St Barths, The Caribbean Monaco
The next island on our way is St Barthélemy, only 20 miles southeast of St Martin. A French territory less than 10 square miles (25 square kilometers) with distinctly French language, cuisine and culture and some very nice beaches and luxurious villas and resorts. St Barths is the holiday destination and playground for the famous and the rich.
The population, about 9,000, is exclusively white descendants of French settlers and their very high standard of living is supported mainly by wealthy tourists. Strangely there are no black descendent of African slaves who make up the majority of local population on all the other Caribbean islands in the region.
We grab a mooring ball at Anse de Colombier, a small isolated lagoon on the northwestern part of the island accessible only by boat from the sea and by foot from the island. Locals come here to spend a day on the beach in seclusion via a narrow path.
We take the path from the beach and walk to the first quartier Anse de Flamands.
From here we walk all the way to Gustavia in the unbearable summer heat climbing some steep streets, and not a single car stops to pick us up. This has never happened before. Everywhere we have been hitchhiking, from Florida to the Bahama, Guatemala, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, and all of the Antilles Islands until this one, people would stop and give us a lift. But not in St Barths. Here the drivers just turn their heads the other direction and we keep going. Which after all turns out to be a good thing, as only walking on foot one can fully experience the land. After about two hours we reach Gustavia.
Gustavia, the capital and the main port, is a small manicured town facing a large harbor full with luxury mega yachts. As you stroll around you will pass by some high-end designers shops, gourmet dining, and multimillion Euro villas. The height of tourism is New Year’s Eve, with celebrities and the wealthy converging on the island in yachts up to 550 ft in length for the occasion.
In the beginning of July, it is much quieter.
We walk around the town, to the fort overlooking Shell Beach, and then head back to our lagoon two hours away.
As we climb the last hills overlooking the lagoon we spot two young French-speaking girls fooling around in the water with our kayak, Agent Orange! We are horrified and so jealous. Behind our backs! We make a huge scene telling the frivolous girls to leave Agent Orange alone . They apologies with a sweet accent. Agent Orange is happy.Share