If I NEVER return to St. Barth’s in the Caribbean, it will be too soon.
Some places, and some of the the inhabitants of certain places, take themselves all too seriously. St. Barth’s is like that. From the moment my foot hit the dock, I suspected that this was not the place for me.
Wealth and extravagance – that’s the character of St. Barth’s. Look up on the hill, and see David Letterman’s vacation mansion. Hear tales from the cabbies about Eddie Murphy kicking up his heels here on New Year’s Eve.
Apparently, the wealthy hide away like beetles when the tourists are in town; later, after the tourists have departed, they come down from their hillside abodes to frequent some of the dockside bars. Oooh.
If it’s the rich and famous that you deeply desire rubbing elbows with, then head for St. Barth’s. You might even be able to afford one of the frocks in the stores, that’s if the shopkeepers open their doors to you. Some of them close up when the cruise ships arrive because they don’t want browsers.
Okay, it’s a pretty enough ride if you have the $90/hour to pay a cabbie to take you on a whirlwind tour of the island. Best to split this cost with another couple though. And don’t expect too much from your cabbie; unlike the cabbies on other islands, the St. Barth’s cabbies are interested in the dollar, not chit-chatting with tourists. It was nearly impossible to get our taxi driver to open up a little and share with us.
Tip: There is a way to enjoy yourself on St. Barth’s. Spend your time at the fish market. Walk to your left when you dock. It’s great fun watching giant silver fish feed on scraps tossed into the sea by the fishmongers. Best of all, this activity won’t cost you a cent.
Wishing you safe and happy travels,