I slept well in my double bed – a full 7 hours before I woke up to use the restroom. I was a little chilled when I’d roll over, covered with just a sheet, and remember thinking I should figure out how to turn down the air conditioning, but was too tired. In the morning I found the control for the AC, which had been set to 25 C., and the next night, alternated between 26 (which tended to feel a little too warm and humid) and 25 (which tended to feel good originally but when I rested, my body would feel a little chilled).
The bathroom in the 1 bedroom had a seamless shower – no door or lip, just what appeared to be a river of rocks in the midst of the tile floor toward the shower area. There was both an overhead rain shower and a hand held. To my delight, the hot water was hot – I love hot showers, unless it’s like 90F. Roosters were crowing in the morning to wake me up, but it was only about 7 AM, so I decided I’d go back to sleep for a while.
When I finally got up and dressed mid-morning, I went back out to explore the neighborhood. Down the street past the Creole Village area it turned out I was at the harbor. There was a multitude of booths advertising excursions by water – sailing around Diamant, dolphin & whale watching, diving. You could also take a ferry over to Fort du France, and return on ferry – the last run of the day being at dusk. On this short 3 full day trip, I decided I’d just stay around Pointe du Bout, and one day drive the rental car south. I’ll have to come back again to try some of the other adventures, but this trip is to get rested, not exhausted. Having walked around a couple blocks and checked out available restaurants, I decided I’d try the Havana Cafe, which was the crepe place. Only it turns out crepes are not a breakfast food, that they didn’t serve food till 12 noon. I satisfied myself with a mango smoothie – which was not based on yogurt but more like a frozen fruit puree. Again I had the experience of waiting to be given a menu, waiting to have my order taken, waiting to have my glass removed, waiting for the bill – which, when it finally arrived was in a small bowl with a mint candy. One of my daughters has been working as wait staff in New York City restaurants, and the tempo there is quick, quick, quick. Ici in Martinique, time apparently moves more slowly. Since I had no specific plans for the day, I realized I wasn’t in a hurry anyway, so why not enjoy the outdoor restaurant, the people going by, and the other restaurant customers.
I walked back to my studio apartment, changed from my white slacks and top to very lightweight loose pants, short top with gossamer overshirt to protect my arms from the sun. I have a wonderful straw hat I got several years ago that travels with me and protects my face from the sun. I proceeded to walk down the street the other direction, towards the beach. A cut off to the Anse Mitan beach was just past and across from a casino, so I walked down.
The sand was littered with couples and families lying on beach towels, absorbing the bright rays. Children frolicked in the waves, sputtering when knocked over. Others built sand castles, or more accurately sand piles, trying to contain incoming waves. Some children and adults snorkeled through the turquoise water near shore, their backsides and air tubes the only visible parts. Some adults walked down the beach, bodies young and toned, or more often blubbery and sagging. The adult tourists I saw were predominately French and of retirement age.
I soon came to a couple of beachside restaurants, and decided that one which had tables and chairs covered by shade but right in front of the beach, was perfect. Since I hadn’t yet eaten and it was 11:30 AM, I wanted to sit and look out at the water, listen to the waves rolling in, and be amused by the families and couples who were playing in the water or lying on towels catching rays. The Barracuda — gave me the same lack of attention I’d experienced at the 2 other restaurants. Waiting nearly 30 minutes to be given a menu, 20 minutes to have my drink & food order taken, etc.
I ordered their buccaneer chicken with rice and decided to try a Mojito, which I’d heard about. After waiting another 15 minutes I got my drink, then the food right after. I must have been crazy to have ordered a Mojito – I’m not a mixed drink person, tend to like sweet or semi-sweet wine with dinner. The Mojito was very strong and had weird leaves floating in it, which looked like drowned spinach but was really soggy mint. The smoked buccaneer chicken was a little dry & over-cooked I thought. I had also ordered a water, which came in a giant bottle – which would have been a bargain in New York City! Although I was disappointed at the food and disgusted with my alcoholic drink, I stayed and enjoyed the beach from my chair in the shade. That’s what made it worth the money.