the buildings. With audio guides in French or English you can find out everything about Chateau Dubuc. Hard to believe what they did to the slaves at that time. Without them, it would not have been possible to process the huge sugar cane plantations here in the Caribbean.
It’s incredibly hot here on this bare hill, the air seems not to move at all. The view over the bay is good. No wonder this location was chosen at the time. Enemies could be easily identified, and the rum barrels could be loaded onto ships via a jetty through the mangroves. Actually, we wanted to do the short hike through the Mangroves, but today I do not cope well with the humid heat. So back to the car, we drink almost warm water and open up all the windows. The air conditioning in this totally dented Dacia Sandero does not work properly, the natural air conditioning is really more effective.
Hardly on our way, all the locks of the sky open again. It pours. We drive through countless narrow curves to Habitation Clément, a historic rum distillery with a beautifully landscaped garden.
Again we get such an electronic helper, which explains to us in English the history of this property. Of course, also the somewhat strange art installations in the park, as I sometimes think. The plants are described on notice boards.
The whole plant shows the distillation process very clearly and it was still used until late in the 20th century. Old machines can be found finely cleaned outside. At the end of the well about 90-minute tour you can taste various types of rum.
We have enough for today and are going back. We stroll to the small harbor, which is situated not far behind our hotel. The passenger boat departs for Fort de France. On the other side of the headland there are few small sandy bays where you can bathe well and watch the little white crabs mooring their underground passages.
A fantastic sunset spot is the restaurant “Le Soleil Chouchant”,where we have a well-cooled wine, while having our feet in the sun-warmed sand, eat really well and admire the play of colours of the setting sun.
Another interesting day is over.
Saturday is the day we board the catamaran to explore the island world of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Until then, however, we will have to spend some more hours until the early evening.
What to do? We simply have a beach day at one of the most beautiful beaches of Martinique, the
Grande Anse des Salines
Parking is possible along the road directly on the mile-long, white, fine sandy beach. Here comes the right Caribbean feeling! Turquoise blue sea, white beach, shining sun and palm trees and mangroves under which we find shade. Simply gorgeous!
In the evening we go on board the catamaran Marlena with two other German couples. We are cordially welcomed by our “crazy captain Yves”, as he introduces himself and the good soul on board, the cook Magalie.