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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Serendipity: Hitch-hikers and Hot Springs


This did not look like the entrance we expected
to a hot springs pool

Two years of high school French classes, over 30 years ago did not fully equip me for normal conversation with native Guadaloupians. 

However, the language of hitch-hiking is relatively universal.

Road-tripping along the West Coast of Guadaloupe, a little South of Deshaies, we offered a ride to two clean-cut teens.  Their English was about as bad as my French.  But we were able to figure out we’d get them further toward their goal of Basse Terre, as we weren’t headed that far South.

Inside, this looked even worse, though it was a handy spot
to change into a swimsuit.
They were able to figure out we were looking for some natural hot springs in the area.  They pointed us to a relatively inconspicuous dirt road.  We thought they were pulling our leg, or didn’t understand what we were looking for, language barrier and all.  We thanked them, and gave it a try anyway.

We drove to the end of the road, where there was a small parking lot and an abandoned-looking entry.  Beyond it was a decaying fishing shack, with some shredded chairs outside.  It didn’t look promising.  We turned around.

Natural Hot Springs near Bouillon, Guadaloupe.
We were getting into our car to drive away when another driver pulled in and asked us, eventually in English, “Was anyone else there?”  “No.  Ummm, where?”  We joined her and her passengers. She led us past the scary fishing shack, and down to a gorgeous natural hot spring, partially separated by tide pool rocks from the ocean.  The incoming ocean water mellowed the pool, which otherwise would’ve scalded.

There’s no way we would’ve found the place without both our hitch-hikers and the other driver.  It wasn’t even the pool we were looking for.  We’re sure it was better, and were satisfied enough to not look for the one our guidebook mentioned.

Note:  this is a retrospective.  We are currently on “the next island” North, Antigua.  There’s still lots of great experiences from Guadaloupe well worth blogging about.