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.
Okavango Delta, Not all rivers reach the sea, Mokoros
Okavango Delta, Botswana

Not all rivers reach the sea

Third longest river in southern Africa, the Okavango rises in the Angolan Bié plateau and runs 1600km to the southeast. It gets lost in the Kalahari Desert where it irrigates a dazzling wetland teeming with wildlife.
Yak Kharka to Thorong Phedi, Annapurna Circuit, Nepal, Yaks
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit 11th: yak karkha a Thorong Phedi, Nepal

Arrival to the Foot of the Canyon

In just over 6km, we climbed from 4018m to 4450m, at the base of Thorong La canyon. Along the way, we questioned if what we felt were the first problems of Altitude Evil. It was never more than a false alarm.
Alaskan Lumberjack Show Competition, Ketchikan, Alaska, USA
Architecture & Design
Ketchikan, Alaska

Here begins Alaska

The reality goes unnoticed in most of the world, but there are two Alaskas. In urban terms, the state is inaugurated in the south of its hidden frying pan handle, a strip of land separated from the contiguous USA along the west coast of Canada. Ketchikan, is the southernmost of Alaskan cities, its Rain Capital and the Salmon Capital of the World.
Boats on ice, Hailuoto Island, Finland.
Hailuoto, Finland

A Refuge in the Gulf of Bothnia

During winter, the island of Hailuoto is connected to the rest of Finland by the country's longest ice road. Most of its 986 inhabitants esteem, above all, the distance that the island grants them.
self-flagellation, passion of christ, philippines
Ceremonies and Festivities
Marinduque, Philippines

The Philippine Passion of Christ

No nation around is Catholic but many Filipinos are not intimidated. In Holy Week, they surrender to the belief inherited from the Spanish colonists. Self-flagellation becomes a bloody test of faith
Horta, Faial, City that faces the North to the Atlantic
Horta, Azores

The City that Gives the North to the Atlantic

The world community of sailors is well aware of the relief and happiness of seeing the Pico Mountain, and then Faial and the welcoming of Horta Bay and Peter Café Sport. The rejoicing does not stop there. In and around the city, there are white houses and a green and volcanic outpouring that dazzles those who have come so far.

A Market Economy

The law of supply and demand dictates their proliferation. Generic or specific, covered or open air, these spaces dedicated to buying, selling and exchanging are expressions of life and financial health.
Indigenous Crowned
Pueblos del Sur, Venezuela

Behind the Venezuela Andes. Fiesta Time.

In 1619, the authorities of Mérida dictated the settlement of the surrounding territory. The order resulted in 19 remote villages that we found dedicated to commemorations with caretos and local pauliteiros.
4th of July Fireworks-Seward, Alaska, United States
Seward, Alaska

The Longest 4th of July

The independence of the United States is celebrated, in Seward, Alaska, in a modest way. Even so, the 4th of July and its celebration seem to have no end.
Creel, Chihuahua, Carlos Venzor, collector, museum
Chihuahua a Creel, Chihuahua, Mexico

On Creel's Way

With Chihuahua behind, we point to the southwest and to even higher lands in the north of Mexico. Next to Ciudad Cuauhtémoc, we visited a Mennonite elder. Around Creel, we lived for the first time with the Rarámuri indigenous community of the Serra de Tarahumara.
shadow of success
Champoton, Mexico

Rodeo Under Sombreros

Champoton, in Campeche, hosts a fair honored by the Virgén de La Concepción. O rodeo Mexican under local sombreros reveals the elegance and skill of the region's cowboys.
View of Fa Island, Tonga, Last Polynesian Monarchy
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Got2Globe Portfolio

Exotic Signs of Life

Acre, Templar Stronghold, Israel, Crispy Sweets
Saint John of Acre, Israel

The Fortress That Withstood Everything

It was a frequent target of the Crusades and taken over and over again. Today, Israeli, Acre is shared by Arabs and Jews. He lives much more peaceful and stable times than the ones he went through.
View of Fa Island, Tonga, Last Polynesian Monarchy
Tongatapu, Tonga

The Last Polynesian Monarchy

From New Zealand to Easter Island and Hawaii, no other monarchy has resisted the arrival of European discoverers and modernity. For Tonga, for several decades, the challenge was to resist the monarchy.
St. Trinity Church, Kazbegi, Georgia, Caucasus
Winter White
Kazbegi, Georgia

God in the Caucasus Heights

In the 4000th century, Orthodox religious took their inspiration from a hermitage that a monk had erected at an altitude of 5047 m and perched a church between the summit of Mount Kazbek (XNUMXm) and the village at the foot. More and more visitors flock to these mystical stops on the edge of Russia. Like them, to get there, we submit to the whims of the reckless Georgia Military Road.
Almada Negreiros, Roça Saudade, Sao Tome
Saudade, São Tomé, São Tomé and Principe

Almada Negreiros: From Saudade to Eternity

Almada Negreiros was born in April 1893, on a farm in the interior of São Tomé. Upon discovering his origins, we believe that the luxuriant exuberance in which he began to grow oxygenated his fruitful creativity.
Maksim, Sami people, Inari, Finland-2
Inari, Finland

The Guardians of Boreal Europe

Long discriminated against by Scandinavian, Finnish and Russian settlers, the Sami people regain their autonomy and pride themselves on their nationality.
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.
View of La Graciosa de Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain
Natural Parks
La Graciosa, Canary Islands

The Most Graceful of the Canary Islands

Until 2018, the smallest of the inhabited Canaries did not count for the archipelago. Arriving in La Graciosa, we discover the insular charm of the now eighth island.
Bertie in jalopy, Napier, New Zealand
UNESCO World Heritage
Napier, New Zealand

Back to the 30s

Devastated by an earthquake, Napier was rebuilt in an almost ground-floor Art Deco and lives pretending to stop in the Thirties. Its visitors surrender to the Great Gatsby atmosphere that the city enacts.
Correspondence verification
Rovaniemi, Finland

From the Finnish Lapland to the Arctic. A Visit to the Land of Santa

Fed up with waiting for the bearded old man to descend down the chimney, we reverse the story. We took advantage of a trip to Finnish Lapland and passed through its furtive home.
Baie d'Oro, Île des Pins, New Caledonia
Île-des-Pins, New Caledonia

The Island that Leaned against Paradise

In 1964, Katsura Morimura delighted the Japan with a turquoise novel set in Ouvéa. But the neighboring Île-des-Pins has taken over the title "The Nearest Island to Paradise" and thrills its visitors.
One against all, Sera Monastery, Sacred Debate, Tibet
Lhasa, Tibet

Sera, the Monastery of the Sacred Debate

In few places in the world a dialect is used as vehemently as in the monastery of Sera. There, hundreds of monks, in Tibetan, engage in intense and raucous debates about the teachings of the Buddha.
End of the World Train, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina
On Rails
Ushuaia, Argentina

Last Station: End of the World

Until 1947, the Tren del Fin del Mundo made countless trips for the inmates of the Ushuaia prison to cut firewood. Today, passengers are different, but no other train goes further south.
aggie gray, Samoa, South Pacific, Marlon Brando Fale
Apia, Western Samoa

The Host of the South Pacific

She sold burguês to GI's in World War II and opened a hotel that hosted Marlon Brando and Gary Cooper. Aggie Gray passed away in 2. Her legacy lives on in the South Pacific.
Women with long hair from Huang Luo, Guangxi, China
Daily life
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.
Gorongosa National Park, Mozambique, Wildlife, lions
NP Gorongosa, Mozambique

The Wild Heart of Mozambique shows Signs of Life

Gorongosa was home to one of the most exuberant ecosystems in Africa, but from 1980 to 1992 it succumbed to the Civil War waged between FRELIMO and RENAMO. Greg Carr, Voice Mail's millionaire inventor received a message from the Mozambican ambassador to the UN challenging him to support Mozambique. For the good of the country and humanity, Carr pledged to resurrect the stunning national park that the Portuguese colonial government had created there.
Full Dog Mushing
Scenic Flights
Seward, Alaska

The Alaskan Dog Mushing Summer

It's almost 30 degrees and the glaciers are melting. In Alaska, entrepreneurs have little time to get rich. Until the end of August, dog mushing cannot stop.