Thursday, February 12, 2015

Running with Goats

Running with goats in Iles des Saints, Guadeloupe, Caribbean

From the top of a hike in Iles des Saints, Guadeloupe, Caribbean.

Sailing out of Deshaies, Guadeloupe on Aspen

Cat Tales, a catamaran, sailing with us early in the morning before the Trade Winds kick in.

The spectacular harbor at Iles des Saints.  Aspen is toward the left of the picture in the center.

Carnival in Iles des Saints, Guadeloupe.  It was small but very enthusiastic!

Just a lunch stop along one of the beaches on Iles des Saints.

Maria waiting for us at the top of the climb and she is barely out of breath!

A dinghy dock on an adjacent island in Iles des Saints.  The hike here was fun too!

This is Aspen in the center of the picture, on a mooring ball (very civilized) in Iles des Saints.

The Cat Tales crew (Laurie & Dawn) and Maria enjoying a beach in the Saints.

A view from the Saints hike with Guadeloupe in the distance.

The natural setting is stunning around every corner.

Enjoying the shade above an old military battery in the Saints.

S/Y Aspen – February 12, 2015 – Log #127
Aspen Position: 15 degrees 52’ N  061 degrees 35’ W
Iles des Saints, Guadeloupe, Caribbean

Iles des Saints is a magical place.  French?  Oui.  French food?  Oui.  French Language?  Oui, but Captain Steve is fluent in English so no one can really understand his few words of French except for Euro and chocolate.  Maria is happy when he returns from his run with a still warm baguette for breakfast of course!

Speaking of running, eventually there had to be a story about this in our blog.  Well, on Isles de Saints and most places on Guadeloupe Steve's morning runs are nothing short of brutal.  Everything here is straight UP.  Running up Hope Pass in Leadville is extreme but these roads and trails will challenge any runner.

And that is just on the roads.  Running on trails is fantastic but with the same up, up and more up.  Only goats can climb these things and a few crazy runners.  Goats seem to have the right of way and it doesn't really matter since they bolt our of the way at lighting speed.  Steve climbs the intense inclines so slowly the nimble goats just brush him aside in their quest for a daily meal.

The French trails are well done and easy to follow, even if they cross deep streams, wind through dark forests or climb straight up a mountain.  At least the paths are well marked so no one gets lost, usually.

Maria enjoys the hikes that we take because she gets a good workout.  You've heard the expression, life is about the journey?  Well for Maria the DESTINATION is the goal.  One hike in particular went up a walking path so long and steep that even the goats needed to stop and rest.  They didn't understand that once Maria gets going there is no stopping along the way.  Through the waterfall of sweat cascading into my eyes I could barely see her ahead in the distance, grinding away forever upward and waiting on the top for those who decided to take pictures or admire the rocks near the route.  I guess her workout classes in Colorado really helped her!

We have been spending our time like most sailors down in these little latitudes.  Lunches onshore, snorkeling the nearby reefs, rocks, and sunken wrecks, French pizza for dinner and happy hours on friend's boats.  Doesn't this just make winter pass so nicely?!?  The only skiing down here is in liquid water, not frozen white stuff that seems so plentiful back in the USA.

Now it is time to sail to Dominica, land of lush tropical forest, rain and of course, home to Sexy Bones the shaman.

Sail on, sail on Aspen…

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