Caribbean Day 14: Moving

Today’s entry won’t be especially long as it’s completely consumed with getting from Portsmouth in Dominica to Simpson Bay in Sint Maarten. My flight isn’t until 2pm, which isn’t much time to do anything so I took my time getting ready, had breakfast and headed out. Lots of time needs to be budgeted because the public buses aren’t reliable even a little, and it can take an hour for a bus to leave for the airport.

Just my luck though the buses are all super on time and away I go. I never had to wait for more than a couple minutes. I got to the airport with hours to spare and waited around. When I checked in the guy said if I had been an hour earlier I could have been on the direct flight to St. Maarten. I didn’t believe him and looked it up, I would have needed 2 hours, and that could have been doable with some hurry. I think in the future I’m going to keep an eye on earlier flights in case I want to change my flights. That would have been so much cooler if I made that, and not much worse if I hadn’t. I would have had the full day in Sint Maarten.

My flight leaving Dominica was late by 30 minutes which worried me because I thought I needed to go through customs still in Antigua, but that wasn’t the case since I was on LIAT still. No Antigua stamp in my passport, not that it would count anyway not having actually visited. I had 30 minutes of wait time until boarding my next flight, no problem.

Arriving in St. Maarten I got through customs quickly, they don’t seem to care much who is there. I headed towards Makko Beach known for where large jumbo jets scream in close over head for their landing. I didn’t see any though, and I wanted to be at my hotel before dark, just a few small planes. So I decided to go south around the airport.

The whole scene at Makko struck me like what Mexico would be like without the drug problems. A big beach party place it used to be, but maybe a bit cleaner and more modern but still with that laid back feel. It’s not my thing, the beach bars and all, but I can see the allure.

Only south around the airport doesn’t connect through. I walked a long ways through a couple dead ends and gave up and decided to go the other way around. What a waste of time and energy. A guy in a small white car saw me and asked I needed a lift, he seemed on the up and up so I said sure and jumped in. Turns out the guy is a pianist at one of the local clubs. I didn’t get that far with him, mostly back to the airport terminal. I set out again from there towards my destination, only it’s much further than I thought. It was now dark and I was tired, hoping to catch a taxi or someone nice, I stuck my thumb out but no one stopped. Except finally someone did, it was the local bus! I didn’t know they ran here. I hopped in and they took me right to my hotel on the main drag out of town. The driver was there with his wife, both from Dominican Republic. One dollar.

I checked in just a few minutes later than I said I would, but exhausted and thirsty. When the proprietor said there was complimentary water, I dove at it, and before he could finish telling me how the TV works it was gone.

Next up was food. I was worried this would be trouble since the country works on the Netherland Antilles Guilder. Which I had none, and didn’t want much of that. I have no need for that currency past 1 night. Luckily as it turns out everyone does all their business in USD. Go America. I found a small place and settled in for some uneventful grub, but after all the travel that’s exactly what I wanted, a quiet bite to eat.

Returning to my room I watched about half of the F1 race from 2 weeks ago and fell asleep. All in all a boring but exhausting day. Now I’m stuck in the middle of the F1 race! Pastor Maldinado is in the lead in a Williams!!!

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