Making New Friends and Memories on the Butterfly Island

Death in Paradise is filming around town, including on our very own Chemin de Bornave and at nearby Plage Leroux earlier this week.  Danny John-Jules a/k/a Dwayne Meyers told us that when DIP first starting filming in Deshaies, there were almost no boats moored in the harbor. Now, you are lucky to find a free mooring ball!

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Deshaies Harbor
We continue to make friends with the warm, welcoming and friendly people of Guadeloupe.

At our favorite breakfast spot, Kote Lagon, at Plage Grande Anse with Franky, JP and kids.

At Kaz a Pat with Pat, Cindy, David and families!

At Franky’s salon, Myster Coiff.

Visiting JP’s soon to be farm-to-table hydroponic farm in the Hauts de Bornave.

Our sleepy village of Ferry is a short drive to the town of Deshaies, which is larger, more lively and a little touristy (although still not very touristy).  Businesses shut down during siesta and at other random times (regardless of posted hours).  Owners often take long vacations when their businesses close for a month or more. These people have the concept of balancing work and pleasure down to a fine art.

Village of Ferry, above

Village of Deshaies, above

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Bay of Deshaies
We are asked often about the shopping options on the island.  For specialty items (which means just about everything other than groceries), we drive to the industrial zone of Jarry (about a 30 to 45 minute drive depending on how many sugar cane transport trucks you get behind) and for groceries, there are options near and far.  Begonia is a small family run market in Ferry within walking distance and two larger markets, Spar and Express Market, are located in Deshaies.  There are various fruit and vegetable stands and we still rely on the daily fresh fish market a few minute’s drive away. For major grocery shopping, we drive to Super U in Sainte-Rose (15 minute drive) or Carrefour in Petit Bourg (30 minute drive).  While we have found whatever we need, it’s still nice to dig into a jar of Trader Joe’s natural peanut butter, enjoy some Corn Chex cereal, or grind some fresh coffee beans that we bring from the states. High quality furniture that is not modern has been difficult to find, so we scour Le Boncoin each morning for little gems and are having some pieces custom made.

Begonia Market, Ferry

Spar Market, Deshaies

Progress on the pool continues as Kléber and his team bend and shape rebar by hand and mix concrete to construct a foundation for the future travertine deck.  With the numerous holidays in France, the pool is moving along a bit more slowly than we had hoped.  But, as you know, we are on island time because everyone around us is on island time.  Bob and I each received an official notice in the mail instructing us to  travel to the adjacent island at a certain time for an x-ray and medical exam per immigration requirements.  We showed up on time at the Polyclinique de la Guadalupe yesterday (even after getting lost). We waited a while outside the radiology check-in counter before being told that our vaccination printouts from the U.S. would not suffice and that we needed to go the Institute Pasteur for a carnet de vaccination. We sauntered over to the institute and waited with our ticket for an hour.  When our number was called and we approached the counter, the lady in front of us pulled out four needles and syringes to vaccinate us.  In a panic, we quickly whipped out our paper printouts with a list of our vaccinations and, to our relief, she said that our papers sufficed. So, back to the X-ray department we went to hobnob with the 20 other people who all had the same appointment time.  Our name was called, but we were again told to go back for vaccines.  By the time we made it back to the institute, it was closed.  So, we bailed on our government mandated medical appointment, hopped into our pickup and drove to our favorite Vietnamese restaurant in Jarry knowing the day will repeat itself soon.  I’m not going to even speculate as to what vaccinations were in those four syringes.

Brynn completed her final dive and course work with Cor and is now a certified Junior Open Water Diver!  And, unbelievably (or rather, believably), I crashed the car for the third time.  Cor gave me the name of someone local named Isbert who could fix the dent, but he didn’t have a telephone number, so drew me a little map.  Three minutes later, while waiting next to the Baillargent Marina as Brynn took her final scuba exam, a dapper gentleman inquired about the vehicle damage.  I asked if he knew Isbert and it turned out that he did indeed…Isbert was his nephew! He gave Isbert a call and I followed the nice man to Isbert’s home turned auto repair shop and we discussed the transaction.  I pick up the paint and supplies in St. Rose and for 200 euros he will fix and paint the car in one day. He drew me a little map of the location of the paint shop in St. Rose as he had no name or number and, voila, the problem is almost solved.

Brynn’s scuba class with dive instructor, Cor, at his dive shop in Baillargent

*Dive photos courtesy of Cor De Munnik of Les Baillantes Tortues Dive Center

Isbert’s body shop
As for other news, Brynn is now a member of the St Rose Tennis Club and Bob continues to bond with Roux.

Sainte Rose Tennis Club

Bob bonding with Mademoiselle Rocher Leroux

We were also asked by OFX (formerly US Forex) if the company could do a marketing piece on us as we continue to use OFX for the transfer of money to benefit from better foreign exchange rates.  Below are some photos taken for the piece.

OFX Photos

Random photos of a great little Creole restaurant called Au Bord de la Mer in Petit Bourg recommended by Sandie of S’prit Brico, who is making us a daybed/trundle out of wood planks. It should be ready for pick up in a month. 



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