On our first night back in Marin, we were treated to this breathtaking sunset, one of many we’d see over the next few weeks. We really love this anchorage for more reasons than I can count. Close to town, close to the Leader-Price grocery with its excellent chocolate, close enough to the shoreline that no matter the wind strength, the water is quite flat, but just far enough away from town that we don’t hear the traffic or downtown noise. And best of all, there is absolutely no surge or roll – heaven. At night, you’d think you were lying in a bunk set on bedrock. No motion, no sounds at night, and in the morning, birds quietly sing us awake. This is definitely our kind of place – the best of all worlds.
French islands are unique in that most locals don’t speak English, or if they do, they often wait for you to initiate a conversation in French. If you don’t make at least some effort to talk to them in their native language, you create a nearly insurmountable barrier to your future conversation. Just a little effort though, and you become a friend forever. Is that so hard to understand? It’s their country, not ours; we’re guests, not lords. Seems that many Americans in particular have a hard time grasping this concept, and for that reason, they despise the French. Sad.
Once we were settled in I made a reservation to rent a car for the first of our trips around the island, all in French because the car rental lady spoke no English whatsoever. I apologized for my poor language skills, and she just beamed back at me saying ‘No, no, I’m thrilled that you are doing your best. Most Americans don’t even try”. Need I say more? It’s not that hard, and now she smiles and waves every time we pass by.
We headed west along the southern highway stopping at Trois Riviere Rum Distillery, a smaller facility with a very personal approach. Wandering the grounds we soon realized the paths and walkways were not handicap accessible, and we limited our explorations to the major buildings and open areas. Some of the visitors were surprised to see me helping Joy navigate her scooter up and across some of the steeply sloped lawn areas, but we had no other choice. Our efforts brought big rewards at the top of the hill, the gift shop and rum tasting room!
One of the info-brochures told us that Martinique still has ten actively operating rum distilleries. After visiting this first one, we realized we were going to be very busy trying to visit all these properties, but we’d give our best effort! The grounds and buildings are meticulously groomed and maintained, and the feeling was reminiscent of our visits to the northern California wine country. Just a wonderfully laid back friendly atmosphere where no one pushed us to hurry on or move out of the way of others. We almost felt like part of the family as workers laughed and joked with us.