Au revoir Martinique …. hello Barbados

Friday 30th September – Wednesday 5th October 2022

Pretty Martinique

Our last few days in Martinique passed by in relaxation and continued partial confinement (just in case). The weather had taken quite a downward turn – more wind and rain than we’ve had up to now but it has meant that we’ve been able to walk without feeling so drained and scorched. And our spoken French is picking up – it takes a few days to get into the swing. So plenty of ‘bonjours’ as we’re out walking and a few short conversations with staff and other visitors. We are definitely the only English speaking guests here – as there are no direct flights from the UK it would seem that it’s not a popular destination for the Brits. It’s a shame as it’s very pretty, lovely people, fabulous clothes shops and delicious French foods available (still at a price however, although the wine’s more reasonable).

On Friday afternoon we decided to venture into the village for early beers and early dinner (outside only of course). Since our first wander into the fishing village we’ve discovered a whole new beauty about it and it seems a shame that we weren’t able to make full use of it (darned Covid)! But at least we didn’t leave not having appreciated it.

Our pretty fishing village in Sainte-Luce. The sea laps up to the restaurants

A touch of Art Deco in the village

Over a few ‘Lorraine’ beers we got chatting to a German chap who is travelling to all the UN registered countries in the world. He has done 147 already and next on his list is Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan! Strangely enough he was a huge cricket fan, even though cricket is not played in his country, Steve and he naturally conversed on the subject in utter bliss!!

Turned out that the restaurants didn’t open till 7.00pm which meant drinking beer for 3 hours – such punishment. When we did finally eat we seemed to make an unlucky choice as the tuna was tough, bland and generally inedible. Luckily we had a little kitten with us all evening – he ate very well.

At least someone enjoyed the overcooked tuna !

Although quiet during the week, at the weekends the beaches become party land for families and friends. Huge tables (posh with white tablecloths) are set up with food and drink and the locals gather to chill or ‘lime,’ On the Saturday we managed to find an uninhabited little stretch of beach and spent a couple of hours on what felt like our own little desert island, swimming, reading, snoozing … that was until a nearby house went into full reggae and 70s disco mode, at unbelievably loud volume, with some fabulous dancing in the garden (Steve edit: The music was loud enough that I was able to Shazam a couple of songs on the beach for future use in the kitchen!). We bobbed along to the rhythm but still didn’t get an invite! They had no idea what they were missing!

On Sunday we fancied some exercise so plumped for an early morning 6 mile walk – out and back on the coast trail. There was shade in parts but jolly hot where there wasn’t … felt so good to be up and out though and good to explore this part of the island that’s been home for the last week.

After the disappointment of the tuna, we enjoyed dining in the last couple of nights – sitting outside on the verandah to enjoy our amazing views and the night skies. It has been such a blessing to have the kitchen this week while I’ve been poorly, as well as my wonderful Chief Cook and bottle washer Steve (lucky I packed him)!

And then it was time to leave Martinique on Monday morning, so we said our ‘au revoirs.’

Leaving Brise Marine Hotel

Woah, we’re going to Barbados, … Woah back to the palm trees

Flying high on Coconut Airways ….. Climbing high, Barbados Sky

Charlie drove us to the airport which turned out to be a more sophisticated operation than we’d imagined. In fact the whole journey from beginning to end was absolutely trouble-free. There were just 8 of us boarding the ‘Air Antilles’ flight to Barbados – thought we might be sitting with the pilot. Took off and landed 20 minutes early and then there was a slick taxi booking service in Barbados, unlike so many countries where you’re bombarded with drivers waiting to rip you off. Before we knew it we were completely unstressed in our Butterfly Beach Hotel in Oistins Bay – a very pink and heavily butterflied hotel on the beach – just as it says on the tin!

Martinique Airport

Walking out to our little plane

The Butterfly Beach Hotel

lots of butterfly artwork

Barbados looks like it’s going to be fun. Within an hour of arriving, we’d had a terrific lunch with wine, got to know the restaurant staff, checked out the facilities, lost the hotel key in the sea (fell out of Steve’s pocket) and I got nipped on the ankle by a crab – scared the Bejesus out of Steve with my blood curdling scream! I think they knew we’d arrived.

Our lovely hotel in Barbados

Our hotel beach

I keep going to speak in French now so need to adapt back (just so cosmopolitan)! And just about all the guests are English including a touring Cricket Team from Bicester and Oxford. Our hotel is a small family run establishment renowned for its repeat customers – everyone seems so happy and friendly. Steve’s been out running, we’ve walked a fair bit and loads of swimming, both pool and sea. But largely chilling (our new way of life it seems).

Having a really bad weather day today – huge winds and rain, massive waves – so it’s a perfect time to blog.

We have some friends from England due out this week so it could get busy – we’re not bored with each other (honest) but looking forward to some company! Seven days to go before heading back to Blighty – let’s see what Bajun life is all about.

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