Pelee Island is one more stop on my long list of destinations; but every place is unique and the more I see, the more I want to explore and I would like to pass that excitement along. Therefore, I will not just tell you about the landscape and culture of Pelee Island as I give you the tour but also mix in my own experiences in other countries to motivate your travel and exploration!
The first thing, before you even get off the boat at the West Dock, you will notice how flat Pelee is. It reminds me of The Netherlands, I lived there as a child and I remember that one time we biked roughly 30km to get to the tallest hill in the center of the country, and had the greatest time ever going down! So, maybe, The Netherlands is not actually that flat, but Pelee sure is; it’s highest point is only about 8 meters above sea level. A private barn is located on this hill along the West shore, so even when it snows there is still no public hill to sled down.
As we go along West Shore road you may notice some birdhouses in shoes, which brings me to my next point. One thing I cannot compare to any other place is the unique quirkiness of Pelee Island. There are the unique animals (such as Fox Squirrels, Blue Racer snakes, and Indigo Buntings), but also unique people. Where else can you find a shoe donation center in a tree, patchwork done using a deer statue, or a bicycle store that sells diapers? Pelee citizens are quirky for sure, but also very kind, and with only about 200 permanent residents you must look after each other.
The North shore is the most populated part of the island, and as we go by, many people will wave. Just so you know, if your neighbour is angry with you maybe it is because you didn’t wave at her when she drove by. Waving is like the law here. This I would like to compare to smiling in Thailand, the happy country, where one of my first phrases I learned to say was “sanuk maak”, very happy. Smiling in Thailand is an essential part of the culture. A smile is not only a greeting; when bargaining for produce you can laugh as a way of saying that the quoted price is ridiculous, smiling is a way to apologize, and whenever you don’t have a clue about what is going on, just smile. I have yet to see if on Pelee waving is the solution to these problems, but the island is pretty relaxed, so maybe it is!
Residents and visitors alike live on island time when here, which means that everybody you can just take it easy as we head South. In Chile there is a similar thing, but to an even larger extend, it is called Chilean time. It is usually 1-2 hours later than Foreign time. When meeting with friends I would say in my group message, “Come to karaoke at 8:30pm! (7pm Chilean time)”. Thankfully we must work with the ferry schedule and therefore I work with the most punctual company on the island!
Now, we’ve come to our last stop, our paragraph, I hope you enjoyed the tour. Pelee Island is definitely a unique place worth a visit, with a unique views and people. However if you can’t come this year, at least you read my blog post! 😉