As we set out on our trip some 26 hours ago, I never assumed that I would have anything interesting to write about. Most of you know how these trips go — you get to the airport, hopefully not get patted down, get into the plane, sit uncomfortably for multiple hours, and arrive happily at your destination. We didn’t get to enjoy last part.
Table of Contents
- Day One — Our Airbnb Host Was Nowhere to Be Found.
- Day Two — Like a Bloody Fire Engine!
- Day Three — Things You Need to Know About Renting Cars and Dining.
- Day Four — I Know Where the Rum’s Gone!
- Day Five — The Diamond Rock / Rocher Du Diamant.
- Day Six — A Beautiful Sunset.
- Day Seven — Beaches and Nudists.
- Day Eight — How to Avoid Crowded Beachs on the Weekends.
- Day Nine — The Volcano and Jardin de Balatan.
- Day Ten — Banana Museum.
- Day Eleven — Sunsets.
- Day Twelve — the One With Me Being Lazy.
- Day Thirteen — Les Trois Ilets, Pointe Du Bout, and the Museums.
- Day Fourteen — Anse Michel, Anse Trabuad, and Driving Down a Road Narrower Than Our Car.
- Day Fifteen — Astrophotography of the Night Sky with a Fuji X100T.
- Day Sixteen — Trying Some More Astrophotography with the Fuji X100T.
- Day Seventeen — Restaurant Pignon Nouvelle Vague in Les Trois Ilets.
- Day Eighteen & Nineteen — Probably the Best Vacation in My Life.
Our destination for three weeks of rest and relaxation was Martinique — a French island in the Caribbean, technically part of the European Union. I’ve wanted to come back to this part of the world for the past few years, and we finally got the chance to do so — our excitement was immense.
The trip went pretty smoothly — the airports, places, security checks, and so on, were fine — and it took about 21 hours from closing the door of our place to landing at our destination. Since we rented a villa via Airbnb, we had to get a taxi to take us there. That’s where the problems started…
I messaged our host as soon as we landed, letting him know that our flight arrived on time, and that we should be there in half an hour or so. He didn’t reply. Not especially worried at that point, we grabbed a taxi, and gave the address to our driver. I started getting anxious when he first couldn’t find the exact location in Waze on his phone, and then started calling his friends, asking where the house is. After close to an hour of driving up and down with our wonderfully patient taxi driver, I started getting frustrated. I contacted Airbnb to let them know that we weren’t able to get in contact with out host — he wasn’t answering his phone or replying our messages. Cody said that he’ll try on our behalf, but in the meantime we should find a restaurant to wait it out. He also promised to reimburse us for the taxi and any additional food costs we would pick up along the way. Our taxi driver ignored my suggestion to take us to get some food, and started asking the locals where our place could be. He did also suggest we contact the police, fearing that we were being scammed. We declined, continuing the search for our villa.
A few minutes later my wife’s phone started ringing. It was our host. He apologised, but he was sick, in France, and could barely speak. ‘Not a scam!’ I though, with relief. We gave the phone to our driver, and he promptly drove us to our host’s place, which we passed a few times that evening. I got a return call from Cody in the meantime, and he graciously refunded the two-hour taxi ride, and asked if everything else was in order. It was, thankfully. As soon as I hung up, our host’s father arrived to greet us. He apologised for the mix-up, explained how everything works, and then drove us into town so that we could get some juice, and various other cold drinks for our breakfast.
We settled in, unpacked, and went out onto the terrace to enjoy the peace and quiet. I was enjoying a cold Coke, my legs up, when Iwona joined me with her glass of water. She sat down next to me and…
‘Does the terrace door lock itself when closed from the outside?’ she asked quietly.
‘I don’t know, does it?’ I said, getting a sinking feeling in my stomach.
It does indeed. We were locked out. Thoughts and possible solutions started racing through my head. We could call the host, wake him again, and ask him to contact his dad so he could let us in. We could also call Airbnb again, though I had no clue what they would be able to do, apart from contacting the host in our name… I was pretty certain I had made sure to close all the latches on all the windows and doors, before heading out to the terrace, just so I wouldn’t have to bother with them later, before going to bed — wouldn’t hurt to check though. I got up and started probing every single door and window. Luckily, I missed a small sliding pane of glass in the bedroom. I pulled myself up, broke into to our villa, and opened the door again.
We woke up today, to a fantastic view. We also learned that we now have a cat to take care of. Her name was Su and she was hungry.
Everything would have been so much easier had it not been dark out already, and had we not just spent over twenty hours travelling. Anyway, all’s well that ends well, I guess.