St. Maarten Departure

SXM_StudentsAfter several days of non-stop Heineken Regatta activity, our St. Maarten departure was imminent. With two days to burn it was time to breakaway from the crowds and just sit on the beach, or whatever. Orient Beach remains my favorite SXM beach spot. It is sometimes confusing to hear the locals refer to the Dutch side and the French side. One has to mentally draw diagrams to visualize were these lines of demarcation are positioned on this tiny island. Dividing the island into two nationalities is a bit much. The Europeans do not appear to tire from empire building.

In the case of St. Maarten, this is a laughable consequence of history. This partitioning of little St. Maarten reminds me of the joke about the two fleas on the back of the dog arguing over who owns the dog. Anyway, St. Maarten is a fun Caribbean destination with just the right qualities for everyone. Some of the neat places we spent idling away time on those last two days include shopping (both sides); the Shipwreck Shop and Little Switzerland had intriguing stuff. While taking photos by the Simpson Bay Bridge we came across a beautiful little school called l’ école au bord de l’ eau (the school by the water?). The children and parents were leaving when we showed up. I can not remember seeing such happy and calm children anywhere else on the island.

Orient Beach, St. Maarten www.oceantrader.coThe day before leaving we discovered the Loterie Farm for lunch. This hotel/restaurant is located on the highest mountain peak (Pic Paradis) on the island. It has a very green-modernist-live-off-the-land kind of vibe to the place. The people were unassuming and friendly. The food and everything else were first class. The air was cool with a nice breeze and no insects. It is a large property that allows you to wonder off if you need to get your head right. After descending back down to sea level, we lumbered off to meet a friend that was generous enough to share his small aircraft with us on a short flight to St. Thomas. Next year I will be more orderly in my regatta planning. This particular trip was a last minute affair with many unintended consequences, but it was an agreeable foray back to a place that is worth returning to. Images © ocean trader

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