West Side Glory Sunset beach

The last day of May started badly. I'd not slept great, thanks to much wind noise throughout the night, not helped by my finding the bed not particularly comfortable anyway. Come 7am things were noisier still as a storm hit, pounding the corrugated metal roof loudly.

Breakfast at 9am was, as always, great though. Having been so effusive with our praise for the eggs on previous mornings, Helen got invited into the kitchen to learn the recipe and secret. Mostly it's the use of coconut oil, apparently. It helps if you have your own coconut trees in your garden.

Fruit and bread and juice and tea also, as usual. Midway through the meal we had to hurry inside; despite being undercover, the strength of another downpour and wind was such that we really needed to get away from it quickly.

We asked for our bill and went upstairs to pack, turning one suitcase into "the filth sack" where all our grotty nasty sweaty clothes from the last few days are banished. Our next accomodation has laundry, thank fuck. While writing up our day on the buses we heard a horn and wondered if our transport had arrived early, so packed up to go wait downstairs. It hadn't, but it was only another 10 minutes – plenty of time to play with the friendly dogs and get yet more recommendations for places to visit.

We'd booked the same driver as picked us up from the airport to take us to our new place. Originally we thought we'd ask for a lift into Sauteurs then get the buses, but apart from the impracticality it was actually a public holiday on May 31st, for Corpus Christi, so there's basically no buses anyway. Our man was more than happy to take a private booking though.

We spoke for a bit with he and his mate but otherwise just sat back enjoying the ride; the bad weather had passed, and we drove through much emptier roads than on our arrival, stopping only once to pick up a friend of theirs but otherwise disappointing the people who tried to hail us. Mostly we looked out of the window, sipping water or coke, occasionally listening in to the conversations about which places sell the best fried chicken (Chef's Castle seemed popular; there are many KFCs on the island, and we drive past a place named "Finger Licking" which we assume is also a chicken vendor, though who knows?).

As we got to St George's, he decided to start a bit of tourism, taking the higher route around the back of the city to give us a few decent vista views. They all pointed out the "hotel with the best views" high up on the hillside: "that's the prison". "So it's free, right?"

Fort St George is over there, high above St George's across the Carenage.

An even more impromptu stop was when a bright lizard decided to show off for a bit.

Weaving our way back down, we go past Port Louis, the main harbour.

Then, along the main road south. Our new accommodation is Sea Glass Place, a collection of 3 self-contained apartments underneath a private residence up top. Parking in their space, the owner came out and didn't seem too happy - a brief "you can't park there!" argument took place, "I bring you business and you have a go?" Etc.

Frankly it was all my fault. We weren't meant to arrive until 3pm, according to arrangements made when we booked this pace, and I'd failed dismally to manage expectations as the date grew near. So us showing up at 1pm was a huge surprise; once that was ironed out it was all smiles, though that didn't stop me apologising 4 or 5 more times during the ensuing conversation as we were shown around the property.

Oh, shit, this is amazing. That's the view from our private balcony? Down to the private (to the whole property) beach? Really? Fucking hell. Our man, Elvis, is exuberantly friendly and happy to welcome us to his little bit of paradise.

Formalities out of the way we let it sink in a bit. Huh. This place is incredible. The apartment has a full kitchen and aircon, the wifi works, and for shared space there are multiple balconies and seating areas on 5 separate levels. If we want we can hire and take out the kayaks even.

But, we need provisions. It's entirely self-catering here. With limited public transport and an internet telling us most shops would be shut, we needed to get out and about early to maximise our chances. Also one of the world's greatest beaches is just up the way and it would be nice to go take a peek.

There's no beachfront route; we have to go back up the stairs to the road which, unlike all those around Sauteurs, has something approximating a pavement. The little info pack in the apartment told us there was a food shop around 1km along the way; there is, and the route is almost entirely downhill and... oh, it's shut. Curse you, bank holiday!

Further on there seems to be some life. Chicken shops and a VIP Gaming Lounge aren't what we're after. We've been past many entrances to inclusive resorts and, actually, seen some other white tourists for the first time since the couple we met at dinner on the first night. A bit further on, struggling in the heat, there's the Spiceland Mall and, hurrah! A big, open supermarket!

It's excellently airconditioned and full of everything we could need. Slowly we fill up on bread, butter, cheese, fruit, chocolate, wine and beer, from the very very small selection (IIRC there were only 4 brands). Strangely, there are a variety of Waitrose own brand goods - bourbon biscuits, cheese thins, etc - and a handful of Tesco stuff like "baby safe" fabric softener. They're all mixed up with the other brands of similar goods, not like there's a "missing Waitrose? Come here!" concession or anything.

On the roads we'd seen quite a lot of buses, but it wasn't obvious that they were actually operating as buses rather than just taxis or even just the owner out driving for his own purposes. With that in mind we weren't sure how long it would take us to get back, so tried not to get too much stuff that wouldn't survive a very hot, slow, uphill walk back.

We wanted transport though, but first, y'know what? Let's go to Pizza Hut. Seriously, next to the big KFC there's a Pizza Hut and we're hot and hungry and it'll be nice to eat some junk inside an airconditioned building for a bit. So that's what we do: two medium pizzas, a Carib lager and a Mackesons stout please.

Medium pizzas are really quite bloody big here, but delicious. Expensive though, not in London terms but compared to literally everything else we've seen including the gourmet stuff up at Armadillo. Being so large we figure we'll be classy and keep half of each in one box, carting it home along with the bags of heavy shopping.

This makes perfect sense, right? Especially when, straight after leaving, the heavens open and we get drenched in a really powerful warm rain. D'oh! Making it to the bus stop by the roundabout we shelter, and attempt to get a bus but 4 go past without stopping. That's totally not like how buses work around here, we know, so they really mustn't be running. Bugger. Let's walk then...

... until, at the next bus stop, I wave my hand at another passing van and the guy brakes and asks where we're going. "Captain Harris!" I shout, and he beckons us in. Totally on the hoof, there being no conductor tells us this is an unofficial ride. But it's very welcome and only 6 EC to the stop almost next to our place, huzzah!

Everything that should go in the fridge goes in the fridge, bar two beers which I put straight into the freezer. The kitchen sink confuses me, in that I don't understand at all how to control its temperature.

Helen fancies a bit of a swim, which seems sensible, if you like swimming in the sea. I fancy finishing my write-up of the previous day while sat on the deck with a beer,.

Returning from what is apparently a wonderful swim, except for the pain in her foot because blisters and other issues from the last few days plus salt water, Helen goes for an afternoon nap while I decide, y'know what, I'm gonna stay on the balcony with a beer and watch some damn wrestling. Ian, I agree, WWE NXT this week is very good. Looking forward to Takeover: Chicago!

Helen emerges again in time for us to watch sunset, which is alright I guess.

Mostly the boats don't move. A few go past, not many, some close and some far; only one is a big noisy boat called Rhum Runner II, full of people and pumping out very loud music - but no noise from the folk, who don't seem to be dancing or carousing in any extravagant way.

But mostly it's just quiet, just the sound of the sea lapping and the occasional local dog barking.

Yeah, I can live with this for a bit, beer in hand. Ruining all the class and romance by chomping on leftover pizza but who cares?

We stay outside for a bit after sunset. It's not as if the temperature noticeably changes. Besides, we're trying to identify the diving birds we saw up at Mount Rodney which mostly involves dicking around on our phones and periodically saying to each other "here, look, was it an osprey?" "I reckon it was a magnificent frigatebird" "how about an Aubudon's shearwater?"

Coming to no satisfactory conclusion we go back inside, grab another beer, and it's time to fall asleep, feeling very smug about where we temporarily live. So long, May 2018.

Created By
Darren Foreman

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.