Sunday, 22 November 2009

Saturday 21st November

In the morning we signed up for tour of Labourie, the small fishing community nearest to Balenbouche. The tour was led by a dreadlocked local man - Rowan - and he confessed before starting that we were guinea pigs, this being the first tour he had run. It was brilliant:
As we walked round he explained the history of Labourie, founded as a plantation in 1750. We visited the church, where there were boisterous confirmation classes. Ate fresh bread from the creole bakery as the two bakers sweated to roll and bake several thousand small loaves in a wood heated bread oven. We watched the fishermen empty their catch onto the fishmarket basins just off the beach: octopus, eel, rainbow parrot fish, box fish, and a huge barracuda - all still wriggling! We looked at all the carved wooden houses, and Rowan explained how everyone contributes labour to help their neighbours with building work in return for food and lots of rum. He proudly showed us the local sewage project where all the foul-water drains off into a pit planted over with lush (i.e. well fertilised) trees, this prevents it contaminating the sea. All in all the best example of grass roots tourism I have seen in a while. Tourists are introduced to the local community, and the facilities available and in return they are a) more likely to buy local, b) have a positive experience and respect local mores.

In the afternoon we head up to Soufriere - sulphur springs, an area of geothermal activity in an an old volcanic caldera. Sorry, but after Iceland and New Zealand, this small patch of smelly mud does not cut it!

Later that evening before the 6pm mozzie onslaught we explored Balenbouche estate ....check out the piccies.

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