on to Saint Barts
The traffic proves to be confusing, chaotic and very threatening on the skinny and winding roads where every oncoming driver has a kamikaze technique. Matt was sitting in a "safe" seat meaning that he couldn't really comprehend that oncoming cars were only giving me two centimetres of clearance space because I was staying as far away as possible from cliff faces and sheer drops on the passenger side. In spite of my heroic and generous concern for Matt's safety he crushed me by saying, "I don't want you to take this badly but I'm never going driving with you ever again in a left hand drive vehicle!". That really hurt.
In order to reduce the stress level I parked in a ridiculously dangerous but typically Gallic niche in a cliff and we all climbed out, dodged some traffic and made our way onto Plage de St Jean, a rather pretty sandy beach, tripped over some nude sunbathers, then jumped jumped into the gorgeous azure blue water.
We continued our drive around the island and happened upon a cafe with tables literally on a sandy beach. After a simple meal, a glass of wine and a wriggling of toes in the cool sand under the table we continued on with our island exploration until it was time to refill the tank at some incredible number of euros per litre and hand back the rental car. We then used a hand held radio to summon Cerulean's inflatable tender which duly arrived at the quay within minutes. One could easily get used to this level of convenience!
Kitts, Nevis and Les Saintes
Next day we continue island hopping passing Nevis and then Monserrat, the island which was two thirds destroyed by volcanic activity over the last 15 or so years. As we glide by the volcanic smoke and paths of lava are clearly visible. Our destination today is a small group of French islands called Les Saintes which are off the tourist beaten track but are quite charming. Once again Alan hands us a radio and then drops us on shore to explore the main island and find a nice place for dinner. I managed to get a wet bum on the way to shore and my third best pair of dinner shorts look a little scuffy given that we're carrying the responsibility of representing all anglo peoples in this tiny piece of the French Empire. Not to worry.... by walking backwards and bidding all and sundry "Bon Soir" nobody notices my shorts and we seem to blend nicely into this small dot of rock... or so it seems after we get a few strong rum cocktails under belts. On the subject of rum, it's incredibly cheap here in the Caribbean and even a near teetotaller (!!) like myself could easily run off the rails
We ended our day with a very ordinary restaurant meal at a rather high price after figuring euro price in Aussie dollars. Well that's enough eating, drinking and shopping for one afternoon. We hail the ever reliable Alan on the hand held VHF radio. Then we stand on a jetty gazing up at a pitch black sky scattered with the brightest stars we've ever seen whilst we await Alan's pick-up. It's been a very romantic afternoon and evening on one of the tiny islands in the the Iles des Saintes group.