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Cacao beans drying

A Chocolate Museum

After all the attention to my renunciation, it’s time to return to our regularly-scheduled programming. I wrote this soon after I was in Guadeloupe last April, but somehow it got lost in the shuffle and I never posted it. Better late than never, right? Just seeing the bright hand-painted sign above the entrance to La…

the purple and blue painted exterior of Kreol West Indies

Kreol West Indies: a new concept

On my last day in Guadeloupe, I stumbled upon a special little museum. I was on my way to the easternmost tip of Grande-Terre, the eastern “wing” of the butterfly that makes up Guadeloupe’s main island. Called Pointe des Chateaux, it’s a windblown, craggy place. On the way, I noticed a brightly-colored building, only catching…

a solo travel selfie taken on a boat

Solo travel so far

My trip to the Caribbean last month was my first solo trip. When I talk about solo travel, I’m not talking about when I fly somewhere to lead a workshop and then have a day free to explore whatever city I find myself in. I’m not talking about when I go somewhere to visit friends…

sunset view framed by palm trees on Guadeloupe

Random Thoughts on Guadeloupe

I explained in an earlier post why I chose Guadeloupe for my sabbatical travels, but apart from that decision, I didn’t know much about the place. I knew that it was French: not just that it’s a former French colony but that it’s still part of France. They even use the euro as their currency. I…

view of a whale's tail sticking out of the water in the distance on my Martinique boat trip

4 Snorkeling Trip Surprises

Sometimes an ordinary activity you’d do on any vacation can turn into something special. On my recent trip in the Caribbean, I took two snorkeling trips, one in Guadeloupe and one in Martinique. I like snorkeling from a boat, since it usually means fewer people and better sights. All I expected was a pleasant, relaxed morning…

a clearer rock carving in Guadeloupe

Guadeloupe’s Ancient Rock Art

There’s not much left to show that the Arawaks ever lived on Guadeloupe. And it’s not completely clear what happened to them. One story is that they were all wiped out by the Caribs, who arrived in the 15th century. Another is that they coexisted with the Caribs, but not for long, since Columbus arrived…

photo of the Rum Museum building

The Rum Museum: another quirky one!

I posted before about Guadeloupe’s quirky banana museum. Well, that wasn’t the only quirky museum I found there. The Musée du Rhum, or Rum Museum, is another one of those small museums filled with odd, disconnected collections of objects. But first, a disclosure: I was given free admission (normally 6 euros) in exchange for writing this…

view of La Soufriere volcano, topped with clouds

Climbing La Soufrière Volcano

(Nederlands vertaling beneden) As you might have guessed from my description of walking to Le Carbet waterfall #2, I’m not much for walking or hiking. It’s not that I don’t enjoy a pretty view or like to catch sight of a pretty bird or waterfall. I do. It’s just that I’m terribly out of shape,…

view of Deshaies seen from a hill above, as used in the starting credits of "Death in Paradise"

The Paradise in “Death in Paradise”: Deshaies

Visiting Deshaies was a bit surreal for me. Have you ever visited a theme park? Disney’s Main Street, for example, or Harry Potter studio, where the designers do their best to create a feeling that you’ve been transported to another place or time: a place or time you already know well? That’s how I felt…