Finding paradise

It began as a bit of a joke…one day after work my friends found a deal on a holiday app for flights from Paris to the french territory of Guadeloupe in the Caribbean for next to nothing…. The gamble? It was in the midst of hurricane season.

Worth the chance? Absolutely.

Paradise

The Caribbean, the stuff of bikini model shoots and beach boy songs was not a place I ever thought I would get to. But I will forever be grateful that I did. Spoilt as a kiwi with New Zealand’s stunning landscape. I’ve found it hard to find places that capture my heart –  particularly when it comes to ocean locations. Guadeloupe however was everything I hoped for… from deserted beaches to soaring mountains it felt like home, but with Carribbean sunshine and culture. Pure Paradise!

We stayed on the main island down the end called Basse-Terre, which is the mountainous end of Guadeloupe. Perched on the side of the hill we found an Air BnB that had an infinity pool that looked over the ocean. The pros were the incredible sunsets and endless sun we enjoyed. The cons were that our very cheap 1.5L cars couldn’t make it up the steep hill with humans inside which made for a daily dilemma of hunger/adventure wishes vs fitness.

Paradise

The island itself is awesome… as if designed by poets, the island looks like the wings of a butterfly, joined together by just a couple of bridges and a mangrove swamp. The popular end is called Grande-Terre. Which has the classic white sand turquoise water offerings that we think of with the Carribean. If you’re looking for a sedate and safe place of beauty then it’s worth a visit.

More exciting for me though was the local choices of beaches. A highlight was getting caught in a huge deluge of rain whilst walking alongside the ocean. The beach was deserted, the palm trees were swaying and the rain drops were extra big and ploppy. (I realise that’s a weird descriptor for rain, but it was quite fun being rained on for once!). We had the entire beautiful beach to just us, and with the warmth of the water and the laughter of good friends it really was a great moment.

Paradise

We were lucky with the weather…no hurricanes crossed our path other than one night of electrical storms which were more thrilling than disappointing. If you love fish and mojitos like I do then get down to the local markets and enjoy copious amounts of fresh tuna and any rum type you’ve dreamt of.

If you’re contemplating this trip from Europe (or the rest of the world), I can’t recommend it enough. We flew paris-Guadeloupe catching the Eurostar from London. As a french territory it is part of the EU and so classed as an internal flight… so if you time it right then you too can share in the magic.



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