FDF from Balata
After my couple of days down south, I wanted to see a bit more of Martinique. Thankfully, I was able to couchsurf again - the lovely Regine has been putting me up for about 5 days, and picked me up from Le Marin - how nice people can be! She is renting an amazing appartment - a penthouse in the centre of Fort-de-France, the capital of Martinique. I think it's actually bigger than my 4-bedroom house back home!! I once again had my own room (I could get used to it) and Regine kindly took me out and about on Sunday to do some snorkelling up the coast and then to a beautiful little river/waterfall near Balata where we had a much needed swim to cool down.
View of the city from Regine's terrace!!
It's been so god damn hot here, I struggle to walk for much more than 15 minutes before I need a gallon of water! It was a slightly precarious walk to get down to the river but the trusty flip-flops did the job without too much fuss.
We got back late afternoon and Jerome (Regine's fella) fired up the barbeque on her roof terrace - what a way to spend a Sunday afternoon, could definitely get used to this! After some exquisite ribs and a few cold beers, relaxation was complete. we had been planning to out in the evening as it was the FDF festival, but we were too knackered to get ourselves out, so had a few more beers on the terrace instead!
I planned to go our exploring the next day, after I had gone to sort out my ticket for the ferry to St Lucia.
Jerome doing some sort of meditation!!
Cue another Sadler stinker. Firstly got all the way to the ticket office (a 20 minute walk and a 20 minute queue) only to realise that I needed my passport to book the ticket (bloody ridiculous if you ask me, but administration for the sake of administration appears to be a pasttime in South America and the Caribbean, they are jobs-worths beyond belief!!), so I had to walk all the way back to the appartment and back again and queue up again. By this time it was 12pm and the queue was even longer. I was worried because Regine had told me that it was the Carnaval in St Lucia at the weekend and that the ferries would get booked up early. It was Monday and I was planning to go Wednesday, usually plenty of time for a daily ferry. Because of my going back and forward I returned to find out the ferry was sold out and there wasn't a seat until next Monday, a week's time.
View of Fort-de-France
Oh great. Yet another plan up in smoke! I was swearing to myself like a trouper all the way back to the appartment and got on to the internet to look at alternatives. In the end I booked a flight to St Vincent (which changes at St Lucia) for Thursday, which cost me £141 (US$221) - another expensive flight, given the the total flying time is less than an hour! I can't get any accomodation on St Lucia, so I've laughed it off - such is the life of a traveller! I'm thinking that my usually organised self should probably return soon, if for nothing else to save my wallet further damage!