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Thursday, May 18, 2017

The "Pinel Island Explored: Part I - The Island In Photos" Story

It was an ordinary day.  Sitting in a wooden boat with about forty other anxious beachgoers heading to a beach off the coast of French Cul de Sac known as Ille de Pinel, or simply Pinel Island.  The island is known, at times, as St. Martin's "best kept secret."  Let me tell you, it's no longer a secret if you take into consideration the amount of people on the island today.  I'm going to make today's story a visual one since I'm sure you realize a picture's worth a thousand words and you'd rather look at a few photographs than read 16,000 words.  It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy. PS - Tomorrow's story will give you some insight into the miniature inhabitants of Pinel Island.
The ferry dock is just coming alive with boats being prepared to transport tourists to Pinel Island.
9:22 am and the first ferry departs in a little over half an hour.  Cost for the ride is 10 Euros or $12.00.
At the next dock boats are loaded to take supplies to one of the two beach bars on the island.  Since there is no electricity or water on the island, food products must be taken to the island on a daily basis.
Ferry fees are collected and passengers are loaded into the boat.  Our boat had a stencil on it indicating that 29 passengers were permitted, but we had close to 40 on the boat for the ride to Pinel Isalnd. 
We have reached our destination and the umbrellas from Yellow Beach are on the shoreline.
Being that we were on the first ferry boat to the island, we have first choice of seats.  Two chaise loungers and an umbrella cost a visitor $20. 
The edge of the umbrella can be seen with the beach bar in the background.
Behind the rows of umbrellas admidst the sea grape trees is the Paradiso Gift Shop which has a variety of souvenirs for the tourists.
These beautiful silk pareos are so colorful.  Carol and I have a few already, so we passed on this souvenir.
Amongst the souvenirs are a variety of bird feeders which actually hold sugar for the sugar birds of the island.
Two visitors to Pinel sit near the Karibuni Beach Bar.
Cooks at both beach bars are busy preparing meals for the visitors.  This chef has the charcoal grill going full tilt. 
Carol and I hiked to the top of the nearby ridge to take a photo of the beach on Pinel Island.  I had taken the same view for years, but didn't make it back to Pinel the past two or three years and thought it was time to make a trip once again. 
This is the view looking to the north-east from the top of the ridge.
This is the Ice Cream Boat that visits the island selling treats for everyone.
A "selfie" of the two of us sitting in the front of the ferry on the return trip.  The final ferry runs at 4:00 pm and you don't want to miss it or you may have to spend the night on the island without water or electricity.

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