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Guadaloupe, St Martin or Martinique ?

Copenhagen
4 posts
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Guadaloupe, St Martin or Martinique ?

I wrote another message a couple of days ago, no reply unfortunately so I try it in a different way.

I'm educated as a teacher in English and Geography but is changing career. Therefore I'm taking a break to find out what is going to happen afterwards. I'll bring my daily subsistences with me which means I can stay 3 month. This also mean that I have to apply for jobs during the time I'm away allthough I don't exspect anything.

I have a bit of problem which is that I don't speak that much french allthough I'm taking classes. However I would like to improve my french, socialise, etc.

Can anybody tell me which of the islands that'll be the best choice.

By the way I intend to bring my own bicycle with me - is it safe to bike generally or ?

Any kind of help will be appreciated.

Regards

Anders,

Copenhagen

Denmark

SZ
Covington, KY
Level Contributor
204 posts
60 reviews
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1. Re: Guadaloupe, St Martin or Martinique ?

I spent a month in Guadeloupe and two months in Martinique with my daughter. She likes to cycle but it was out of the question for her in Martinique since it is so hilly and mountainous everywhere. You don't see many people on bicycles in either place, although occasionally we had to pull over to the side of the road in our car to let the members of a bicycle race go by. I don't know where they practice since we certainly didn't see anyone riding around on a regular basis. In Guadeloupe we stayed most of the time on Grande Terre. The coastal roads were somewhat flat but she felt uncomfortable cycling there because of the speed of the traffic but mainly because she felt no one was really expecting cyclists on the road, so it was too dangerous. She really preferred and liked the interior, hilly roads. On Basse Terre, the coastal road drivers went very fast, some were quite reckless and the interior roads soon became mountainous, so she didn't even consider riding a bike there. In general, Martinique is much more tourist oriented than Guadeloupe since it gets a lot of cruise ships in addition to the people staying in hotels and resorts. We did prefer Guadeloupe. Since most visitors there are French, many people were genuinely interested in talking to us since they don't see many Americans. I imagine you would experience the same thing. We both speak French but I really think if anyone attempted to communicate in their limited French the locals would respond enthusiastically and also try to speak in their limited English, if necessary. We interacted with a lot of people who were very friendly but we didn't actually socialize. I think it would be different for a single male who would have much more of an oppurtunity. Without a work permit and visa which entail having a job lined up in advance, I think the chances for employment are about zero, particularly in the hotel and tourism industry. It's pretty tightly controlled as it is everywhere else to protect jobs for the locals. French schools aggressively hire native-English speakers to teach, even in their West Indies' schools, and it also is tightly controlled with work permits and such. However, my daughter went scuba diving at Malendure on Basse Terre in Guadeloupe. I think she could have found work "off the books" if she had been interested since no one at the dive shop she dealt with spoke English and they had some customers who came from all different parts of the world. She stayed in Martinique a month longer than me and occasionally was approached by American tourists with whom she had conversed who wanted to hire her to help translate, lead them around, etc. It occurred very seldom and if she had actually sought customers I don't know if she could have gotten in trouble with the government authorities. I hope this helps.