St Maartin/St Martin in the Caribbean.

Trip Start Feb 01, 2005
Trip End Dec 31, 2020

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holiday inn

Flag of Saint Martin  ,
Thursday, April 14, 2005

Flying into St. Maartin from Jamaica was a rather difficult task. First when we arrived at the airport we found that our first flight (to Kingston) had been cancelled and we would be bussed to a different airport. Then when we arrived in Kingston, deja vu we had to be bussed again as it was a different airport to our next flight. Eventually we caught our flight and arrived on the Dutch side of St. Maarten island which is rather unique in that although it is only a very small island, it is 1/2 owned by the Dutch and 1/2 owned by the French. We hired a little car and enjoyed seeing the islands beaches and towns, crossing between the two countries many times as it only takes about an hour and a half to circumnavigate the island. At one stage Avan managed, in the rain, to put the car in a ditch, but fortunately some friendly tourists stopped to help lift us out, and no damage done. St. Maartin is a Mecca for duty free shopping (especially jewellery) for the passengers of huge cruise ships. There are generally 4 or so in port at any one time. The streets of Philipsburg the capital of the Dutch side were lined with beautiful shops designed for the cruise boat captives.

We had a bit of an adventure one night in a local restaurant. In a moment of wanting to be cosmopolitan we ordered a main course of a local delicacy - curried goat - but that wasn't the adventure. A local homeless Carib man came up from the beach very upset and went straight up to Avan and accused him of taking his wallet and money! He had something wrapped in newspaper in his hand and was waving it around. The restaurant owner rang for the police straight away while Avan talked calmly to him trying to convince him they had never met and that he had not taken the money. He eventually left but later the police arrested him and then came to get Avans statement.. It turned out that the item in his hand wrapped in newspaper had been a machete!!! Luckily we didn't know that at the time.
Then as we were thinking the drama had ended the arrested mans friend came into the restaurant and started hassling Avan and accusing him of being responsible for his mate being arrested!! After a while we managed to convince him to leave.

The goat was actually surprisingly good!

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