Gonna make you sweat....

Presqu'ile Travel Blog

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Ruins of Chateau Dubuc

After a pretty boring day in Fort-de-France on 14th July (Bastille Day and everything was shut and not much happened), I had one more day on Martinique and was determined to see something good.  So I hired (a rather expensive) car and took off for the day.  I was on my own, had only a high-level map of island and had to contend with the infamous traffic of this island.  This led to me getting lost about 5 times within the first hour - signposting can be non-existent, or when it is present, it is after you needed to see it i.e. to late to turn off.  Cue plenty of swearing with the window wound down, much to the bemusement of the locals.  They just kept on strolling by, going about their business as they do here, with all the time in the world.

View from the lookout near the lighthouse....amazing!
  This includes walking across any road without any sense or urgency to get to the other side (i.e. out of my way!).  Once I finally got on the right road it was all good, I got to the beautiful expanse that is Presqu'ile de Caravelle, a protected region on the east of the island that juts out, well, just like an island (hence the name) [note ignore the map on this site against my blog as it seems to plonk places in Martinique in completely the wrong area!]

After a bargain lunch in Tartane (the main village here), I drove down to the spot to starting walking round the tip.  There are some good ruins at Chateau Dubuc, but the best thing is the hike and views from the lighthouse.  Well the hike wasn't all that, given that it was the hottest part of the day, there's not any cover and I'm English.

The lighthouse, still in use
..hence I partook in one of my favourite sports in these conditions - sweating buckets.  Not helped I might add by my lack of fitness which has gone further downhill since I left home as I don't even have the Monday night 5-a-side with the chaps at work to give that inkling that I do some physical exercise.  I digress.  The views from the viewing point near the lighthouse are simply awesome - complete 360 panoramic views showing the natural beauty of this area at its best.  Add to that the fact there was no-one else there and it felt pretty special.  I was happy because at last I'd found somewhere a bit special on Martinique - I was afraid I would leave the island thinking of it as a tad bland.

I continued driving for most of the day in my little VW Fox and went all the way north to Grand Riviere (the end of the road) - no way you can fall asleep driving these roads, they really give your arms a work out!  A few strange looks from locals as I made a slightly ungracious U-turn at the end of the line (the road literally just ends!) and I headed back towards Fort-de-France via the 'Route de la Trace', a fantastically scenic drive through the Pitons de Carbet which literally rise up beside you.

  A great day and I'll leave tomorrow with some good memories of this little French hideaway.  Next stop St Vincent!


I couchsurfed throughout Martinique (www.couchsurfing.org) as there isn't any budget accomodation to speak of.  It worked out pretty well and people are friendly and helpful.

Public transport is quite frankly sh*te .  You can grab a taxi collectif to main towns and villages (e.g. TC to St Pierre is about €4,30), but most of the decent sights like Presqu'ile need a car - impossible to get there otherwise.  There are some ferries from FDF to Point du Bout and Trois Iles, but that's about it.  Either be very nice to someone with a car or hire your own - my deal was pretty expensive (€50/day) but I go to drop my car off at the airport, which saved a taxi fare there (again the only way to get to the airport).

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Ruins of Chateau Dubuc
Ruins of Chateau Dubuc
View from the lookout near the lig…
View from the lookout near the li…
The lighthouse, still in use
The lighthouse, still in use
This is the view of Le Marigot, ju…
This is the view of Le Marigot, j…
The Pitons du Carbet on the Route …
The Pitons du Carbet on the Route…
photo by: Sads79