Monday, February 15, 2016

Saba --> St. Martin

Monday, Day 39

After another late night, I was hoping so sleep in some.  But I woke up and had to pee at 6:45.  And once Funmmi heard me up, she jumped up and started getting ready for class.  So no going back to sleep for me!

The view from her house -- it's the was just too bright / cloudy out to really see the water ^^

She was rushing around and getting ready and making me fried plantains for breakfast...and managed to miss her bus to school!  I felt so bad!  But apparently it's not uncommon for her to miss the bus.  She just calls Elliot and he takes her for $5.

I told him to come back and pick me up at 8:30 to give me a tour of the island.  I was ready and re-packed up by then, so we set off to see the whole 5 square miles of Saba.

My couch I slept on ^^

It took almost two hours to even make it to Windward Side, which is so close to Funmmi's house in Hell's Gate (yeah, that's what it's called).  He talked and talked and talked and gave me the history of the person living in every single house down every single road.  Apparently like half of this island is owned by his family - the Johnson's.  It's all very Dutch and mostly owned by two or three families.  There is even some incest that happened way back when.  Quite interesting.  But complete information overload!



This is The Bottom ^^ - the main town on Saba

(We literally went all over and I have hundreds of pictures...)

I had him bring me back to the house at 11:30 so I could eat my leftovers from last night -- oh yeah, I ordered TWO dinners last night and took one to go for today because I couldn't choose between the lion fish and the vegetarian coconut curry.  So I heated that up, ate, and then decided to hike up Mt. Scenery.  Diving was out today.  None of the dive shops could take me, and it was cloudy and windy and cool, so I didn't really want to do it anyways.  Hiking sounded way better.

Fume's landlord/cleaning lady, Lacey, came by when I was there.  She is from the US and we talked for quite awhile.  Such a nice lady, and she told me I should cancel my flight, stay longer, and stay with her, haha!  It was tempting.  She loves to hike, too, so we could have had some fun!  But I'm not going to change everything up now.  It would probably be expensive.  So anyways, I set off to hike.

I didn't make it far.  It got cold and windy and a big gray cloud moved in.  I was not interested in getting rained on.  So that hiking got cut short, and I decided to hike up the Sandy Cruz trail closer to Fummi's house.  So if it did start raining, I wouldn't be miles away.  I would just be a little wet instead of soaked.  Hopefully.

The trial was beautiful and I saw some of the biggest leaves I've ever seen!  I guess it's hard to tell in a picture without something else to reference, but they were big enough for me to curl up and sleep on for sure.

I made it back to the house just in time for Elliot to come back and get me at 2:30, and we went to The Bottom (name of town) to meet Fummi at her school.  Her med school is small but quite nice, and just full of young people from all over!  So interesting! 

She had some meetings to attend and of course studying to do, so I left with Elliot again to head to Windward Side (another town) to do a little shopping and walking around.  Such a cute little town.  I mean, there are only two real towns on the island, and Windward Side is my favorite.

From there, he took me back to the airport.  It took all of two minutes (literally) to check in my bag, pay my $10 departure tax, and go to the Immigration desk.  Fantastic!  I was there a little early, and Lacey had told me about a cool hike just down from the airport.  So as soon as I checked in my bag, I walked down the hill with my backpack (that weighs at least 30 pounds) and along the trail to the Tidal Pools. 

Turns out it's not easy to hike up or down with a heavy backpack on!  I didn't go all the way down to the water.  I wasn't interested in coming back up, or getting wet, and I didn't really have that much time.  So I just sat at the edge of the cliffs and watched the water below.  Rough water!

Hiked back up the hill to the airport in time to watch the incoming airplane land.  It wasn't as exciting as I was hoping for.  They stop those little planes so fast they don't even get close to the edge!  Oh, and there is absolutely zero security check at this airport!  Not a metal detector or scanner or anything.  Just walk on through and on to the plane.  It was nice, but could be a little scary!  You could bring anything you wanted on that plane!  But everyone there assured me the island is incredibly safe.  (They've had 5 murders in 50 years, so I guess that's pretty good?)

Airport selfie. I was bored. ^^

The take off was pretty exciting, and of course I sat in the very front row again and recorded it.  Its uploaded on my Yputube page now!  The co-pilot did her little spiel about safety and security or whatever, and then said, "...and we will be causing at an altitude of 2,000 feet.."  HA!  It's usually like 30,000 or 40,000 in the US on the big planes, so I just thought this was funny.

The flight took a whopping 12 minutes, and we landed right over Maho beach back in St. Martin.

There was not one person in the immigration line.  I don't think that has ever happened!

Grabbed my bag and walked outside, and just a few minutes later, Laura and Rinaldo pulled up to get me!  They are just the nicest people. 

We drove straight to Olivier's house, where he immediately prepared smoothies for us. We sat around and chatted for a bit, and then walked down to the main road along the beach for dinner around 7:30.  Back to Lolo's, their favorite spot.  (The same place we went on Friday night.)  It's good local food and pretty cheap, so why not!

Rinaldo, Francisco, me, Laura, and Olivier at dinner at LoLo's in Grand Case

I ordered a vegetarian meal this time:  cole slaw, salad, rice and beans, mac & cheese, spaghetti, and potato salad.  The weirdest combo of foods ever, but I wasn't feeling fish or meat.  It was all pretty good!

Laura and I were tired and ready for bed, but of course Olivier wanted to just stop at one bar for one drink.  He is such a partier!  He knows everyone in Grand Case and is totally the life of the party.  It's so fun to be around.  And the club we went to just happened to be the place for Monday night party.  It was like a small Vegas on the beach, really.  Lights and smoke and a DJ playing dance music.  They even had a fire show on the beach!  {I love this island.  Really, I do.   St. Martin is still my favorite island so far and I will definitely come back here someday!} 

They all got drinks, I got dessert.  Some kind of creole rice pudding ors something?  I don't know, it was coconut and delicious. 

Dancing after dinner ^^

Me and Olivier -- the best couch surfing host ever ^^

I think I could have danced there all night - I got my second wind - but we really didn't stay too long. We walked back to Olivier's, I packed an overnight bag of basically nothing, and Laura and I left to sleep on her boat!

YES, I am sleeping on a boat tonight!  First time ever!  And of course it just happens to be a super windy night.  I'm a little nervous (okay a lot) but also excited.  It' should be okay, right?  I have dramamine and a promise from Olivier to come get me if I get sick and can't do it.

So we drove about 10 minutes from Olivier's. parked the car, walked along the beach, out to a dock, got in a little dinghy boat, and another 3 minutes later we were at her sail boat.  It looked so small when we pulled up, the waves were big, and I was nervous. But once we got down and in the boat, it was fantastic!  I was shocked! 

The boat was amazing.  I loved the layout and decoration.  So much room for storage everywhere, it was all very clever and organized.  And honestly it didn't rock too much!  I slept on the couch / kitchen table chairs, right below one of the beds that Laura was sleeping in.  There was another bed in the back but I wanted to be out in the open and close to Laura.  And I don't really need much room to sleep. 

We were so tired so we basically just went in, I got the tour of the boat, and we laid down.  I think I'm actually going to be able to pull this boat thing off tonight!  This is huge for me! ;)

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