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[Excerpt] Contrasts like that mark the French island in the Lesser Antilles chain. Grande-Terre is flat, hot and bright. Its long, straight beaches are a natural extension of low-lying terrain, full of light green sugarcane fields and grassy marsh.

Basse-Terre is a forest green, made somber as the sun rotates the shadows of its high central mountains past the villages below. Only the narrow belt highway around Basse-Terre separates its curving beaches from steep foothills. At every turn in the road, a tiny stream carries the runoff from the mountains, where there are waterfalls and deep pools and springs. Here, instead of the high, classic rainbows of Grande-Terre, the coincidence of sun and rain makes for a thick, stunted rainbow seemingly imbedded in a hillside, like a pre-Columbian slab worshiped by an ancient tribe.


Suggested Citation
Compa, L. (1986, November 16). On Guadeloupe, a fine blending of contrasts [Electronic version]. The Philadelphia Inquirer.

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