Tuesday, February 19, 2008
The welcoming sign at the Historical site of Lopinot is paled by the Immortelle trees blooming in the mountains.
It’s a cool Sunday afternoon, no bird whistles, no swishing breezes just that quite tone which nature uses to whisper to our hearts.
At The La Reconnaissance estate, the voice of our tour guide fills the afternoon with the tales of Charles Joseph Count de Loppinot (1738-1819) "Loppinot was a young knight who rose to the rank Lieutenant-General in the French army. He left France to serve time in the North-American French colony of Acadie (which is today combined with the Canadian territory of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island). His service and travels led him to Louisiana, the Caribbean- Jamaica, Santo Domingo (known as Dominican Republic and Haiti today), and Trinidad…”
He was soldier, voyager, slave owner, planter, landowner.
Memorabalia at the site includes the grave sites of the count and his wife. There are no photos of him but a photo of his ghost takes a place of prominence in the small museum, as well; well preserved furniture from the 19th Century, alongside parang musical instruments of present day made by residents. "Lopinot is the home of Parang" boast our tour guide"and parang is part and parcel of every day life; sung at wakes, funerals, birthdays, weddings; not only during Christmas Season ".
He leds us in a sampling of his parang expertise and we join in, singing lustly, filling the afternoon with the musical hearbeat of the people.
near the cashew tree
on a picnic bench
Lopinot is located about five and three quarters miles north of Arouca.