Murphy apparently stated that “whatever can go wrong, will go wrong.” He was obviously sailing and wanted to go for a bike ride.
We are anchored just off a beach in Guadeloupe and there is an active volcano just above us so obviously the plan was to bike to a crater at the highest point you can reach by bike.
We were nearly ready to go when it started raining which delayed things a little. About the same time we found two thorns in Neill’s tires so passed the time fixing two punctures and repacking the wheels for their dinghy trip.
Next we loaded about half our stuff, put the motor on the dinghy and set off for the beach. A wave hit us as we beached. We saved the bikes from getting wet but the outboard drowned. On the way back it gave up on us and of course we had no paddles with us so used our hands to “row” back to the boat. Motor off, next load on-board and we paddled back to the beach. Another wave but no engine to drown, just us two soaked to the chest.
We put the bikes together and realized we had forgotten our sunglasses and then that we had Neill’s walking shoes and not his cycling shoes with us. Take off clothes, unlock dinghy, drag it across beach, paddle out, paddle back, get hit by obligatory wave, drag dinghy up beach, lock it up, clean sand off, get dressed and realize we had forgotten to switch the fridge on. Stuff it!
We set off and it went straight uphill – as it always does to volcanoes. This is volcano number three so we are experts. Heidi’s gears were jumping and we had already done four hundred meters of climbing before we got them set up properly so we could start to enjoy the ride.
After just over a thousand meters of climbing we were deep in the rain forest. The vegetation was amazing and the humidity was off the scale. The people in almost every car that we met rolled their windows down to congratulate us on our stupidity cycling up there. We rounded a corner and there was a huge fence and a nearly as big sign saying “road closed” and mentioning big fines if you carried on. It turns out the road we wanted to follow fell apart after the last eruption so this was the “end of the road”.
Just across from the sign was a volcano heated spring that was beautifully warm and stunk of old eggs. It started raining so we took shelter until it turned to drizzle when Neill went for a sit in the hot water. Only up to the neck, there is some amoeba that lives in there which, if inhaled, is one hundred percent deadly.
The rain stopped and we enjoyed the thousand meter descent through the forest and through the town back to the beach and two Moyitos at the Point Bleu Soleil (who had kindly looked after our bike bags). Of course we got wet trying to get everything back out through the waves and of course it rained during the second dinghy trip but we didn’t expect anything else.
Our route is at Gpsies.