Friday, July 14, 2023

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. 

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