Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Birds and Beaches

Parrots at Parotte-Ville
Sint Maarten
June 28, 2022

It was time to get some wheels and set out on our own around the island paradise. 

There were two stops on the agenda yesterday: Partite Ville, Sint Maarten; and Orient Bay Beach, St Martin. Yes, we went to France yesterday. 

Parotte Ville Bird Sanctuary was an interesting stop. It is one of those places that when just driving and not looking for it, I would never stop. But, that would be a mistake the same as judging a book by its cover. The price of admission is $10 and well worth the time. Once inside the staff was incredibly helpful and the birds were the true stars of the show. Upon admission after a very informative briefing, we each received a cup of bird food and were turned loose inside the enclosed aviary with between 130-140 of our new best friends. And the birds knew what to do. At one point t I had two birds on the feeding cup, one on my hat and one or two others on my shoulders. There are some 27 different species of birds in the aviary and the staff are there to ensure the birds do not become too much a nuisance.

Orient Beach
Saint Martin, France
June 28, 2022
Next was Orient Bay Beach. Perhaps one of the most famous beaches in the Caribbean. We arrived there shortly after lunch and remained until after 4 PM. It was a windy day with high surf, and so water activities were somewhat reduced. I did get in the water to enjoy the 6 foot waves, and mistakenly turned my back on the ocean while exiting the water only to get flattened by a huge wave. I broke my own rule of never turning my back to the water and I paid the price. Sand everywhere--including places that I didn't think you could get sand.

Pretty Toes
Orient Bay Beach, St Martin
June 28, 2022
(Photo by Chris)

Orient Bay Beach is a place where there is something for everyone, literally, but it is all separated and you only need to know where to go to enjoy your style of beach life. The destruction of Hurricane Irma, 2017, was more evident everywhere on the French side of the island as we drove to the beach, but most of the establishments along Orient Bay Beach have been restored. We spent the day at the Bikini Club portion of the beach renting chairs ($15) and enjoying drinks and food on the beach along with the sun and sand. The sand is very fine and gets everywhere. Seriously! And the more you fight with it the more places it finds to hide.

A great day! To put the exclamation point on the day we enjoyed some hand-tossed pizzas from a local establishment, Pizza & CO. Some of the best pizza ever! It received high reviews and it earned them by delivering two tasty pizzas. We are close and the pizzas were still hot by the time I walked them back to the place we are staying. 

Who knows what fun will happen today. I think there may be a wine tasting and a rum experience being lined up.

-- Bob Doan, writing from Simpson Bay, Sint Maarten

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