The day after our arrival, past the excitement of checking in and testing local food, we mostly "licked our wounds" (nothing bad really, but that's our dedicated expression for resting after some time at sea) on the boat and only ventured to a nearby restaurant to check their internet corner... The next day, we were getting itchy to discover Saint Lucia and the lovely Marigot Bay. What better than a hike to a local supermarket in the nearby town!?

There didn't seem to be a dedicated dock for leaving the dinghies in Marigot Bay. Rather many restaurants and the marina had their own dinghy docks. We opted for the one belonging to the restaurant we had gone to upon arrival: They may recognize us from a few days ago and we'd go on our hike/grocery run and have a drink there on our way back. It was also Yalçın's birthday the next day and, since he was born in Turkey, we could start celebrating a little early to match the different timezone in Turkey.

That restaurant's name was Chateau Mygo
People who understand us 🤍↗️
Our first meal at Chateau Mygo, taking advantage of the wifi to call family

According to our guidebook, Chateau Mygo is an institution in Marigot Bay. They own various businesses in the area, from a spa to a charter boat. It felt rather authentic and leaving the dinghy seemed like no problem to them - perfect!

The road to the village was a steep uphill. We were preparing for a 30-minute or so hike when a car (driving on the left side of the road!!) stopped and offered a ride. It took us a while to register what was happening but once we got it, we gladly jumped on the back seats of a fancy 4 wheel drive. The father and son were driving out of Marigot Bay and we learned that it's common to offer a lift to anyone on that steep road. They drove us through the village and to the main road. They were taking a right there and we walked for a few minutes to the left until we saw the supermarket.

We discovered how lush Saint-Lucia is. Almost feels like we're back in Panama!

The supermarket was large and well stocked with non-perishables, but with very little produce, which is mostly what we had come for. We eventually found some eggs. That would do! To tell you the full story, we were rather excited for those eggs as when we provisioned in Bonaire for our trip, the island seemed to have run out... yes, run out of eggs! There were notes on the door of small shops saying 'no eggs'. It was a pity as it's one of our go-to passage food. Long story short: We only got eggs, but we were excited about them, and we were ready for a little hike to go back down to the anchorage in the bay.

It felt good to be seeing the landside of Saint Lucia. It felt right. The lush green brought us back to Panama, after the dry landscapes of the ABCs, beaten by the strong trades. We were wondering how this island, also in the trade, could be so green...

As we started to hike back up towards the village, hoping to buy some more produce maybe (we had seen a market booth or what looked like it as the car had zoomed past) and return to Marigot Bay, another car stopped and offered to take us up the hill. This time we refused, the driver insisted that "it was free" almost offended that we may not be trusting him, so we explained we were happy to hike and thanked him warmly. He understood, smiled back and we saw him disappear in the winding road. People were really friendly around here.

The village was not much, a few restaurants were started to sell beers, a smoothie shack with a woman on the doorstep who seemed annoyed we didn't buy anything, and the few booths that'd seen selling touristy things. We weren't super interested but the vista point over the bay was gorgeous. Surprisingly, people seemed to recognize my accent at once and inquired several times if we were French. Even when we didn't speak... Was it our looks? Or the fact we were walking around? Yalçın even suspected his green crocs...

The way down offered a few more views and we soon ended up back at Chateau Mygo. We sat at the bar. The staff asked us about the hike.

We decided to go for some rum cocktails to start celebrating Yalçın getting older. We went for a 'sea breeze' and a 'hurricane'. That last one was bold and my disagreement with drinking rum would manifest itself the next day. Yalçın called his Dad, as his birthday is a day before Yalçın's, so it was his actual birthday. In return, he waited for it to be midnight in Saint Lucia to call back and return the birthday wishes. The phone calls from Turkey were coming in and Yalçın spent a lot of time on the phone. In between, we learned the story of the bartenders. Venancia was in her 20ies, had a young baby who reminded us of Ova. She was kind enough to chat with me while Yalçın was busy on the phone in between her customers. The other bartender (I wish I had written this blog sooner to still remember names!!) was 18 and looked too young to wear a suit as he was. He explained he was dreaming of migrating to the US where his girlfriend was living. We exchanged tips and talked about visa issues, explaining that we were here to ask for a visa for Martinique for Yalçın. Saint-Lucians do not need a visa for the French islands and Venancia had a tant living there (she picked our curiosity by explaining how different the two neighboring islands were), but they have to fly to Barbados to ask for a visa for the US. The staff wasn't leaving onsite but inland of the island and a bus will carry them back at the end of their service. We met other more or less local people: the son of the owner Kevin, his brother, the mooring boy who had welcomed us as we entered the bay - he would be one of the people we met on the islands, used to deal with tourists who showed little empathy or envy to connect deeply. All his family had moved to Canada, but he had chosen to stay here. We also stumbled upon an American couple who fell in love with the island and hopped off their cruise ship to "buy property here" and make a family. They seemed to have fallen in love with the characteristic naivety of lovers at first sight if you ask my opinion, but they seemed extremely enthusiastic about their project.

Later in the evening we hit the dinghy and went back for a good night. The birthday had been celebrated, the day had been quite good and felt like we had in Saint Lucia. In the Caribbean.

Keep on reading...