Ravine St. Louis or Rambaud Gut

I’ve seen it referred to as either Ravine St. Louis or Rambaud Gut, but whatever you call it, the ravine running between Pic Paradis and La Savane is a terrific place to explore. If you’re driving past it on the main road, it’s the dip between Pic Paradis and the last hill that you crest before the downhill into Grand Case, and you may have noticed loads of banana trees in that little valley.

The ravine extends in both directions from the road. Downhill it heads to Étang Guichard and Friar’s Bay, while uphill it heads towards the top of Pic Paradis. On my last two visits, I’ve explored the uphill section. From the main road, access to the ravine starts at a well, then continues through a number of small farms. After that, you can continue to follow a small stream to its source, which also features a well. Above that area, there is a dry ravine that is easy to follow until the forest gives way to scrub. At this point, the ravine continues, but the lack of a canopy means lots of undergrowth to tackle.

In the first set of photos from the area you can see a variety of forest dwellers as well as a look at the huge buttress roots of a large tree near the source of the stream.

The second set of photos includes a lot of whistling frogs. The literature asserts that there are two similar species on St. Martin, Eleutherodactylus johnstonei and E. martinicensis. Of course, the descriptions of the two species are almost identical, so it looks like someone will need to get to know these frogs a little better. For the record, at the moment I think these are E. johnstonei.

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