Monday, April 2, 2012

Eating Our Way Through St. Martin

So here's the deal, this trip is definitely not about the walking/hiking like the last one. I guess that's what we get for coming to a French Territory vs. hanging out in U.S or British territories. You just don't find the same level of finesse when it comes to food.

We found out that we can check out of St. Martin up to 48 hours in advance and since we want to head up to the north-east side of the island, by checking out this morning we won't have to come back to a clearance centre before we leave. Again, the process is so easy and all we have to do is wait until 9am when the office opens. What to do in the meantime...?? Of course, sitting in a boulangerie/patisserie to while away the time wouldn't be an option, would it?? Who could resist and need I say more about our scrumptious breakfast?

Above all, keep the baquette dry in the dinghy!
Next order of the day was to fill up with fuel and water so we won't have to do this again before getting back to St. Thomas. We hailed Marina Fort St. Louis and were told to come on in, but when we arrived at the fuel dock it was taken with another boat. We hung around for a bit and did a loop out of the marina and back in, and were finally clear to pull up to the dock. 130 liters of fuel and our water tanks topped up we were free to go, so long as we made it into the office to pay before they closed for lunch. It was 11:58 am and quite a long walk around to the office but thankfully Henry made it since lunch break in Marigot is two hours! Who can blame them, though...?

Finally, we were all free to head up the coast and with a lunch stop in Friar's Bay and then a snorkeling stop in Happy Bay (both of which we visited and loved on our previous trip to St. Martin four years ago), we headed for Grand Case for the evening.

Happy Bay - a happy place, especially when you have it to yourself.

To bookend the day of culinary adventures, we headed into Grand Case for dinner. This little town – literally one one-way street, is lined with restaurants ranging from Lolo's (locally owned locally operated fresh-air BBQs) to high-end French or Italian cuisine, all overlooking a spectacular sunset across the harbour. We decided to go low key and settled in at a Lolo where we enjoyed a rack of ribs, a half lobster and a number of sides (potato salad, coleslaw, green salad and curried rice) all for the ridiculous price of 43 Euros (which also included 2 beer each). To top the evening off, we found out that the price was offered in USD at par which usually runs 33% above the Euro here.

Last flights into Grand Case for the night fly in over the anchorage.
 Our plan is to head to Tintamarre in the morning (an island off the east coast of St. Martin and part of the nature preserve) but we have also found out that Tuesday night is the last of the street parades in Grand Case. They run through the winter and we'd originally been told it was over but now that there is just one left, we will try to return to participate in the fun (and maybe one more visit to the Lolo!)