I love St Maarten. It’s one of my favorite places in the Caribbean and very interesting, being divided into two halves; Dutch and French. I’ve been here so many times and never been bored of it. From ATVing around the island a few times, to relaxing on the beach to underwater adventures. By far, my favorite place in St Maarten is Airport beach. It’s a beach right next to an airport runway. And right next to the beach is a restaurant bar with live music and wifi. What more could you ever want?
Airport beach is very unique as there are planes landing and taking off pretty much right next to it. It becomes a bit of a show, watching the planes land. The main attraction however is when one of the larger Boeing planes try to take off. This usually results is a massive sand storm which results in chaos for all the sunbathers on the beach. It’s quite a spectacle and rather funny to watch unsuspecting tourists caught up in the the sandstorm.
Since I was in St Maarten again, I thought it was only fair to visit Airport beach again, which is on the Dutch side as is the cruise ship pier. I could have easily have taken a taxi there but I already feel disconnected from the places I’m visiting, because we spend so little time at each location and barely interact with locals. So this time I decided to make it a bit more interesting by cycling there. This was my opportunity to connect with the land. It was me, my bicycle and St Martin. It was only a 10km journey and apart from one huge hill, it wasn’t going to be too bad and my leisurely ride took me just under an hour.
After relaxing at Airport beach for a while, watching a few planes land and take off, and tourists get caught up in sandstorms, it was time for me to head back. I must admit, cycling back is always much harder than cycling to a destination. This was especially so since I took a wrong turn and ended up cycling to the French side. Yes, I cycled to France. This was amusing for about 30 seconds, about the time it took to realize that I now had a 1.5 hour cycle back to the ship.
The rest of the cycling adventure was uneventful, apart from cursing myself for having such a shitty sense of direction and questioning myself whether I had the stamina to make it back to the ship. Somehow I made it back in one piece and on time. I felt euphoric and victorious. There is no better feeling than going somewhere on your own, then fucking up and getting completely lost, then finding your way back home. I should get lost more often.