It's day 3, and on the itinerary was a relaxing drive around the island or so we thought. What would have taken a two hours drive around the island turned into in all day event. It just took me a little under two hours of negotiation, being driven to who knows where, grabbing a taxi back to the hotel, only to book there - to secure a rental car for the day. Believe me when I say thoughts of being on the show "locked up abroad" raced through my mind quite a few times. Our rental was a small four door, sluggish enough to force me to switch gears in the automatic just to get up a steep hill near the port, and smelled like trash (I later found out a sewage pipe had busted in the parking garage where our rental was parked the night before with the windows down). So the start of the day was a little bumpy, thats ok, I am on vacation right!? I didn't have a map except for the tourist map that you get at the front desk of the hotel, you know the one that has all the attractions on it with the advertisements. Yeah that one. It was ok, as I said before I do plenty of research including looking at satellite maps to find what I thought would be secluded beaches. I had no idea what I had gotten myself into, I drove down some shady neighborhoods, dirt roads, jungle trails, steep hills, back country areas, sat in traffic in two countries I didn't know the language and stopped once to get some french pastries and water.
I saw some amazing views at places I had no idea how I got there, ate some good food, and had an adventure that my wife and I will remember forever. All in all our trip took up the whole day, a good 6 hours later with over 200 images. Heres a few of the shots from that day including a map so you don't get lost.
Sint Maarten/St. Martin, Netherland Antilles
Beach Hotels at Mullet Bay (1st stop)
Shipwreck at Marigot Bay (2nd stop)
Crystal Clear at Friar's Bay (3rd stop)
Natural Preserve of St. Martin (French side)
The ironic thing about this spot being a nature preserve, no fishing, no swimming, no pets, no hunting or collecting dead or alive animals including shells, no throwing stones, no touching coral reef, no motorized water sports, no practice of commercial or industrial activities, and no littering was allowed on this beach, there were rules posted and at the end of the road the important rules were being broken by the government or county however it set up over there. A dump resides at the end of the dirt road and the rickety metal fence wasn't holding back the smaller lightweight objects.
French Dump at the Natural Preserve on google Maps
Rue de Coralita
Port Philipsburg in Sint Maarten (Dutch Side)
Top of Monte Viste Rd, the overlook for above image.