Sunday, May 10, 2009

Relaxing in Marigot (St-Martin)

It is amazing how much cultural change there is from one island to another in the area. In Dominican Republic it was Spanish speaking, relax and barely any rules then in Puerto Rico it was completely different with a mix of Spanish and English and a developed USA based culture, St-Thomas was English and populated with a majority of black people and now St-Martin being a French territory, speaking French and English with a completely mixed population. All these cultures are living about 30-50 miles from each other yet being so different. After traveling for hundreds of miles east against the wind and the waves it was nice to stop a few days in the large bay of Marigot while waiting for a friend couple joining us from Ottawa who are going to spend a few days with us. There is not much “touristy” stuff to see in Marigot and we just took the time to clean the boat and wander around in town and in the stores. Marigot is a premium place to get your boat repaired with great chandleries (stores for boats) and every kind of repair facilities. Luckily for us, Chocobo is still in good working state after all the refit we did in Puerto Rico hence we didn’t have to spend much money here for a change. If you look at picture on the right, you’ll see us in 2004 and the picture on the left are us now in 2009. Not much difference except that Danielle is a bit more visible hehe! For those who are still smoking, don’ quit otherwise you will become more visible too.

Twice a week they hold a farmer’s market at the waterfront and we were hoping to replenish our fresh fruits and vegetable but we stopped quickly once we faced the local prices. There are no bargains to be found here, prices are high and they don’t deal down. Nevertheless, Danielle managed to get a certain discount by changing all the Euro figures the lady at the stall was telling her to the same figure but in American dollars. They accept both here. The American dollar being cheaper than the Euro this gave us about 30% discount but still it was expensive. We definitively miss the Dominican Republic where you could buy a pineapple for $1, here you can’t get it for less than $6. Don’t forget, they grow the pineapples on the next island here! So we bought most our food at the supermarket. But the good news is that now we get some real patés, wine and cheese. If you wonder what the small white balls in the bowl are; they are hard boiled quail’s eggs. We were told they were excellent so we tried them. They were good indeed but they tasted just like regular eggs, just smaller! The wine and the paté de foie were to die for though.