Off the main route we turned to the right, our usual way into the backside of Orient Bay. Instead we went straight toward Le Galion. The roadside serves as a stark reminder of the powerful force of the recent hurricane. There is no longer a butterfly farm or horse stables. Debris from the devastation from Orient Beach gathered in heaps beside the road. Bits and pieces of wood from the colorful cabanas along with roofs and furniture from the wooden cabins of Club O lie mangled together.
The storm was no joke. Several people have said the same thing, “if it had lasted as long as Maria, there would be nothing left of St. Martin.”
Thankfully, there’s quite a lot left. The French side was definitely impacted more than the Dutch side. Orient and Grand Case are coming back although not like before. We’ve observed that in every area of the island they have one thing in common, community. Spaces and places where people can gather and share a drink and their experiences and most importantly, their stories. So many stories that there isn’t enough paper to hold all the words. Music helps to set the mood and create a vibe calling people to assemble. It’s happening on the French side. They know this high season will be tough but are making the best of it. Alamanda on Orient Beach has a poolside bar with some light fare on the menu. They are open to the public. We went there after yoga on the beach. In the Village there are several restaurants and bars to choose from. Up the hill La Plantation offers a party every Sunday.
Last night we ate at Spiga. They are as amazing as always with fabulous gastronomy. The configuration has changed to include a lovely bar all along the right hand side of the dinning room. The staff was warm and welcoming and we enjoyed ourselves thoroughly. We drove down the Boulevard and noticed Bistro Caraibes and La Villa had quite a few guests. We’ve already eaten at one of the Lolos. They provide large portions for the prices they charge. We’ve also been to Les Bains to watch the sunset and stayed for live music. It is becoming the new Calmos Café. The lighting along the street is enough to feel secure walking from car to eatery. There may be less choices but they are open and ready to serve. We are looking forward to Harmony Nights, we heard there will be four in March.
We love these iconic, picturesque areas of the island and strive to support not only these but all the communities on St. Martin that we come in contact with.