Chez Leyla: Sunday Lunch in Martinique

My little Twingo huffed and puffed its way up the windy roads of the Montagne de Vauclin this past Sunday. We climbed until it seemed like we could climb no further, and then turned into a small courtyard surrounded by three houses. My friend Leyla led us through her house onto a porch that overlooks…

Living on a Catamaran

A Rastafarian man with long dreadlocks and a t-shirt tied around his head stood behind the wheel of the catamaran as it approached the dock. “That’s Victor,” one of the other assistants said. Victor was to be our captain as we made the long journey from Martinique to Dominica in a catamaran. The boat, with…

Where Has the Rum Gone? To Martinique!

In the garden of the Habitation Clément, a plaque reads, “Le don d’une plante utile me parait plux precieux que la découverte d’une mine d’or et un monument plus durable qu’une pyramide.” (“The gift of a useful plant seems to me more precious than the discovery of a gold mine and a more durable monument…

Habitation Clément

In a large barn-like structure, rows upon rows of wooden barrels line the walls. Each barrel is stamped with the face of a bearded man with the words “HABITATION CLEMENT – DOMAINE DE L’ACAJOU – FRANCOIS (MARTINIQUE)” encircling him. The sweet, acrid smell of fermentation lingers outside, growing stronger inside the dark storage room. Next…

Cap Est: Home to the Békés

A long road divides the banana groves. The banana trees in long rows, with irrigation canals running along ever few rows, the bunches of bananas dangling from the tree in blue plastic bags are a common sight in Martinique. Martinique has two main crops: sugar cane and bananas. These crops have been harvested in Martinique…

A La Plage: Les Salines

When you ask someone about the best beaches in Martinique, there is some debate on the subject. Everyone has their favorites. Tartane, near Trinité, is a favorite with the Martinican youth but, to Sylvie, Tartane is too loud, with people blaring music on their stereos. But most Martinicans agree that les salines is at the…