Thursday, 2 April 2009

Plage du Bois Jolan

Sunday saw us out for a West Indian speciality - church on the beach! I was particularly looking forward to it as we were visiting a new beach for me, just a bit further on from our favourite of Sainte Anne.
I asked Bertie en route why he had never taken me there before and he shrugged and replied that it was just a flat beach. Well! Try telling that to half the Guadeloupean population and tourists alike who were there en masse that day! As we drove along off-road looking for a parking space (this is one of the few beaches where you don't park right next to where you swim) I was amazed at how long the beach was and how many cars there were already there. We were at the very far end where it was much quieter, but otherwise every single (and there were several) little picnic area had been taken over by huge groups equipped with tables, chairs, even electric motors and sound systems! These people take their Sunday picnic seriously!

This beach is particularly famous because at Easter it is where everyone goes for four days to camp, and the areas were already marked off and reserved. It looks like it would be quite an event, but not one I am desperate to experience as it must be manic. In fact, I would like to see the beach in the week when it is a bit quieter.

The other thing that struck me about Bois Jolan is that it is the nearest thing to a European beach that I have seen here. Yes, I can imagine that isn't the first thing on your mind as you look at these pictures of golden sand and coconut trees! But what I mean is it was long (usually they are pretty short) and the distance out to the sea was also long (usually the sand is a tiny strip and the sea straight away). In fact, as I went for a long walk along the beach with LissaLou (that in itself is an unusual thing) it felt just like walking along West Sands in St Andrews! Well, almost! LissaLou was delighted to enjoy her Mum's exclusive attention, asking if I had invited her along so we could chat together!
We were rather late so missed a lot of the service but enjoyed the picnicking (our quiche was meagre compared to the canaris (huge pots) of rice and meat that were brought out! Happily there was plenty to share. Especially as JoJo turned his nose up at ours and headed for the rice!)As I have said before, people are so well equipped here, with table and chairs and table cloths and everything you could possibly need! (One person told me her friend's church always brings a portable loo - now there's an idea....I hate bushes!)
Afterwards we took the girls and JoJo into the chilly sea. Whilst the main sea with fierce waves is very far out, there is a huge expanse of shallower water that was perfect for the children - at least, till I was warned about the ursin that inhabit it and give fierce stings! There were also bits of sand in it great for playing on.
The folk separated into their usual men and women groups, the one chatting, the other enjoying the Guadeloupean past time of dominoes. Bertie and his friend disappeared to try and find bernard l'hermitte for their fishing expedition this week but came back empty handed. As we finally left at dusk, there were still plenty on the beach and the party with the traditional gwo ka music was only just getting started...

Pictures from our walk - our picnic spot was right at the far end
And this picture really doesn't show how far on the beach went in the other directionI was fascinated by this coconut tree which had started life on a slant and then suddenly one day decided to grow straight!And just look at all the roots it takes to keep one of these standing! Amazing.

1 comment:

APE said...

Our expedition was qiute a funny one as we spent at least an hour looking for "soudas" for fishing and did not find a single one. Yesterday afternoon one of my brothers brought me a bucket full of them that he found early in the morning just to shame me and my friend!