Sunday, May 22, 2016

Soda Stream Decathlon Day On Martinique

If you will recall (Soda Stream Refills post), Martinique is one of the few places in the eastern Caribbean where you can get Soda Stream CO2 canisters exchanged and buy the syrup.  We are not pop drinkers.  We use our Soda Stream primarily for bubbly water and tonic.  It's been two years since we last stocked up and we were down to our last CO2 canister.  I confirmed the Carbaies Decoration was still in business and in the same location.  Now we just had to figure out how to actually get there.  This was solved when Mark on sv Liahona said "I'll split a rental car with you."  Perfect.  "And we can go to this kewl new sporting goods store we found."  Sweet.

The next morning we arrived in Le Marin via dinghy 30 mins late and soaking wet from a passing rain shower - such is the glamorous life of cruiser transportation.  Mark and Willie were patiently waiting - French pain du chocolate helped pass the time as they waited for our late butts.  *Sorry guys.
Traditional Martinique sailing vessel now for racing only
Tom signed for our SBJ - Shit box du jour (sv Receta coined that phrase in Anne's books "Embarrassment of Mangoes" and "Spice Necklace") and off we went in search of Caraibes Decoration, the Soda Stream dealer.  Our turn by turn instructions didn't quit get us there but close enough and soon we were fully stocked up.  FYI -Owner of Caraibes Decoration Luci is lovely.  If you need Soda Stream supplies, be sure to stop by and see them in Fort de France Martinique.  You can email her for directions or with any questions.  She will respond back in English. 
With our main objective accomplished, we decided to see some of the north part of Martinique.  We drove up the west side towards St Pierre.  Tom gunned our SBJ up a steep and narrow road to the trailhead for mount Pelee - the volcano.  Fog obscured the top portion and each other as we stretched our legs in the parking lot of the trailhead.  No, we didn't climb it.  Another time perhaps.  Although from what we have witnessed, I don't know that you would see much as it seems it's always shrouded in clouds.  We wondered on to the east coast, taking in the country side and little villages as we passed.  I forgot how much agriculture is grown on this island.  A stop for "street meat" along the road turned out to be a snacky picnic type lunch with fresh watermelon for dessert.  We continued along until we had wound our way back down to Fort de France and our next goal - the sporting goods store Decathlon.
Tom, Willie, Mark - maybe we will hike it another day
Mt Pelee somewhere beyond the barely visible cell tower
Willie?  Is that you?
Mark and Willie had just recently discovered this place based on another cruisers recommendation.  The store is awesome.  Think REI, Divers Direct, BassPro all combined but with kewl Euro brands and terrific prices.  Ultimate candy store for cruisers like us.  We spent well over an hour and got tons of good deals:  $7 hiking poles, $5 light weight performance tees, $12 shorts, $3 flip flops, $10 hammock, $8 sleeping bag, $45 new folding cooler, $20 neoprene diving gloves, etc....
French street meat - pic by Willie
Roadside picnic
Finally we drug ourselves out of there.  We couldn't resist a stop at Hyper U, the French version of a Super Walmart but has a cheese and deli section to rival Dean and Deluca and Wally World prices.

With the tiny trunk of our SBJ fully loaded and the sun setting, we headed towards le Marin having accomplished our goals for the day.

So Decathlon is our new favorite store.  We will definitely stop again.          

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