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Many Adventures of a Nomadic Poet A young poet with Asperger's makes travel his passion, and away he goes...

Je t'aime Saint-Pierre

SAINT PIERRE AND MIQUELON | Monday, 29 May 2017 | Views [439]

Colourful homes of Saint-Pierre

Colourful homes of Saint-Pierre

That is "I love you" in French, which is how I feel about Saint-Pierre in the short time I've been here. Was I exhausted last night or what? I slept in until 11 AM this morning, but it's not all that bad because Saint-Pierre has very long daylight hours in summer. Saint-Pierre & Miquelon are 30 minutes ahead of Newfoundland even though it's several hundred kilometres west of St. John's. It's my first full day and the weather is brilliant yet again. These islands are so a part of France that even the power points (outlets) are different to the rest of North America. After washing the dishes I was ready for a photo safari of Saint-Pierre's extremely colourful buildings.

Five minutes into my walk I nearly had a heart attack! A car accident happened right before my eyes. A younger lady of about 35 hit an older lady of about 55. The latter was in shock and crying but they were both OK. After offering to get her a water and to be a witness I was on my way. For such a small island, people seem to drive very fast.

Everything closes from noon to 1:30 PM for a midday siesta, so I had to wait a few minutes to get my croissants from the boulangerie. In search of some postcards I stumbled a upon a very sizable video game store for a small locale, with games for Sega Genesis to Atari Lynx and beyond. The owner and I would have a match at table hockey. It's just like foosball but hockey instead.

What we planned on a practice match turned into a very serious one as I scored the lone goal for the win. The Stanley Cup finals are on at the moment and the shop owner is a Penguins fan (the Pittsburgh Penguins are currently in the finals). Enough with the fun and games, I had to see Saint-Pierre. Philately of these French islands is renowned the world over among stamp enthusiasts so I visited the post office. When I asked if they sold postcards the postie said "we don't sell, we give" as he handed me a postcard marking the 50th anniversary of the Saint-Pierre radio station. Jo and Maria are my two mainstays for postcards as I know they both appreciate them, and I picked up one to send to myself and to my Mom.

Since I promised to be the chef and barman tonight I stopped at the supermarket to stock up on wine and stuff for pizza and vegetable tomato soup. There would be no antics a la New Caledonia of being dragged by my throat out of a supermarket due to a language barrier. Instead they were extremely helpful. A sigh of relief is that wine is much cheaper than in Newfoundland and with sales tax being included in the price, the manager said "the price you see is the price you pay." For such a northerly location there's a great range of vegetables.

After stocking up on stuff for tonight, I went in search of my first geocaches on Saint-Pierre. Two caches I went in search of were in town and easy yet one turned out to be out of town and a bit more difficult. It was actually quite warm today; I left Clemence' flat this morning wearing both my turtleneck and jumper and spent most of the day in a T-shirt. Clemence suggested hiking to Pointe Henry on the northern end of the island but I ended up taking the wrong trail. The scenery was just as gorgeous.

Though it's just a short walk, the wilderness is a world away from town. As Saint-Pierre is mostly treeless it's rather difficult to get lost. Clemence said she'd return by 6 PM and I wanted to be home in time to hang out. She would have me try duck pate for the first time, and it was tasty.

Bertrand and Karine would invite me tonight for another apéro. Having a glass of wine before a meal is meant to stimulate the appetite. Bertrand would share some Réunionese rum infused with pineapple and vanilla bean.

Martin and I would chat more and I had to control myself with the number of glasses of wine I'd be having since I'm cooking tonight. Francois would join us as we convened at Clemence' home. He said he'd take me out tomorrow for my first trip in a Zodiac; perhaps a sort of preparation for Antarctica? A Zodiac is an inflatable motorized dinghy used often to shuttle passengers from larger boats to shore, but trips in a Zodiac itself can be done.

Like always, my pizza and vegetable tomato soup were a smash hit tonight. Bordeaux red wine would go very well with dinner. Francois and I would later go out and have a few glasses of wine whilst watching the Stanley Cup Finals.

Saint-Pierre is another place I've come to love and in two days here the weather has been brilliant and I've had an absolutely splendid time. As I've mentioned many times, the true highlight of a destination is the people. French hospitality combined with beautiful scenery, I've certainly unearthed another diamond of a destination.

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