Bit by bit we are learning more about Saint Martin/Saint Maartin/Sint Maarten. For 2 bucks you can take a bus (minivan) from any one point to another. So we've gone into Phillipsburg, over to Maho Bay, from Marigot to Grande Case and onto Orient Beach. We've wandered around the back streets looking for grocery stores, NAPA Auto & Marine and funky restaurants. The locals here have been wonderful - cheerful, polite and helpful.
We've spent many evening Happy Hours at Barnacles for $1.25 Presidente beers and wifi. Other fun spots have included Lagoonies and the Yacht Club - right beside the Dutch bridge. All of these places have great atmosphere and friendly hosts and patrons. Lagoonies is tucked between Island Water World and Budget Marine - two must stop places for all the boat bits we need. Someone was pondering today about why boats break so often. It's not like a car… there are always things to fix on a boat.
|Lunch at Marigot
|Flea market at Lagoonies
|Building a new bridge across the lagoon
Our biggest adventure to date was our trip up to Orient Beach. It is a place we had considered taking Blue Pearl but after reading the guide book - which talked about the difficult navigation and uncomfortable anchorages - we decided to see it by land. So we took the $2 bus from Marigot to Orient Beach. The bus is a great adventure. It is full of tourists and locals and each time the bus stops to let someone off or pick someone up, everyone on the bus has to play musical chairs to get let someone on/off and get re-seated. Whenever anyone new gets on the bus they greet the existing passengers and driver with an enthusiastic, "Good afternoon."
We arrived at our destination, hopped off and began our walk down a stretch of gorgeous beach, populated by thousands of sun lovers. Every now and then, Pam would mutter, "Incoming." which meant Glen had to look at his sandals or somewhere else so as not to appear to be gawking. There was a certain amount of toplessness - but certainly not everyone - and the topless police really needed to talk to some of those people about putting their tops back on. Some people were very shy about the experience, some completely natural and comfortable and some were silly exhibitionists.
We got to the end of the beach - where the serious nudist beach starts along with their nudist hotel - and turned around to find a beach bar for lunch. Lots of the restaurants had 22 Euro entrees with Euro beers and 10 Euro drinks but we continued our search until we found the $10 hamburger and $2 beer that has been available everywhere we've gone. Yummmmm!
|Waiting for Pam to come back
We are looking ahead at the weather and once the northern swell dies down we will visit Anguilla. We are interested to know if the restaurant from the book "A Trip to the Beach" is still in operation. If it is - we will be having lunch there!