We arrived in St. Martin just at the same moment a storm was arriving. I wondered if this would be the day that weather would not be in our favor. The rain was beautifully annoying but it only lasted 15 minutes and the rest of the day we were roasted by the sun. (I got a sun burn through my t-shirt… didn’t think that was possible… I can’t imagine what would have happened if I stripped naked… more about that later)
We arrived early and we sighed in relief knowing that today nothing could go wrong with our excursion. You will note that from the pictures the water was incredibly clear and the most stunning blue.
We had an hour before our shopping/beach tour started so we visited the dock with all of its many tourist stores. Isabelle found a shop that sells macarons and we decide on the way back from the tour we would buy some. (ha… buy some at the end of the day… we are such novices… there we none left by the time we returned)
St. Martin is an Island divided by two countries… France and Netherlands. We landed on the Dutch side (Philipsburg) and Isabelle wanted to make sure we visited the French side. From this map you can see our tour plan. We spent 1 hour in Marigot and 2.5 hours at Orient Beach.
Our excursion tickets came with a warning that “some nudity may be observed”. We ignored the warning since we have been to the beach many times in the south of France and have seen “some” nudity. The warning is misleading… “Some” should be changed to “A lot of” and “may” should be changed to “will definitely”. Before I talk about naked people I want to start with pictures from Marigot the capital of the french side. We were fortunate to find a “boulangerie” where we bought a picnic for the beach. Here are some pictures.
Marigot is a small town but has lots of charm… Isabelle made me visit the mall… (That is not part of its charm) Next we were off to the beach. We were promised a free drink, two chairs next to the water along with an umbrella and finally free bathroom visits. Who could ask for more… in fact that was perfect. Little did we know we would get much… much more..
First of all the drink… watered down punch served in a small dixie cup was kind of disappointing but the beach looked amazing. They started leading us down towards the water and I noticed the sign you see in the picture above. I quickly took a picture and wondered what have we got ourselves into. Someone saw me take the picture and I got my second scolding for this trip… no picture taking allowed on this beach! (No one can tell me what to do… I thought so I slipped in a couple more… I will share them but they needed editing) Isabelle was very upset but this time it was all her fault since she picked the tour. I told her I was really disappointed that she would lead me into such debauchery… as I put on my sun glasses.
We decided we would give it a go and try to ignore all the others. We ate lunch and had a small “fully” dressed swim (fully dressed meaning in swim suits). I think our shocking state of being in swim gear annoyed the local naturalists. As we returned to our chairs we noticed that we were being joined by several naked men who decided to put their backs to the water and there… hmmm… I will use french… “zizi-s” to us. I am not a prude but staring at a 70+ year old zizi from a distance of 6 feet is not something I could take for more than 15 minutes. There is good naked and this was not it… it was all bad. We were stuck in some “bizarro world” where if you should be covered up you were not and if you had a body to show… it was hidden… plus there was some un written rule that you had to be over 70 to be naked.
I tried to close my eyes (I am sorry… you can’t help staring even at bad nakedness) and finally Isabelle said (quit loudly) I can’t look at anymore naked perverted men… lets leave. Fortunately the other end of the beach was family appropriate and while we didn’t have chairs we found walking down it much better than being stared down by old men parts. I think we could have stayed where we were if it had not been for the three men who wanted to make sure we understood that they were naked. I think they should make another rule… you can’t stand closer than 5 feet if you are going to point your “zizi” at another… especially some of us more “modest” beach goers… or jesh at least look at the sea… I can ignore your bum.
We left the beach 30 minutes before we had to be back on the boat. (we had no choice since we had to leave when the bus left) I couldn’t wait to get back and take a long sanitary shower. (I sat in a chair that probably hours earlier was being sat in by some naked person) I wished there was a way to somehow wash my eyes. I don’t think I ever want to see a naked person again… (sorry Isabelle). There is one bright side to all of this. I am no long insecure about my own body… I realized there is much much worse out there.
Here is the last picture. We left port with a beautiful sunset and the captain blowing his horn… (He played the theme from the love boat with the horns… and I felt I had just lived some cheesy 1970s porno). Isabelle was upset and went to customer service and complained that they need to warn people that the excursion was to a nudist beach. (she said had they included that in the description she would not have signed up). At first they didn’t believe that we were sent to a nudist beach and then when it was verified they started to laugh. They made it better by refunding us our money… (at least now we can say that we didn’t pay to see that… but I still think I need therapy)