When the Skipper leaves the Boat

For Sven it’s “The company calls” this week. That means he has to fly to Germany again. But before he gets on the plane, we wanted to enjoy 2 relaxed days in St. Anne.

A typical Sunday

Friday afternoon we arrived at the anchorage of St. Anne. Because 25-35 kn wind was announced, we decided to return to Martinique a little earlier. Normally you can add 10 kn wind to the announced weather, but this time everything was different. Instead of the expected 30 kn it was only 20.

After we had a relaxed breakfast on Saturday morning we decided to explore St. Anne. With the dinghy we went directly to the jetty. Because of the wind it was quite wavy, so we decided to go only in bikini or swimming trunks in the dinghy. This turned out to be the best solution, because we arrived soaking wet.The dry clothes were quickly put on and off we went.
The church of St. Anne is right opposite the Dinghy Dock. The building itself is not very spectacular, but the small park in front of it is very nice.

The place is very contemplative and does not offer many possibilities. But for us it had two highlights. The bakery Chérie Doudou, at the main street has super delicious bread, including dark varieties, which is not a matter of course in France.
The best thing about St. Anne was for us the ice cream parlour Ti Plezi. The shop is in the 2nd row and you have to know where you want to go. But the ice cream is heavenly, we haven’t had such good ice cream since Italy.
We especially liked vanilla macadamia and cassis.

Sven, our Ice-Cream Tester

The varieties change regularly and the wafers are freshly made in the shop. Fantastic 🙂

For us an absolute must in St. Anne!!!

Since the weather was not really nice the last day and we knew that we couldn’t go swimming the next week, it was clear that we would go snorkeling and swimming on Sunday.

But first Melanie had to practice starting the dinghy engine. With the new 4 stroke engine it was a challenge. Then we got some tips from Martin, a sailor friend of ours.
Bianca and Melanie sat together in the Dinghy.
First open the ventilation from the tank, pull the kickstart and prepare the inside…
Breathe deeply once more and pull with momentum.
Just a rattle of the engine. Shit. One more time.
Take a deep breath, turn in a semicircle this time.
Yes, it’s on.
Quickly push back on the kick starter and turn the throttle.
The high five with Bianca and the little party in the dinghy is self-evident 😉

For others it’s normal that they can just go anywhere by themselves, for Melanie it means a piece of freedom.

We didn’t need much for swimming, snorkeling equipment and off we go. With the dinghy we slowly went to the beach. After some searching we found a good place to moor, not on the beach but at the buoy. From there we went directly into the water, up to the belly button we got wet 😉

There were no fish, only some sea grass to explore. Because of the many people the sand was also very agitated.
Nevertheless we had a lot of fun in the water. After the snorkeling we enjoyed the view a bit and just let ourselves drift a bit. But at some point we got cold and we wanted to enjoy our cake on the boat 😉

Fun in the Water

When the skipper leaves the boat

Sven had to go to Germany for a few days, which means the boat was under female rule 😉

Normally Melanie always spends the time when Sven is not on the boat alone. But the next 4 days were called girls’ days, the last time was in September, when she was on holiday with her friends for a week. That is why it was something special.

The tv evening with girls movie and sweet treats was a must 😉 Finally no one who is always giving stupid comments 😉

But as there are still some places on Martinique that we didn’t explore, we decided to explore them by car.

Thursday morning we went to the Avis, the Marina Office and picked up the car. Looking for something we found it on the parking lot. In Le Marin there is an area for rental cars, but no exact labeling of the parking lots.

From Le Marin to Diamond Beach it is almost a stone’s throw. It is said to be the most beautiful beach of the island and a great view to the surrounding mountains. Unfortunately, swimming was hardly possible, because high waves come directly into the bay.

 

Diamond Beach

But the rest is right, here it is possible to stay for a while.
There are a few small restaurants right on the beach. We had a vegetarian burger at the Lyon Snack, the only vegetarian dish in the area 😉 It was super delicious, even if there are deductions, because it is fast food and not very healthy 😉

From other sailors we read how beautiful the botanical garden, Jardin de Balata, is supposed to be. The road took us first through a few small villages and later on the highway, passing Fort de France.
Most impressive on the trip were the serpentine roads, with the corresponding view.
The parking place of the botanical garden is very adventurous. It only has space for 20-30 cars and already in the driveway one can sit up. Fortunately, we found a free place outside, at the street.
We found the entrance fee of 14 € per person very expensive, we did not know what to expect…

Already after the first 5 minutes we could say that it was worth it.
In the entrance area there is a hummingbird stadium, there you can watch the birds eating. Simply unbelievable 🙂

Hummingbirds

From there different ways go off, we have decided first of all for the one in direction of the Japanese pond. Here we saw different orchids, roses and other flowers and trees. In the end we came out at a sea of water lilies.

 

Have the Flower Hairs?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The garden also had a challenge for Melanie in the form of a high wire garden, with fear of heights not so easy. We went up together with a family and started slowly. Nevertheless waiting until everybody was off the bridge, it still rocked quite a bit. But the view over the garden to the sea was worth all the excitement. Afterwards we walked through the bamboo and palm forest.

What a Tree

It was definitely worth coming here. We were lucky and there was no travel group, so that we could walk through quite comfortably.

When we were finished in the garden it was already 15:30 and we wanted to go to the Fontaine Didier, the adjacent waterfall.

The journey was more than exciting. There was absolutely nothing signposted and without a navigation system we would never have found it.
We followed the Navi and drove to the end of the road, so we ended up at Cascade Didier, a waterworks. We followed the road, it looked like a hiking trail. Unfortunately after 10 minutes we ended up in a dead end, right in front of a small creek.

Girls Day

Here we were definitely wrong, this was not the waterfall.

We went back and asked a few Frenchmen who showed us the right way.
Behind a chain was the right way. There was nothing to see from a sign.

The way went straight down steeply, that means hold on to the sides and don’t stumble 😉
From a narrow path we went on a totally muddy bridge. We found the first sign that we are right here. Bamboo trunks, so you don’t have to walk through the mud.
Then we went first uphill, from a developed path no view. But at the end of the mountain we came out before a tunnel.

 

It was just before sunset and we felt like in a horror movie. Two women, in the middle of the forest, no cell phone reception and we are now supposed to go into a creepy tunnel and don’t know where and how to get out of there.

Since our gut feeling told us both that this is not a good idea, we decided to go back to the car and drive to Fort de France to have dinner.

It was a great week and we saw again how much there is to discover in the interior 🙂

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