Desirade island

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Cactus tête à l'anglais - La Désirade

La Désirade was the first island perceived by Christopher Columbus, (during its second journey). He named her "Desirada". Island in waters emeralds, Désirade invites in the walk and in the discovery. Bathed by waters of the Atlantic Ocean and aerated by Trade winds, Désirade inspires to the visitor a feeling of freedom. We are surprised fast very pleasantly by the wealth and the beauty of its landscapes. Far from the modern life, from the noise and from the pollution, we find in Désirade the peace, the varied and magnificent landscapes, the warm and welcoming inhabitants. This island is a pleasure for the eyes and for the spirit! We spent only a day on the island. Not being enough for discovering everything. So we visited the littoral coast 4x4, inhabited part of the island. As for the part "cliffs", you have to walk and count several hours of walking. It will be for next time.... For 2O euros a person  from Saint François, treat yourself to a wonderful day on an island that does not leave you indifferent.. Observe its fauna, flora, beaches, mountains , andmagnificent dry landscapes... a real pleasure to visit this island!... Let's discover the Désirade ....

Departure at 8: 30 am St. Francois with "Colibri" ..

Départ  pour la Désirade

 

Behind us St. Francois ...

Départ pour la Désirade - Saint François

 

After about fifteen minutes, passing off the "Pointe des Chateaux" and its famous cross...

Pointe des Châteaux vue de la mer

 

The "Pointe des Chateaux"...

Pointe des Châteaux vue de la mer

 

4o minutes to reach the Désirade. That day, we were lucky the sea was relatively calm. It is not rare that this crossing is quite hectic ... beware if you are sensitive to seasickness ....

The Desirade...

La Désirade vue du large

 

Approaching we discovers the mountainside houses.  In contrast are the cliffs, uninhabted area...

La Désirade

 

 

La Désirade

 

Small fishing boats near a beach. Fishing is the main source of income of Désiradiens.

La Désirade barques de pêcheurs

 

A small beach, white sand and coconut trees ...

La Désirade barques de pêcheurs

We arrive at the landing Beauséjour . another ship has unloaded tourists. We are nevertheless a few on the island... ...

La Désirade - débarcadère Beauséjour

 

Sur le port un panneau nous souhaite la bienvenue...

Bienvenue à la Désirade

We go to the car rental company we reserved a few days before a 4 x 4. Désirade having only one main road, it is better to rent a 4 x 4 up to survey small side roads. For a day rental, the landlord asks us to add gasoline 10 euros in late afternoon. Reasonable. The rental price of the vehicle is 3O euros the day (35 euros on weekends). For a scooter, count between 15 and 20 euros the day.

Location de 4X4 la désirade

Here we go...

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The south coast: First stop ... a few dozen meters from the port.... the beach Fifi, Beausejour. We did not start that already we stop to the beach ...  Very clean, superb. The beaches of Désirade is considered to be the best maintained of Guadeloupe ... actually, we shall have the confirmation of it during the day...

Plage à Fifi Beauséjour - La désirade

 

Plage à Fifi Beauséjour - La désirade

 

Plage à Fifi Beauséjour - La désirade

 

Some kilometers farther, by going towards to the lighthouse, another beach, even more beautiful, the beach of the "Souffleur"...

Plage du Souffleur - la Désirade

 

Plage du Souffleur - la Désirade

 

Plage du Souffleur - la Désirade

 

The beautiful beach of Souffleur:

Plage du Souffleur - la Désirade

 

Plage du Souffleur à la Désirade

Carbets...  we already know where we shall come to picnic, and where we shall bathe... This beach(range) is really beautifull

Plage du Souffleur - la Désirade

 

Plage du Souffleur - la Désirade

 

A third beach, the beach of the "Petite Rivière" ..

Plage de la petite rivière

 

Plage de la petite rivière

 

"Petite Rivière" beach...

Plage de la petite rivière

 

Then we discover the wildest landscapes ...

La Désirade

 

An iguana crossing the road...

Iguane à la Désirade

Then we arrive at the former cotonnerie...

Ancienne cotonnerie la Désirade

The cotonnerie of Désirade worked from 1818 till 1928. It was exploited by the Cotton Companyof Désirade, subsidiary of the Cotton Grouping of Havre. It contained two corn-shellers which separated the fibers of seeds, and a factory of oil which crushed seeds. The plantations of cotton plants were situated in two places: on the plateau and in the east of the island. In 1928 a cyclone destroys plantations and installations. In its closure, machines are transported in "Grande-terre". The cotton collected in Désirade is transported towards Saint François.

Ancienne cotonnerie de la Désirade

 

The former cotonnerie

Ancienne cotonnerie de la Désirade

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We arrive at the eastern tip of Désirade, a desert plateau. The ground is rocky and dry. For information, the unique road that crosses Désirade is only 12 km...
Our 4x4 and far off, on the hill, wind turbines...

La Désirade

 

Cabrits walks, freely

Chèvres et cabrits à la Désirade

 

Behind us, a beautiful view

La Désirade

 

We arrive at the lighthouse, the landscape is desert...

Le phare de la Désirade

 

Le phare de la Désirade

 

The mysterious meteorological station in the extreme eastern tip of Désirade. Cyclones in the Désirade ... 1928, sixteen hours of apocalypse, 1300 deaths in Guadeloupe. Everything must be rebuilt on the island. In 1989, the 16 and 17 September, Désirade was the first hit by Hurricane Hugo. Winds at 34O km / h for 10 hours. 900 houses are affected, only 10 remain habitable, fishermen boats are destroyed...

La station météorologique de la Désirade

 

This weather center has been abandoned in favor of the new station to the Raizet in Pointe-à-Pitre.

La station météorologique de la Désirade

 

Through windows broken, the view on the ocean...

La station météorologique de la Désirade

 

A terrace, on the roof of the center of meteorology offers us a grand view on the surroundings...

La station météorologique de la Désirade

 

La station météorologique de la Désirade

 

The headlight...

Le phare de la Désirade

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Paysage de la Désirade

 

We go up on the heights, the direction wind turbines...

Hauteurs, la Désirade

 

Hauteurs, la Désirade

 

The particulatité of these wind turbines is that they are easily reclining in case of cyclone. These wind turbines assure 1OO % of électrcité needs of Désirade.

Eoliennes, la Désirade

 

View on "Desert district"

Vue, la Désirade - Quartier du Désert

 

Direction Baie-Mahault. In 1725, because of leper's large number in Grande-Terre, Louis XV gives his agreement so that these lepers are sent to Désirade. The island is isolated, little populated and has only little economic interest. First 125 sick are sent on the island. They were provided food for six months, animals, seeds, plants and tools. After their transfer, they are "forgotten" on the island. They risk the death penalty if they try to escape. It was not until 1811 that the leprosarium be converted into a hospital, with a doctor. In 1956 the leper-house is definitively closed. The last sick are transferred to the hospital of Pointe-Noire. Of the former leper-house of Baie-Mahault, stay only the ruins of the chapel...

Ancienne chapelle de la léproserie, la Désirade

 

The small marine cemetery where the Sisters of Charity, who spent all their life to take care of lepers. The leper-house was near this cemetery.

Cimetière - La Désirade

 

And now we go to Beauséjour, formerly known as Grande-Anse.

Eglise de  Beauséjour, la Désirade

 

The church...

Eglise de  Beauséjour, la Désirade

 

The model boat and  a statue of the Virgin Mary are carried in procession through Désirade, the day of the feast of the sailors, on August 16th. After the procession and the mass, on August 17th, the priest of the parish blesses the sea and a and a spray of flowers is thrown to the sea in homage to the sailors and the disappeared fishermen.

Maquette bateau - Eglise de Beauséjour,  la Désirade

 

The memorial Victor Schoelcher (inspirator of the slaveray abolition).

La Désirade - Hommage à Victor Schoelcher

 

La Désirade - Hommage à Victor Schoelcher

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Le quartier des Galets, Pointe ouest de la Désirade - La Pointe des Colibris :

La Désirade - Pointe des Colibris

 

A beautiful place, frequented by many birds and iguanas ...

La Désirade - Pointe des Colibris

 


This plate by the sea reminds us that on February 21st, 1991, the fresh water arrives for the first time at Désirade by a submarine pipe.

Canalisation sous-marine de la Désirade

 

We can see many iguanas to the "pointe des Colibris"...

Iguane à la Désirade

 

Iguane à la Désirade

 

View :

La Désirade

 

La Désirade

 

"Pointe des Colibris"

La Désirade - Pointe des Colibris

 

La Désirade - Pointe des Colibris

 

Green iguana...

Iguane à la Désirade

 

"Colibri beach" and little coconuts trees...

La Désirade - Plage Colibri

 

The fourth white sand beach of the island...

La Désirade - Plage Colibri

 

La Désirade - Plage Colibri

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It's time to go...

La Désirade - Beauséjour

 

On the boat to Saint François, a last look towards Désirade...

La Désirade - débarcadère Beauséjour

 

La Désirade, à bientôt !

 

La Désirade - Beauséjour

 

Behind us, Désirade and its shape so characteristic. We are already nostalgic...

La Désirade - vue d'ensemble

 

Arrival in Saint-François....

Retour à Saint-François

 

Retour à Saint-François


We found some of Désirade. We will definitely return to explore the other side of the island ... We keep the memory of Désirade island "side of the world," the smiling inhabitants, hospitable and sympatic. Beautiful white sandy beaches, as well as so beautiful desert landscapes. Small family neighborhoods nestled at the foot of the mountain ... La Désirade is unlike any other island of the archipelago of Guadeloupe ... Grande-Terre, Basse-Terre, the Saintes, Marie-Galante each has ... his personality, and each deserves to be discovered ! Désirade is worth seeing !