“Like a bat out of hell, I’ll be gone in the morning sun” – Meatloaf.
Guadeloupe was an unexpected country on my Caribbean Odyssey in 2021 – 2022. I missed my boat to Martinique and ended up with a night here in Guadeloupe, almost by default and I still haven’t been to Martinique. Guadeloupe is actually officially an EU country, as France owns it. My time here was first of all unexpected, and then secondly shortened when my flight connections were changed at late notice by the airline. Guadeloupe shares a curiosity with Antigua however – these were the only two Caribbean countries on my 2021-2022 tour where I didn’t take a PCR test, this was because I had less than 24 hours in Guadeloupe, and my two trips to Antigua totalled less than 72 hours – instead I had done PCR tests in each of Sint Marteen, Dominica and Beef Island (The British Virgin Islands). Firstly, Guadeloupe for me is a fully fledged and independent country. They speak French and use the dreaded “Euro” but with its own flag, passport stamps and laws, this was another excellent country on my odyssey, albeit a “quickie”. The flag…
On arrival into Guadeloupe (from Dominica) I had my PCR test checked – negative of course as well as my vaccination certificate. I was due to leave the country the next day, so I confirmed with the security and immigration staff that the PCR test was also valid for me to leave and fly to Sint Maarten with. They confirmed it was. Also crazy on this trip was that I did two PCR tests in Dominica – one the day I arrived and one the day before I left – due to the 72 hour clauses at the time! Anyway, I arrived into Guadeloupe…
I got my passport stamped on the 29th December coming in, and again on the 30th December when leaving. The airport stamp said “Pole Caraibes” on it.
After getting through immigration at the airport, I knew my time was short here and so I got in a taxi from the airport, at Pointe-a-Pietre to my hostel, the Butterfly Hostel, located on the south east of Grand Terre Island. The first thing I realised is that Guadeloupe is not cheap! The taxi was about 70 Euros, yes really!! Apart from the £70 taxi story from my Backpacking Centurion book, this is the dearest taxi ever, but in retrospect – it was fast and safe, and I was healthy and would have a night in the seaside village of Saint-François, Guadeloupe. This is the Butterfly Hostel.
However due to the cancelled ferry to Martinique, the extra PCR test in Dominica and the fact I was late arriving in Guadeloupe meant that I actually had messed up my booking!! On arrival at the Butterfly Hostel I informed the staff I had a booking for a night in a dorm bed. I was baffled that they didn’t have my reservation. But it was my fault – I had booked the wrong night!! I was meant to be here the day after. I quickly worried and had to check my flight out now…whilst cosying myself on the sofa.
The lady changed my booking so I could stay in a dorm bed that night. While sipping the beer, staff brought me some cake – guests had made it. I don’t remember her name but she is pictured here.
As I only had one night here, I had a short walk around the area – we were near Marche La Rotonde, a central market. The hostel was also very close to the gorgeous coastline on the south of Grand Terre. There were some bars open downtown, but I opted for a few carryout beers to drink at the hostel before sleeping. I had Carib and Desperados, bought from a local kiosk.
Then when I checked my flight, I realised I’d be up early – 6 a.m. to head back to the airport so the staff gave me the keys with a blue urn attached as I would have to order a taxi and let myself out.
I was up early and gone so fast – one of my quickest and shortest ever country visits – maybe only Monaco, Podjistan, Adammia, Austenasia, Frestonia, Lovely, Ladonia and Lagoan Isles were shorter. Ironically in none of those, did I stay the night. Yet here in Guadeloupe, I stayed the night, was here on two seperate calendar days and probably spent more time sleeping in the country than seeing it, how weird!
“I’ve been to Guadeloupe, but I haven’t seen Guadeloupe!” – Jonny Blair, 2021.
So it was a short and sweet trip through Guadeloupe – one of my shortest stays in a country, though I guess I’ll have to go back one day as I still plan to tick off some countries nearby such as Martinique, Saint Kitts, Nevis, Barbuda, Anguilla, The Bahamas and Bermuda. The Caribbean is a huge monster of countries to get through as a tourist and it’s getting to the point where 1-3 days per country is enough. Perhaps those cruise ships that do a day in each country have got it spot on.
Here are the details for booking a dorm bed / room at the Butterfly Hostel in Saint-François, Guadeloupe:
Rue Victor Schoelcher, Saint-François 97118, Guadeloupe
+590 690 29-1067
Here are some videos from my time Staying At The Butterfly Hostel in Saint-François, Guadeloupe: