Lots of flying but we made it. Crazy airport, of course, and slightly scary driving.
After finding our cute little apartment on Orient Bay, we hit the market for some essentials (like wine) and then had dinner at Le Piment, a short walk from our apartment. The salads and pizza were amazing. Check out the plating on Carl’s Salad!
Day 2: Sunday driving tour
On Sunday we woke up early and took a stroll down Orient Beach, which is about 100 yards from our apartment. Unfortunately, this is the time of year where high winds blow in off the Atlantic so the surf on our beach is quite rough. The walk was nice, we saw the other place we considered staying and are glad we picked this apartment. We also found the nude beach. Yep. People were walking on it. Nude (older) people.
View of Orient beach from the north end, after hiking up the hill a bit:
After deciding that it was too windy to stay at our beach, we took a driving tour of the island. The first stop was at the north end of the island, Anse Marcel. We quickly learned that driving on Saint Martin is scary, with very narrow and extremely hilly roads. It didn’t help that our rental car has no power and is laughable trying to make it up the really steep sections.
Anse Marcel is a little sheltered beach, with only a few hotels. The water was calm and gorgeous:
Our next stop was Grand Case, the culinary capital of Saint Martin. We walked the length of the town and then had lunch at Talk of the Town, a “lolo” which is a street side stand supposedly, but seemed like a restaurant to us. I had some rum punch ( of course) and a whole smoked red snapper. Head and all. It was amazing!
The beach at Grand Case:
We then headed to Marigot, but just drove through because the tourist office was closed.
Our next stop was Baie Rouge, an amazing beach that we will definitely return to lounge and snorkel.
We next looped around by Mullet Beach and Simpson Beach, but parking near both was overflowing so we didn’t stop. However, we were able to stop at Little Bay Beach, where I took my first iguana photo. The beach itself was very nice so we decided to come back.
We entered the beach through a hotel. The flags show you the wind:
And in Philipsburg we ran into the PwC building!
Our last stop was at Dawn beach, but we basically walked out, turned around and walked back to the car. We then returned back to our apartment and rested up for dinner.
There are a number of interesting restaurants right down near the beach where we’re staying so we opted to go there for dinner. We ended up at Cote Plages, a French restaurant. Everything is so wonderfully plated here, but I neglected to get a photo of the starter, which was a mushroom and spinach pie with a salad and cold soup.
Carl had a duck shepherds pie for his entree and I had a creole mahi mahi dish. We finished with a dessert called pineapple carpaccio, which we came to realize later is quite common here. All of my dinner photos aren’t high quality because I used my phone. Flash photography with my Canon DSLR in a restaurant is beyond my skills.
Creole mahi mahi (Good flavor, but not enough spice and the fish was a bit overdone):
Carl’s Shepherd Pie with duck – he says it was good:
We also learned that its customary for restaurants to give you a digestif of house infused rum to finish your meal. This place gave us passion fruit and strawberry, and passion fruit was the clear winner.
I made friends with the restaurant cat, giving her little bits of my fish.