Loterie Farm

Loterie Farm Pic Paradis 103, St. Maarten – The Loterie Farm Nature Reserve Sanctuary was an unexpected find on a four day St. Maarten holiday last year. We always head for the highest peaks in sight on an island knock about. St. Maarten is a well loved destination in itself and there is a tendency to feel too familiar with this small island. That is the makings of a trek challenge. Sail the Anegada Passage to a small island paradise, rent a 4X4 with good tires, seek out new and delightful spaces while hiking established paths, and not so established paths that probably traverses the metes and bounds of privately held property. Travel light with basic camera gear, liquids, bear spray (for unfriendly dogs), and sensible clothing. Have as much adventure and laid back fun as possible before settling the marina bill and sailing to the next island.

Lottery Farm St. Marten www.oceantrader.co

St. Marrten (St. Marten) has many facets and there are other things to enjoy in addition to getting lost in the bush. Things like duty free shopping, restaurants, beach combing, and even nude beach combing. The overnight sail from Virgin Gorda was an easy passage with no unwanted surprises except for a lost wench handle. Active sailors average one a year, I suspect. The boat was a newish Jenneau 39i sloop with basic electronics. Even after clearing immigration and customs we had plenty of energy. After all, the RayMarine autopilot did most of the work on the sail over. Renting a 4X4 was also an easy mission. Getting off the boat is half the fun of being on the boat in first place. Being able to walk about and enjoy a fresh breeze is allows appreciated. A fancy restaurant on the French side was elected for our first night out on the town. Dinner at L’Auberge Gourmande was every thing promised in the name. We ran into an old friend as we were leaving. Last time we spoke he was a missionary working with several church groups to supply two small schools and a maternity clinic elsewhere. This time he indicated he had left the mission behind and was now working as a roofer. I never believe anything this old boy tells me. Rumor has it he is really a smuggler of known repute that is willing to fly his shit-stained Cessena anywhere there is a patch of dirt long enough to land it. Anyway, this pirate of the Caribbean is loads of fun to share drinks with. He is full of stories, and keeps his drinking mates in stitches with laughter.

The next day we motored north to find Pic Paradis. Pic Paradis was an area we spotted on a tourist map in the marina office. Using Google Earth on an iPad helped us find the access road that was paved all the way to the top. The 4X4 was parked off  the road in the bush and we started hiking downhill. The view from this particular mountain is excellent with enough cleared areas to take photos. Thirty minutes of downhill hiking brought us to an area where we could see the supports and cabling for a zip line. Sure enough, not too long after making that observation we spotted a zipliner buzzing by. Eventually we made our way back to the jeep. On the our way down the mountain we spotted the Loterie Farm sign. This turned out to be the perfect venue for lunch and just hanging out. We have returned to the Loterie Farm since, and even rented a cabana. The tree house ambiance, tropical gardens and hiking areas are neat attributes, and the reserve is located in a remote and relaxed part of the island. The food, restaurant setting and music were all tastefully down. Ocean Trader recommends the Loterie Farm as a place to enjoy unpretentious accommodations, or just a fabulous place to dine. Image © ocean trader

 

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