THE CARIBBEAN SERIES, DAY 8&9
SINT MAARTEN – DOMINICA
Quading & getting ghosted by my hotel in Dominica. With yesterday being almost a nothing, besides stepping foot in Anguilla I wanted to get out and see as much as possible today…carpe diem et al!
SITTING OUTSIDE THE DOOR OF THE HOTEL AND STILL GOT TURNED AWAY
With the mass of tourists that arrive here everyday from the cruise liners the area of Maho and Simpson Bay are setup to cater so it wasn’t long before I found a suitable mode of transport…
Sint Maarten is only a small island at 13km x 16km and takes just 2hrs to get around so it’s ideal for a days drive and much better done on a quad as a lot of beaches are accessed off the main roads. I rented mine from A One Car Rental who although pricey (everything is in a touristy town) are happy to deliver their vehicle to your hotel.
- HOTEL – Picard beach cottages $80 6/10 & Hotel the Champs £60 8/10
- RESTAURANT – Kenan Shawarma King
- FOOD – Shawarma
I had only 3.5 hours before I needed to be at the airport but it was more than perfect. I found Saint Marten more rugged and more Mediterranean than the other Caribbean islands, and although it didn’t have the number and quality of beaches that the likes of Antigua and BVI does it was still a stunning place to drive around. If you are into wind surfing, check out the beaches on the east.
After another session of photos on the runway beach the rental company was happy to drop me off at the airport for free! Considering the minimum fare seems to be $15 I was hugely appreciative!
DAILY TRAVEL STATS….
- Steps – 8,800 & 3,000
- Number of flights -1
- Flight itinerary – Sint Maarten – Dominica
- Airlines – Intercaribbean Airways
- Miles covered – 213 mi
Quading & getting ghosted by my hotel in Dominica
I was pretty ill prepared arriving into Dominica, I only booked my accom and my flight out in the airport so it was no wonder I came across problems. The first one was (after another arrival PCR test) having my dried mango confiscated, maybe I made the mistake of noting it on my declarations form but one thing I have learned is to never piss about with immigration – they hold the keys!
WHERE IS DOMINICA?
Then it was time for a rental car and although all the places were shut (I took a gamble) I was super lucky to come across a guy waiting to hand a car over to another arrival. He called the private mobile of another company who drove out along with a colleague with a spare car and set everything else up, $135 for 3 days. Imagine that happening at home, it just wouldn’t! Didn’t take me long to realise why the car was such great value…🚜
And last and by no means least I was about 5 minutes away from sleeping in the car – imagine if I didn’t get the rental! It wasn’t until I was driving up the lane of the hotel that I called just to make sure I was at the right place – their lane was like nothing I have ever seen.
“Sorry we don’t have any bookings tonight?”
“I made my reservation through AIRBNB.”
“Sorry we don’t have a booking.”
“Do you want one? I am literally right outside” (It was 10pm!)
“No but I can give you another number.” Got to appreciate the audacity.
Quading & getting ghosted by my hotel in Dominica
- One of the youngest islands in the Lesser Antilles, and due to geothermal-volcanic activity is still growing.
- It is known as “The Nature Island of the Caribbean” due to its lush scenery and varied flora and fauna.
- Dominica is largely covered by rainforest and is home to the world’s second-largest hot spring, Boiling Lake.
- Dominica is especially vulnerable to hurricanes as the island is located in what is referred to as the hurricane region.
- Dominica is a popular destination for whale-watching.
PICARD BEACH COTTAGES
So it was onto Portsmouth and onto Picard Beach Cottages where I took part in the slowest check in world championships. $90 for very little besides flashbacks of Koh Rong and a spider making itself at home on my bed. However, credit to the security man who snapped it up and continued to hold it in his hand whilst showing me around the hut.
HOTEL THE CHAMPS
After waking to the sound of thunderous rain (which didn’t stop all day) I knew I had to get straight on to finding a new hotel, Hotel The Champs. What a difference good accom makes to your experience. Honestly there have been fewer places I have stayed with better customer service, the people here cannot do enough to help and given the rain, my experience here will only be positive.
Calling the hospital to arrange a PCR test and making me a sandwich for an early start tomorrow, I am gutted I didn’t stay here for all 3 nights. Saying that if the first place was opened, I would have never have got this far. Everything happens for a reason!
ABOUT THE COUNTRY – SINT MAARTEN:
- LANGUAGE – English/Dutch
- HELLO – hello, bonjour, hallo
- HOW TO CHEERS – cheers, tchin-tchin, proost
- POPULAR BEVERAGE – Guavaberry
- POPULAR SPORT – Football
- STAPLE DIET – Conch and Dumplings and Callaloo soup
Saint Maarten goes straight into the top 5 Caribbean countries! Dominica has some work to do.
Part 1 of a PCR nightmare! Click to read.
SAFE TRAVELS, DS x
- Have you been to Dominica?
- Have you ever had difficulties with your accom?
Let me know in the comments below . . .