top of page
  • Writer's pictureVoita

Reaching St. Martin

Nothing like rolling snake eyes right after crawling out of bed at 6AM. The shared rickshaw I get into... is a scam. And I'm too sleepy to notice right off and then it's too late.

The driver takes me to a fake terminal with considerable mark up and then starts asking for exuberant fare on the half-dollar ride.

I manage to push through to the real ticket booth, and save myself at least from paying most of the scammer's made up fee. The ticket scalpers keep their earned margin.

quiet morning

I read only a little about St. Martin, but it's starting to sink in now; scarce connections with mainland, no electricity... what if there's no ATM? As usual, I automatically refused to be withdrawing on a weekend, to evade R's bloated fees and now it's too late to do anything about it.

How ironic would that be, if I had to come back today?

fresh in service ferry line

Yesterday I was told by the lads that the ferry leaves at seven. The real ticket seller and some of his friends, who spoke good English and helped me with the rickshaw scammer, correct that to half past eight.

At half past right the ship is occupied well beyond its operational capacity to the point it's hard to breathe on the open decks.

As one unit, everyone quietly burns in the sun for another eighty minutes before we finally set sail.

3 ships run the route... all at the same time

The boat ride is nice. With forehills of Myanmar to the left, and retreating tip of Bangladeshi mainland to the right, we cruise through the mouth of river Naf and then onwards to the island.

We take grand total of three hours to reach an hour after midday.

I find out that there was only 800 passengers, out of which 15 were Indians, 9 Nepalese and me. We all register with the police and are let loose on the little island.

busy deck

St. Martin

There indeed is no power except generators, and no ATM nor card payments. Oopsie.

An hour into combing hotels for a miracle, one shows up. Studied in Dhaka, speaks good English. Says 'ok, I'll take your virtual money'. Instead of showing excitement, I haggle the suggested price down.

I've made it onto the island.

beaches

In the afternoon I take stream for a stroll on the beach and we try to find one of the most exclusive geocaches available. 5 years in and it still hasn't been searched for once.

Clearly, I am unable to find it.

But there is a hint... a name of a local.

In combination with the name of the cache it curiously summons the cache's minder. He shows up few minutes after his brother calls him for me.

Everyone is speechless.

But the cache has been lost to a storm, which leaves the single functional cache in Dhaka as the country's only active IRL treasure.

RIP geocache

Later I meet with the group of Indians, studying medicine in Dhaka. They play guitar on the beach, leaving me once more speechless, lost in my past lives.

I end up having dinner with them and we talk late into the night.

luxury bungalows

It's few kilometres to my 'resort' (hotel), but I stop on the beach, mesmerized by a storm lighting up the ocean.

In the midnight still, with most people long gone to bed, the soundless spectacle is magical.

Until it's not.

And the sky dons on black coat few shades darker than the moonless, pitch black night.

And the lightning spreads all around.

A tropical storm has come.

night market

first and second dinners

As part of my overarching philosophy, I don't run. Sort of like singing, this is another basic human skill I've never quite crossed paths with in any of my lives.

But to every rule there is an exception, and I ran, ran for my life.

storm


8 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Comments


Remember please to like (works as activity counter) and share with your friends if you enjoyed the post. Thanks!

bottom of page