St. Maarten, 2011 – Day #4
Tuesday, September 27 2011 –
We were up at 10:30am today for our usual breakfast before heading out to spend some more time at Baie Rouge on the French side of the island. Renting the car provided us with a lot of freedom, so we wanted to take full advantage of it. Since we drove so much yesterday, we had to make a quick pit-stop for gas first, then were on our way.
It must have been shortly after noon when we parked at Baie Rouge and paid our $15US for the two loungers and beach umbrella. This beach didn’t have the same deal as the others, that included a bucket of beers – which was fine since we were driving. We spent an hour just soaking up the sun, before the skies opened up and started raining. I’m not talking a little rain either, this was a downpour. We gathered up our towels and beach bag and walked over to Gus’ Beach Bar for some shelter, but the rain wasn’t letting up. We had a beer and hung out there, hoping it would pass but the sky was pretty dark. After our drinks we decided to call it a day and head back towards the hotel. Somewhat of a waste of the $15, but c’est la vie.
Although the drive back to the hotel was only 20 minutes or so, the skies had cleared up a bit so we went down to the beach for another sunset swim. We could see the rain clouds in the distance, so the storm must have been blowing southwest, and missed our hotel. The water was really clear, so we used the snorkel mask we had brought with us and saw quite a few fish. Another beautiful sunset, then we went back to the room to get cleaned up for dinner.
We hadn’t experienced too much ‘island food’ yet, so we decided to check out Alexander’s across the street since it came highly recommended. Julia went for the stewed ox tail and I had the chicken & ribs (again, I know) – both our meals were just okay. Nothing fantastic, and neither had a ton of flavour. Even the hot sauce was more like a salsa, not a hot sauce. After dinner, we walked over to La Bamba to see some live Brazillian salsa music. When we arrived, it was pretty quiet, so we took a seat at the bar, but it filled up pretty quickly. Franco, the bartender, introduced himself and said that La Bamba ‘doesn’t do credit, you just pay at the end of the night’ – (edit: I guess that means to start a tab you don’t have to leave your credit card), so he wrote our name down on a piece of paper and we were set. The drinks didn’t stop coming our way – with 2-for-1 Amstel Brights (Corona type beer), I took advantage. Julia started with some rum & cokes, and then made the switch to beer later on.
We met a couple, John & Jessica, from Jacksonville, so chatted with them throughout the evening. They were staying near Orient Beach and couldn’t believe how quiet their area was, or how much seaweed there was on their beach. They were trying to find areas with more people and ended up in Simpson Bay. We had some laughs with them, and watched Jessica salsa dance with one of the regulars – John set the whole thing up and Jessica was totally embarrassed. The bar was so busy that they ended up selling out of Bright, so we switched to Corona for the last round, before we settled up our $31US bar tab with Franco. Imagine that, drinking all night and spending $31US for two people? Gotta love the island life!