Friday, July 14, 2023

December 13-14, 2022 breakfast at Croissant Royale, Friers Bay, Orient Bay & Marigot

 12-13 Tuesday  We woke up to having no water at the condo this morning.  Luckily we had bottled water that helped us freshen ourselves for the day.  We went to the Croissant Royale again for breakfast.  Today I had the crepe salmon & sour cream with mushrooms and onion.  Dave had the chocolate crepe with bananas and oranges.  

I convinced Dave to check out another beach.  We stopped at the town of Cal de Sac and checked out taking the ferry to Pinel island to snorkel.  We will come back another time and make a day of it.
We stopped at Frier’s Bay and walked the beach.

another boat on the beach

We returned to the condo and there still wasn’t any water.  We walked to a grocery store in the opposite direction from town.  We had been told not to go that direction at night.  We watched Argentina beat Croatia in the soccer tournament back at our condo.  Then we walked downtown for dinner.  We ended up at Arawak again.  Dave had ribs and I had a pizza with smoked duck and goat cheese.  Both were great.  

12-14 Wednesday Since Orient Bay seems to be the most accessible and cleanest beach, we went back there today.  We enjoyed walking the beach.  Most places rented their beach chairs to you.  We ended up at the place we had stopped before.  We sat in their beach chairs, but close to the restaurant in the shade.  I went for a swim while Dave hung out.  

kite boarders



yellow sail of kite boarder

view of Marigot as we returned
 We cleaned up at the condo and headed back to Arawak to watch France play soccer against Morocco.  This has become our local hangout.  We had lunch during the game.  I had their lasagna and Dave had their ribs again.  It fun watching France win in a French country.  We walked to a restaurant that was recommended to us to make a dinner reservation to celebrate our anniversary.  Enjoyed some Christmas decorations.
Arawak restaurant

view of bay downtown Marigot


We relaxed at the condo for awhile (important part of our vacation). I enjoyed the pool again.   Later we walked to a nearby pizza place that we have passed everyday and it always smells so good.  We had the salmon pizza with smoked salmon, fresh spinach, cherry tomatoes, basil, parsley, oregano, olives and Crème Fraiche.  The other one was Campagnarde with Crème Fraiche, mozzarella, bacon, potatoes, onions, eggs, oregano and olives.  We had to try a couple and take some home with us since the choices were so unique. 

their hotsauce

December 12, 2022 Rouge Beach, St Martin & Simpson Bay, Sint Maarten

 Monday.  We went to the Dauphin telephone company this morning.  I only have data on my phone, no cell service, so it has a different prefix.  Obviously, the people at the gas station on Saturday had never seen this before.  They couldn’t refund me the money, but they were able to move the date that we had purchased to my account.  Which was great.
We picked up the snorkel gear and went to Rouge Beach, the opposite direction from our last beach excursion.  We had a nice walk on the beach, but the water looked too rough to snorkel.  We visited with some people on the beach that had been coming here for years.  There used to be a fun beach bar here before the hurricane took it out.  


there used to be a great restaurant/bar on the hillside

Next we tried to check out Simpson Bay.  There were businesses lining the beach and it seemed difficult to access the beach.  Finally at the west end of the beach we found the Buccaneer Beach Bar that had free parking.  We sat in the restaurant on the beach first.  We just ordered a couple appetizers and beers.   We were now on the Dutch side of the island, Sint Maarten.  We tried their chicken wings (which were scrawny according to the chicken wing judge, Dave) and Bittenballen.  They were a breaded ball that was fried and had a meat gravy inside of them.  Good but unusual.  We were allowed to sit on their beach chairs as long as we ordered food or drinks.  So we enjoyed a few drinks and I swam, but didn’t snorkel, poor visibility.  

Back at the condo, I enjoyed the pool and Dave enjoyed sports on TV.  We had dinner at the condo again.  Canard in a jar, duck.  We are enjoying the meals from things we’re finding in the grocery store just as much as eating out.

 Interesting mailboxes in St Martin

front door of our condo

walkway from building to the street
gate into the pool


nice view at the pool :)

happy hour on the deck

we buy these in little jars at Publix back home

December 10-11, 2022 Exploring St Martin, catholic church

 Saturday Today we decided to tour the island by car.  St Martin is known for it’s beautiful beaches.  I had researched several to see where there was good snorkeling.  So we set off with a map to explore.  The traffic was a little crazy.  The roads are narrow and some under construction.  They were hit by a hurricane a few years ago and still rebuilding.  There were also a lot of motorcycle/scooters that didn’t have to obey the traffic lanes.  They were darting in and out of traffic everywhere.  Crazy!  
We thought we had to “top up” the data on my phone, since we only started with an introductory amount.  We were having trouble doing it online, so we stopped at a gas station that advertised that you could “top up”.   I gave them the card with our phone number.  It had a different prefix for the country code, so they changed it thinking it was a mistake.  Well, it didn’t work.  They had my $20 for 4 gig of data, but we had nothing.  They said we would have to go to the phone company on Monday to get it straightened out.  We’ll just see how that goes.  In the meantime, we hoped we had enough data for me to navigate our way around.  
We had seen a sailing regatta advertised for this weekend at Orient Bay, so we headed there.  We had a drink at the beach but didn’t see any sign of a regatta, only a few topless sunbathers and swimmers.  Evidently the nude beach was just down the road aways.  We were ok with skipping that.  

We continued on to tour the island.  There were several beaches on my list that I thought we could check out.  To get to those beaches, we took some smaller roads that were rugged and steep.  It was kind of hard on our little rental car.  But the beaches seemed to be a private resorts.  So we didn’t even get to enjoy them.  We found Phillipsburg on the Dutch side of the island, Sint Maarten.  This is the cruise ship port and was very crowded with tourist shops.  We could’t wait to get out of there.  We stopped at a road side food truck for “roti”.  We had sailing friends that talked about having roti in Trinidad.  It was a sandwich wrapped in a tortilla like shell.  Dave had curry goat and I had shrimp curry.  They were very flavorful, but messy.  Dave’s still had bones in his meat.  

We finished the loop of the island and headed back to our condo.  We had a nice dinner with salad, salmon and ratatouille (from a can).  We enjoyed watching the FIFA world cup soccer tournament on TV, which we don’t have on the boat.  France beat England.  Everyone on the island is really into the tournament. 

12-11 Sunday Dave dropped me off at the church this morning.  Then he went up to Fort St Louis to enjoy the view.  I just loved the beautiful music during the mass.  I tried to record it without looking too touristy.  


After church we walked around the downtown area of Marigot.  Much quieter on Sunday.  There were a few venders open and we bought a shirt for Pete.  We chose a sidewalk restaurant called Arawak, which were indigenous people of the Caribbean.  I tried their local guava berry colada rum drink.  Very tasty.  We shared a mixed creole platter with salad, fritters, crab cake and blood sausage.  Then we shared a chicken shawarma (similar to gyro).  They also gave us a shot of their complimentary homemade banana rum.


their bottled water

We enjoyed relaxing at the condo and had dinner there.  We had an assortment of meats and pâté, cheeses, bread and wine.  We had fun shopping and eating in a French country.