Location: Fort Bay, Saba
Today we got to explore the Dutch (but English speaking) island of Saba! The island did not waste time showing us who was boss, for as soon as we came ashore, we were greeted with a steep winding path we would need to climb before reaching the first town, somewhat ironically named “Bottom.” Unfortunately, we soon found out it was named Bottom because it was the lowest town on the island. We reached the top of the hill leading to Bottom town only to look up and find an even larger climb awaiting us before out the true destination of “Windward,” a town on the, you guessed it, windward side of the island, essentially opposite of Bottom. To get to Windward, the group took a path through the mountains instead of around them. As we went deeper into the mountains, the vegetation started to encroach on the path, and leaves shaded us from the harsh sun above. To really complete the rainforest feel, at about an hour into the hike, the skies opened up, and we all got thoroughly drenched. Always on the lookout for a freshwater shower, I seized the opportunity and took my shirt off, the freshwater felt great on what always seems like permanently salty skin. It also cooled everyone down right as we were starting to get sweaty from the hike, so big thanks to mother nature.
The rain cleared up just as we exited the jungle and were deposited right on the main road outside of Windward. Ian M told us we had two hours to do as we pleased, and we were let loose. The first order of business for me whenever I enter a new town is to find the grocery store to sate my appetite for snacks not available on the boat. The selection at an island grocery store heavily impacts my overall rating of that island; on that note, Saba gets a 10/10. Stepping into the small grocery store, I briefly forgot I was in the Caribbean. Prices were listed in US dollars, and everything on the shelves was made in the US of A. For all of their charm. The French islands were seriously lacking in the grocery store department. Upon leaving Saba’s store, I was in a very good mood. The second order of business was to try the local cuisine, another important metric in the overall island rating. Across the street was what I could only describe as the ultimate “American food” restaurant, with a little bit of everything, from “Americanized” Mexican food, to burgers, to fish, to fried foods. It was an amalgamation of everything a tourist visiting the US for the first time might expect to find.
While I was out grocery shopping, some of the students followed Ian M and Steve to Jo Bean’s Glass Studio. There they were able to make some beads of their design while also wearing some sweet glasses. At the end of the day, we all hitchhiked back to the port and made it back just in time for dinner. Dinner and squeeze went well.