By Cath Hough
Anchoring in St Pierre, Martinique is an impressive sight with Mt Pelee towering over you, the peak occasionally appearing from the clouds. Once a thriving city St-Pierre has a fascinating history, making it a quaint place for a stopover. During May 1902 the town was destroyed when Mt Pelee erupted, wiping out the entire town, with the exception of a prisoner protected by his thick prison cell walls! Dotted around is evidence of the ruins, including the prison, theatre, and church.
As we had a day to explore I decided to take a walk to discover the St-Pierre waterfall. Having seen a brief description in a sail cruising magazine I knew a waterfall existed a short walk from the town, however, the exact location was unknown! Walking from the dinghy dock up the hill through town I met with River Roxelane and followed its banks along the road. Following a brief hiking map picked up at the tourist information I walked to the spot where the River Jardin des Plantes met the river I was following. There was a slightly overgrown path along the edge of the river which I decided to follow, in the hope that it would lead to the waterfall! As the path got narrower and more overgrown I thought it may come to a dead end, however, I reached a gate with ‘pousses’ written on it (which I later discovered meant push)! Having followed the path so far I decided to continue and to my amazement around the next corner was a beautiful cascading waterfall! The fresh water was too tempting not to take a dip underneath the fresh flow and cool off. I was pleased to have been able to find a secluded spot of natural beauty to enjoy.
On the way back I continued up the road to Depaz Rhum Distillery. You are able to see the production of Rhum which is made on site and have a taste too! You can then loop back to St-Pierre past the old church ruins and into the town.
If you have some time to spare when visiting St-Pierre I recommend this walk. I was amazed by the natural beauty of the waterfall, however as far I could tell it was not advertised with sign posts or walking routes. A secret spot worth visiting!