Martinique, French Antilles

The Armpit Baguette Caribbean

Cap 110
Visitor examines the memorial Cap 110 to slavery, erected 150 years after its abolition.
bay of boats
Countless small boats take advantage of the calm provided by an inlet in the south of Martinique.
look suspicious
One of the brave elderly people of the Grande Anse d'Arlets, averse to having his photographs taken for fear of the unwanted and unpaid fame of tourist postcards.
H. Clement
Building of Habitation Clément, a famous historical rum producer.
In search of freshness
Coconut trees lean over the Caribbean Sea on one of Martinique's countless beaches.
rum and more rum
Large vats from the Habitatión Clément rum distillery.
nautical works
A resident of Anse d'Arlet engaged in a job by the sea.
Residents share the long jetty of Anse d'Arlet.
Forest path
Couple walks along an elevated walkway between trees.
Martiniquean seafood
Cook finishes a Creole-style seafood pan from Martinique.
solitary walk
Nativo walks along a street flanked by old wooden houses.
Green scenery of eastern Martinique.
Volcanic Anse
Black sand beach of one of the volcanic anses.
Almost in Anse Caffard
Car travels along a steep forested road towards Anse Caffard.
Lamentin Church
Residents in front of a picturesque and pointed church.
Le Diamant
Sailboat sails in front of the Diamant rock.
Beech marten
Fishermen off Anse d'Arlet.
Maison du Bagnard
Visitors take a look at Maison du Bagnard, in the vicinity of the Cap110 monument.
Hello Kitty Beach
Bather on a beach in the north of the island of Martinique.
Island beach
Families rest on Martinique's quiet sea beach.
We move around Martinique as freely as the Euro and the tricolor flags fly supreme. But this piece of France is volcanic and lush. Lies in the insular heart of the Americas and has a delicious taste of Africa.

Traditional fishing takes place in the Grande Anse d'Anses-d'Arlets, one of the many jagged coves in Martinique.

A small audience joins intrigued by the unorthodox methods of the task. Fishermen on a small boat drop a net into the water which they mold into a circle.

Thus, they imprison countless fish than one other, equipped with snorkeling dips to fix and capture.

The cove from which we enjoy the scene is also a small haven. Entire families of meters (French from the metropolis) occupy the end of the longest pier or follow the action from the deck of their sailboats.

Some are from Nantes, others from Marseilles and still others from Corsica.

They share the privilege of traveling with the winds.

Martinique island, French Antilles, Caribbean Natural marina

Countless small boats take advantage of the calm provided by an inlet in the south of Martinique

They make long stopovers at Départements and regions d'outre-mer.

The Colonization without Return of the Békés

Throughout the colonial history of the Antilles, many of these adventurous families arrived in Martinique and neighboring Guadalupe where they encountered a cozy atmosphere and exceptional business opportunities and living conditions.

They have not returned. They settled, occupied land, bought slaves and got rich by exporting sugar and rum.

Martinique island, French Antilles, Caribbean, Rum vats from Clement housing

Large vats from the Habitatión Clément rum distillery.

They became known as Békés, a term with a controversial genesis. So much can come from the expression "eh bé qué?" that the first settlers adapted from “eh bien quois?”, as in the title “whites docks” (white of the docks, because the settlers control all the goods) or in the acronym BK, created to abbreviate “White Kreyol".

Whichever the real version, the Békés now constitute a tiny part of the population of Martinique (3000 out of almost 400.000 inhabitants). Even if only a few retain the status of big bosses, their “class” owns several of the most profitable companies.

They are the peaceful and regional and metropolis governments are the usual suspects whenever the cost of living on the island becomes unbearable, something that the population is used to seeing in the prices charged in many supermarkets, hypermarkets and large-scale stores in Martinique and "exported" from metropolis, cases of Carrefour, 8 à Huit, Leader Price, among others.

Today, the inhabitants are contesting the inevitable social injustices of a colony with a more than colonial, slave-owning past. They proudly assume African traditions and values, but often their famous finesse in the dialogue and assimilated treatment of the settlers.

As well as other striking expressions of Francophonie, such as the passion for cycling, petanque and others.

And Martinique's Success in the Francophone Sphere

One need only look at the number of important characters with Martiniquean origin or blood representing France – Nicolas Anelka, Abidal, Wiltord, Raphael Varane only in the world of football – to understand the seriousness of the phenomenon.

Conversely, French people who move to Martinique for good, initially just on business or on vacation, end up enjoying countless natural rewards.

Martinique island, French Antilles, Caribbean, family on the beach

Black sand beach of one of the volcanic anses.

The island's irregular coastline hides idyllic coves and deep bays and villages with small colorful colonial churches that open onto long walkways and white or black sands such as those of the Anses d'Arlets, on the coast facing the Caribbean or of the Presqu'ile de la Caravelle, hit by the Atlantic ocean.

These are the beaches and areas of bars and sandy restaurants that the meters occupy, there for the lack of banana trees, under the palms of coconut trees, always equipped with their refrigerators, parasols and entertainment equipment. snorkeling.

Martinique island, French Antilles, Caribbean, tropical beach

Families rest on Martinique's quiet sea beach.

They do it mainly during the holidays in Europe and from December to April, when the rain only falls from time to time.

Discovering the East Coast of Martinique

Somewhere on the east coast, between Le François and Le Robert, we passed a muddy water reservoir surrounded by grass. Without waiting for it, we find a herd of cows circling it in an unhurried line, without the shepherd who had followed in the lead trying to bring order to a stray subgroup.

Ahead, we find a new beach. The scene of families picnicking, playing sports or napping in the shade of the tropical vegetation of the sea is repeated.

Martinique island, French Antilles, Caribbean, Hello Kity beach

Bather on a beach in the north of the island of Martinique.

We still laughed and had fun with the improvised canoeing of a pair sui generis – one of the crew, very small white, the other very bulky black – who, equipped with paddles, does her best to compensate for the lack of sails and engine in the walnut shell in which they were following.

The Long Visit of Paul Gauguin

In a certainly less bathing way, Paul Gauguin proved to be one of the first meters seduced by Martinique. Gauguin gained notoriety thanks to paintings of Tahitian women.

And yet, it was his ancestral Peruvian ties and affinity with South America and the Caribbean that aroused his desire to escape to a wild land.

On the first attempt, he abandoned his native Paris and, in 1887, he wrote to his wife to let him know that he had left for Panama. Shortly thereafter, he was forced to work on the Canal that the French had recently designed and built.

Only some time later did he manage to settle in a cabin in Martinique, ready to paint whatever inspired him most. It was in Martinique that he transferred his first exotic landscapes to canvas and freed himself from the Impressionism of the renowned mentor Pizarro.

Gauguin was enchanted by the volcanic beauty of coves such as Anse Turin, overlooking the fascinating Pelée Mountain which, every now and then, smoked and, 15 years later, would charred Saint Pierre and the people of this village that Gauguin so admired.

view, Saint Pierre, Martinique, French Antilles

Panoramic view of Saint-Pierre at dusk.

Still in 1887, he fell ill.

He was repatriated to the Gallic metropolis where he was convalescing before returning to invest in the fascination of the distant tropics, this time in French Polynesia.

Even so, who knows if the time he spent in Martinique did not trigger the local version of one of the recurrent traumas in the French-speaking world: photophobia.

Caribbean Charm of Successive Anses

Before leaving the Grande Anse d'Anses-d'Arlets we spot two picturesque old men in a quiet conversation between a backyard and the waterfront. We ask if we can photograph them. On that occasion, we received a straightforward response: “No, sorry but no.

My sister once said yes to any tourist. Now it's all over the island's postcards. And what do we gain from it? Nothing!"

A neighbor of this old man proves more open to the idea.

Martinique island, French Antilles, Caribbean, Resident Grande Anse d'Arlets

One of the brave elders of the Grande Anse d'Arlet.

Eras much more ancient than that pair of indignant people represented other injustices, these really difficult to bear and resist, just as, a few kilometers to the south, art and memory force us to reconstitute.

We arrived at Anse Caffard, close to the village of Diamant. There we find the memorial Cap 110 to slavery, erected in 1998, on the 150th anniversary of its abolition.

The sculpture was inspired by the tragic sinking of a slave ship on the treacherous offshore coast, which survived eighty forced passengers, picked up by the foreman of a nearby inn.

Martinique island, French Antilles, Caribbean Monument Cap 110

Visitor examines the Cap 110 memorial to slavery, erected 150 years after its abolition

It aligns its anonymous stone figures, facing the sea and the emblematic rock of the Diamond. Thus, it recalls the last of the shipwrecks of slave ships found in Martinique.

In a way that takes on irony as small sailboats skirt the cliff with the peace and elegance of their recreational class and prepare for moments of peace and leisure.

Martinique island, French Antilles, Caribbean, Le Diamant

Sailboat sails in front of the Diamant rock.

Historical Rivalry with Neighbors Across the Channel

The British had long explored other islands in the Caribbean and showed interest in the Gaul overseas territories. They ended up invading Martinique in 1794. They remained until 1815.

It was a period when local farmers – including the family of Josephine de Beauharnais, the future wife of Napoleon Bonaparte, born on the island – took advantage of the opportunity to circumvent the wave of abolitionism that the French Revolution had generated and in which they sold their sugar in the market. British instead of French.

With the end of the Napoleonic Wars, the British were forced to return Martinique to the original colonists. The French Empire regained its stability. Since then, not only has it not lost the beloved colony of the Antilles, but has integrated it into the sparse and multifaceted territory of the Republic to which the French Revolution gave rise.

Martinique island, French Antilles, Caribbean, green countryside

Green scenery of eastern Martinique.

For the interior, Martinique also has countless elusive charms beyond the Flores that were at the confused genesis of its name. At the beginning of which there is a record, the island was called Jouanacaera-Matinino by the Taino indigenous people of Hispaniola and only Jouanacaera by the Caribs, which meant Iguanas Island.

When Cristovão Colombo returned to it after seeing it for the first time in 1493, he triggered a process of adaptation of the names Madinina, Madiana and Matinite, which led to the current name of Martinique.

Verdant Mountains, Tropical Forest and Sugar Cane Plantations

the mountain range of Pitons of Carbet rises to 1100 meters. It is covered by lush vegetation that, depending on the altitude, has ferns, vines and even forests of bamboo, mahogany and rosewood.

These areas are too bleak for that purpose, but other vast areas of the island are covered with pineapple plantations.

And, above all, sugarcane, its historical production par excellence and the reason for being of countless residential (read farms) which, from the XNUMXth century onwards, processed sugar and distilled rum in industrial quantities, thus ensuring the fortunes of their owners.

Martinique island, French Antilles, Caribbean, H. Clément building

Building of Habitation Clément, a famous historical rum producer.

Today, the real estate and cultural heritage of these properties is part of the island's inalienable heritage. We appreciate it in one of the most emblematic, Clément Domaine de L'Acajou.

We also taste it in attractive street stalls or beachside stands filled with bottles of all colors. More than a Martinique identity, the Planter animates hearts and brings differences closer together.

Martinique island, French Antilles, Caribbean, pontoon Anse d'Arlet

Residents share the long jetty of Anse d'Arlet.

Delicious Rum in Fashion Planter

Jean-Toti is as fully aware of this as he is of his liar's teeth.

As we taste his fruit rum in search of the most stimulating aromas and flavors, he makes a point of serving us countless mini-shots and feeding a lively cavaqueira.

Martinique island, French Antilles, Caribbean, Planteur rum

Stall full of bottles of planteur rum.

When we finish the round, we have the horrible feeling that we all like everyone equally. “Well, I'll be the one to pick you some bottles, right?

You don't need to tell me more, I'm used to supporting customers in these dramas, especially the newcomers from Europe who land without any resistance to our ointment. By the way, I even have another precious suggestion for you.

Don't go already! Sit down next door. Eat something, send some dips. Enjoy life without inhibitions, there will be few places even in the Caribbean where you will find a two-in-one of the best of ours and yours.”

Saint-Pierre, Martinique

The City that Arose from the Ashes

In 1900, the economic capital of the Antilles was envied for its Parisian sophistication, until the Pelée volcano charred and buried it. More than a century later, Saint-Pierre is still regenerating.
Sainte-Luce, Martinique

The Nostalgic Projectionist

From 1954 to 1983, Gérard Pierre screened many of the famous films arriving in Martinique. 30 years after the closing of the room in which he worked, it was still difficult for this nostalgic native to change his reel.
Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands

Virgin Gorda's Divine "Caribbeans"

Discovering the Virgin Islands, we disembark on a tropical and seductive seaside dotted with huge granite boulders. The Baths seem straight out of the Seychelles but they are one of the most exuberant marine scenery in the Caribbean.
Fort-de-France, Martinique

Freedom, Bipolarity and Tropicality

The capital of Martinique confirms a fascinating Caribbean extension of French territory. There, the relations between the colonists and the natives descended from slaves still give rise to small revolutions.
Guadalupe, French Antilles

Guadeloupe: a Delicious Caribbean, in a Counter Butterfly-Effect

Guadeloupe is shaped like a moth. A trip around this Antille is enough to understand why the population is governed by the motto Pas Ni Problem and raises the minimum of waves, despite the many setbacks.
Soufriere, Saint Lucia

The Great Pyramids of the Antilles

Perched above a lush coastline, the twin peaks Pitons are the hallmark of Saint Lucia. They have become so iconic that they have a place in the highest notes of East Caribbean Dollars. Right next door, residents of the former capital Soufrière know how precious their sight is.
Oviedo Lagoon, Dominican Republic

The (very alive) Dominican Republic Dead Sea

The hypersalinity of the Laguna de Oviedo fluctuates depending on evaporation and water supplied by rain and the flow coming from the neighboring mountain range of Bahoruco. The natives of the region estimate that, as a rule, it has three times the level of sea salt. There, we discover prolific colonies of flamingos and iguanas, among many other species that make up one of the most exuberant ecosystems on the island of Hispaniola.
Samaná PeninsulaLos Haitises National Park Dominican Republic

From the Samaná Peninsula to the Dominican Haitises

In the northeast corner of the Dominican Republic, where Caribbean nature still triumphs, we face an Atlantic much more vigorous than expected in these parts. There we ride on a communal basis to the famous Limón waterfall, cross the bay of Samaná and penetrate the remote and exuberant “land of the mountains” that encloses it.
Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic

The Dominican Home Silver

Puerto Plata resulted from the abandonment of La Isabela, the second attempt at a Hispanic colony in the Americas. Almost half a millennium after Columbus's landing, it inaugurated the nation's inexorable tourist phenomenon. In a lightning passage through the province, we see how the sea, the mountains, the people and the Caribbean sun keep it shining.
hippopotami, chobe national park, botswana
Chobe NP, Botswana

Chobe: A River on the Border of Life with Death

Chobe marks the divide between Botswana and three of its neighboring countries, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Namibia. But its capricious bed has a far more crucial function than this political delimitation.
Hikers on the Ice Lake Trail, Annapurna Circuit, Nepal
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit: 7th - Braga - Ice Lake, Nepal

Annapurna Circuit – The Painful Acclimatization of the Ice Lake

On the way up to the Ghyaru village, we had a first and unexpected show of how ecstatic the Annapurna Circuit can be tasted. Nine kilometers later, in Braga, due to the need to acclimatize, we climbed from 3.470m from Braga to 4.600m from Lake Kicho Tal. We only felt some expected tiredness and the increase in the wonder of the Annapurna Mountains.
by the shadow
Architecture & Design
Miami, USA

A Masterpiece of Urban Rehabilitation

At the turn of the 25st century, the Wynwood neighbourhood remained filled with abandoned factories and warehouses and graffiti. Tony Goldman, a shrewd real estate investor, bought more than XNUMX properties and founded a mural park. Much more than honoring graffiti there, Goldman founded the Wynwood Arts District, the great bastion of creativity in Miami.
Tibetan heights, altitude sickness, mountain prevent to treat, travel

Altitude Sickness: the Grievances of Getting Mountain Sick

When traveling, it happens that we find ourselves confronted with the lack of time to explore a place as unmissable as it is high. Medicine and previous experiences with Altitude Evil dictate that we should not risk ascending in a hurry.
Ceremonies and Festivities
Look-alikes, Actors and Extras

Make-believe stars

They are the protagonists of events or are street entrepreneurs. They embody unavoidable characters, represent social classes or epochs. Even miles from Hollywood, without them, the world would be more dull.
Basseterre, Saint Kitts and Nevis, St. Kitts, Berkeley Memorial
Basseterre, Saint Kitts and Nevis

A Capital at the Caribbean Sea Level

Nestled between the foot of Olivees Mountain and the ocean, tiny Basseterre is the largest city in Saint Kitts and Nevis. With French colonial origins, long Anglophone, it remains picturesque. It is only distorted by the gigantic cruises that flood it with hit-and-run visitors.
Tsukiji fish market, Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo, Japan

The Fish Market That Lost its Freshness

In a year, each Japanese eats more than their weight in fish and shellfish. Since 1935, a considerable part was processed and sold in the largest fish market in the world. Tsukiji was terminated in October 2018, and replaced by Toyosu's.
Women with long hair from Huang Luo, Guangxi, China
Longsheng, China

Huang Luo: the Chinese Village of the Longest Hairs

In a multi-ethnic region covered with terraced rice paddies, the women of Huang Luo have surrendered to the same hairy obsession. They let the longest hair in the world grow, years on end, to an average length of 170 to 200 cm. Oddly enough, to keep them beautiful and shiny, they only use water and rice.
Spectator, Melbourne Cricket Ground-Rules footbal, Melbourne, Australia
Melbourne, Australia

The Football the Australians Rule

Although played since 1841, Australian Football has only conquered part of the big island. Internationalization has never gone beyond paper, held back by competition from rugby and classical football.
Erika Mother

The Philippine Road Lords

With the end of World War II, the Filipinos transformed thousands of abandoned American jeeps and created the national transportation system. Today, the exuberant jeepneys are for the curves.
Elalab, aerial view, Guinea Bissau
Elalab, Guinea Bissau

A Tabanca in the Guinea of ​​Endless Meanders

There are countless tributaries and channels that, to the north of the great Cacheu River, wind through mangroves and soak up dry land. Against all odds, Felupe people settled there and maintain prolific villages surrounded by rice fields. Elalab, one of those villages, has become one of the most natural and exuberant tabancas in Guinea Bissau.
sunlight photography, sun, lights
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Natural Light (Part 2)

One Sun, So Many Lights

Most travel photos are taken in sunlight. Sunlight and weather form a capricious interaction. Learn how to predict, detect and use at its best.
Holy Sepulcher, Jerusalem, Christian churches, priest with insensate
Holy Sepulcher Basilica, Jerusalem, Israel

The Supreme Temple of the Old Christian Churches

It was built by Emperor Constantine, on the site of Jesus' Crucifixion and Resurrection and an ancient temple of Venus. In its genesis, a Byzantine work, the Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher is, today, shared and disputed by various Christian denominations as the great unifying building of Christianity.
São Miguel Island, Dazzling Colors by Nature
São Miguel (Azores), Azores

São Miguel Island: Stunning Azores, By Nature

An immaculate biosphere that the Earth's entrails mold and soften is displayed, in São Miguel, in a panoramic format. São Miguel is the largest of the Portuguese islands. And it is a work of art of Nature and Man in the middle of the North Atlantic planted.
Sampo Icebreaker, Kemi, Finland
Winter White
Kemi, Finland

It's No "Love Boat". Breaks the Ice since 1961

Built to maintain waterways through the most extreme arctic winter, the icebreaker Sampo” fulfilled its mission between Finland and Sweden for 30 years. In 1988, he reformed and dedicated himself to shorter trips that allow passengers to float in a newly opened channel in the Gulf of Bothnia, in clothes that, more than special, seem spacey.
silhouette and poem, Cora coralina, Goias Velho, Brazil
Goiás Velho, Brazil

The Life and Work of a Marginal Writer

Born in Goiás, Ana Lins Bretas spent most of her life far from her castrating family and the city. Returning to its origins, it continued to portray the prejudiced mentality of the Brazilian countryside
Gandoca Manzanillo Refuge, Bahia
Gandoca-Manzanillo (Wildlife Refuge), Costa Rica

The Caribbean Hideaway of Gandoca-Manzanillo

At the bottom of its southeastern coast, on the outskirts of Panama, the “Tica” nation protects a patch of jungle, swamps and the Caribbean Sea. As well as a providential wildlife refuge, Gandoca-Manzanillo is a stunning tropical Eden.
Sheki, Autumn in the Caucasus, Azerbaijan, Autumn Homes
Sheki, Azerbaijan

autumn in the caucasus

Lost among the snowy mountains that separate Europe from Asia, Sheki is one of Azerbaijan's most iconic towns. Its largely silky history includes periods of great harshness. When we visited it, autumn pastels added color to a peculiar post-Soviet and Muslim life.
Agua Grande Platform, Iguacu Falls, Brazil, Argentina
Natural Parks
Iguazu/Iguazu Falls, Brazil/Argentina

The Great Water Thunder

After a long tropical journey, the Iguaçu River gives a dip for diving. There, on the border between Brazil and Argentina, form the largest and most impressive waterfalls on the face of the Earth.
Women at Jaisalmer Fort, Rajasthan, India.
UNESCO World Heritage
Jaisalmer, India

The Life Withstanding in the Golden Fort of Jaisalmer

The Jaisalmer fortress was erected from 1156 onwards by order of Rawal Jaisal, ruler of a powerful clan from the now Indian reaches of the Thar Desert. More than eight centuries later, despite continued pressure from tourism, they share the vast and intricate interior of the last of India's inhabited forts, almost four thousand descendants of the original inhabitants.
Heroes Acre Monument, Zimbabwe
Harare, Zimbabwewe

The Last Rales of Surreal Mugabué

In 2015, Zimbabwe's first lady Grace Mugabe said the 91-year-old president would rule until the age of 100 in a special wheelchair. Shortly thereafter, it began to insinuate itself into his succession. But in recent days, the generals have finally precipitated the removal of Robert Mugabe, who has replaced him with former Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Goa, India

To Goa, Quickly and in Strength

A sudden longing for Indo-Portuguese tropical heritage makes us travel in various transports but almost non-stop, from Lisbon to the famous Anjuna beach. Only there, at great cost, were we able to rest.
Tawang Monastery, Arunachal Pradesh, India
Tawang, India

The Mystic Valley of Deep Discord

On the northern edge of the Indian province of Arunachal Pradesh, Tawang is home to dramatic mountain scenery, ethnic Mompa villages and majestic Buddhist monasteries. Even if Chinese rivals have not passed him since 1962, Beijing look at this domain as part of your Tibet. Accordingly, religiosity and spiritualism there have long shared with a strong militarism.
Train Fianarantsoa to Manakara, Malagasy TGV, locomotive
On Rails
Fianarantsoa-Manakara, Madagascar

On board the Malagasy TGV

We depart Fianarantsoa at 7a.m. It wasn't until 3am the following morning that we completed the 170km to Manakara. The natives call this almost secular train Train Great Vibrations. During the long journey, we felt, very strongly, those of the heart of Madagascar.
Tabatô, Guinea Bissau, tabanca Mandingo musicians. Baidi
Tabato, Guinea Bissau

The Tabanca of Mandinga Poets Musicians

In 1870, a community of traveling Mandingo musicians settled next to the current city of Bafatá. From the Tabatô they founded, their culture and, in particular, their prodigious balaphonists, dazzle the world.
Casario, uptown, Fianarantsoa, ​​Madagascar
Daily life
Fianarantsoa, Madagascar

The Malagasy City of Good Education

Fianarantsoa was founded in 1831 by Ranavalona Iª, a queen of the then predominant Merina ethnic group. Ranavalona Iª was seen by European contemporaries as isolationist, tyrant and cruel. The monarch's reputation aside, when we enter it, its old southern capital remains as the academic, intellectual and religious center of Madagascar.
Newborn turtle, PN Tortuguero, Costa Rica
Tortuguero NP, Costa Rica

A Night at the Nursery of Tortuguero

The name of the Tortuguero region has an obvious and ancient reason. Turtles from the Atlantic and the Caribbean Sea have long flocked to the black sand beaches of its narrow coastline to spawn. On one of the nights we spent in Tortuguero we watched their frenzied births.
Bungee jumping, Queenstown, New Zealand
Scenic Flights
Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown, the Queen of Extreme Sports

In the century. XVIII, the Kiwi government proclaimed a mining village on the South Island "fit for a queen".Today's extreme scenery and activities reinforce the majestic status of ever-challenging Queenstown.