5 Fevrier 2018 Lundi

My last day on Martinique before flying back to the States early Tuesday morning. I woke up early, by 5:30 AM, and began packing my big suitcase, determining what should go in my checked bag and what to bring in my shopping basket that I was going to take as carry-on. I wanted to use the internet to see about meeting up with Stine today, so headed out at 6:00 AM for The Baguette Shop. It turned out not to open until 6:30 AM, but I sat at a table beyond the closed panel and was able to use the internet for 30 minutes. As soon as the shop opened, I was the first customer, buying another pain chocolat – I am going to miss that for breakfast!

I hadn’t reached Stine, but left her a message on Messenger. I went back to the cottage to pack some more, and give the cats the last of the milk, as well as some more dry food. I went back over about 9:30 AM to Creole Village to use the internet and try to reach Stine again, but still didn’t get her. I thought she was going to try to catch the ferry from Anse a L’Ane to Anse Mitan, so I said I’d be on the beach with my green beach chair.

I heard a loud drumming and a lot of commotion coming from the street, so walked over to discover that the local school children were having a parade for Carnival. Children and accompanying adults were in various costumes, and what looked to be high school band students were playing drums.

What a fun sight to see! Mardi Gras, the day before Ash Wednesday, isn’t really until next week, Tuesday February 13th, but the celebration, like in New Orleans, lasts loner here.

It started raining as I was going to head out the door, and I figured she would catch either the 11 AM r 12 PM ferry anyway, so I waited out the storm, continuing to pack and arrange things. I had decided to do one last laundry load, which I hung up to dry during the day on the sun porch. I got to the Anse Mitan beach about 11 AM, but didn’t see Stine, so settled onto my chair, propping it against a wall because the back isn’t locking in place. Unfortunately, with the sun rising higher, I lost my shade by about 11:30 AM. I walked along the beach, then sat on the wall that was still shaded, then walked back to the ferry again when it came at 12 noon. Stine wasn’t on it.

I gathered my things, went back to the cottage, and then to Creole Village to get on the internet. Stine had messaged me that she didn’t take the ferry after all, but if I could drive my car she was waiting at the Carrefour. I messaged back that I needed to finish packing, as well as get the food stuff and other items I planned to give her. At the Creole Village I ran into Christoph and Thibeaut eating lunch at the K Fe – they said they were between dives.

Back at the cottage, I had some more of the coco-rum sauce chicken for lunch. There was way too much to finish by myself, so the cats got a treat. Then I washed dishes and took out the garbage and recyclables. Finally I gathered dry food (like sugar and pasta) in one bag, and emptied the fridge to put in another. I loaded the groceries and beach chair in the trunk, and decided about 4:00 PM that I had to drive to meet Stine if I could, even though we hadn’t been able to make direct contact. I drove to Anse a L’Ane, parking at the lot next to the beach. I walked down to the Kfe Kreol where Stine had previously said she’d gone to use the internet. The bartender didn’t know where Regis had his BnB, but showed me the internet password. I was finally able to reach Stine by phoning through Messenger. She sent a map to Regis house and his address, which she said was a pink house up a steep hill. I couldn’t get my American Google Maps to show the exact address, so relied on the map Stine had sent. I managed to find almost the right street – luckily Stine walked down the hill to meet me. She showed me her sleeping porch with hammock, and said she would put away the groceries after I left. I wanted to get back before sunset, so I could turn the car around in the yard and be pointing forward for when I left in the dark early the next morning. Stine hugged and said she’d next see me either visiting her in Denmark or visiting me in the USA.

After my return, I was parking my car when Annette told me no other guests had cars, so to park beside the cottage so I could leave quietly in the morning. I lugged out the large suitcase and put it in the trunk, then finished readying the carry-on and my purse. I left out my PJs for overnight and the clothes I would wear on Tuesday for my trip home. I planned layers – I had left my warm coat and snow boots in my car.

With no groceries left in the house, I intended to spend my last evening dining out. I walked down to the Kano Restaurant in Anse Mitan, which I hadn’t tried yet, but was on the beach. However, the music was loud and annoying, and I didn’t see anything on the outside posted menu that appealed, so I walked bck to Pointe du Bout. I wanted to eat again at L’Explorateur, but it turned out to be closed on Mondays. Instead I ate dockside at the Embarcadero Restaurant, where I ordered beef steak with rice and salad, with a glass of red wine – which only cost 3.50€. While awaiting service, I wrote up more for my travel blog. I was able to get online with both my phone and my tablet. My cell phone beeped at me – a weather alert for back home in Central New York – a winter storm on Wednesday is supposed to bring several inches of snow. I checked the temperature back home and it was only 18° F., while I was sitting at an outdoor restaurant with temperature in the high 70s. I felt a moment of panic, that I can’t go back to that?! Isn’t there some way to stay? But of course, I have been blessed to be able to take a whole 4 weeks worth of vacation and to afford to visit a place like Martinique. I will retire next summer and have more time to travel, but not as much money.

The restaurant was full and the server quite busy. When my steak arrived, it was cooked medium as I’d requested, but there was a lot of gristle on it. I ended up feeding bits to the cat that appeared under my table, and taking home more to leave for the cats we’d been feeding the last 4 weeks. The rice was nice, but plain, the salad just leafy lettuce, although I liked the vinaigrette dressing on it. I declined café or dessert, just wanting to get back to the cottage.

It was about 9:00 PM when I walked home, even though I’d gotten to the restaurant by 7:15 PM….everything takes time in Martinique, you have to be patient to be waited on, to have your food delivered, to get “l’addition” (the bill) and to have your credit card picked up and the charge made. By the time I’d gotten back and showered, washed my hair, and prepared for bed, it was after 9:30 PM. I hoped I’d get a sound sleep, as the alarm was set for 4:45 AM. I heard one rainstorm before I was dreaming and in a deep sleep.

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