Apparently it’s tough to go unnoticed in a town of 6000 residents, we’re already running into people we know. Of course, we’re using the term ‘know’ very loosely, but by the amount of things we’ve learnt about them it feels that way. That’s all part of small community charm and it’s magnified here due to geographic isolation from the rest of the world.
Everyone is friendly and everything is nearby. You can get anywhere on the island in five minutes or less. Anywhere. That’s by car, but even walking most places is easy. We’re actually carless at the moment since we arrived on Friday night and we can’t rent a car until Monday morning.
Two-legged transportation is great for burning calories, but isn’t ideal for lugging our gear. Getting a packhorse might be an option since horses appear to be plentiful. We’ve seen more of them than dogs and from what we hear there are over a hundred horses on the island. They appear to be Saint Pierre’s unofficial lawnmowers.
Thankfully today is more about scouting, getting a lay of the land and discovering the incredibly friendly people. And they are beyond friendly. In fact our schedule has been filling up rather quickly despite our clunky French. On our travels today we were invited by a guitar-playing fireman to visit the fire station Tuesday morning and see his band on Friday. Another offered to take us on a private zodiac tour to Ile aux Marins, the abandoned historical site that used to be home to 800 fishermen. Plus, an elderly man tried to lure Michele in with a box of candy. Classic move. Thankfully he turned out to be a very proud world-class runner excited to show off his trophies. Ten minutes later he hosted us in his living room and invited us back for a longer visit on Tuesday afternoon. That didn’t even include our quick van tour of the island.
Our heads are now spinning like a colourful carousel loaded up with French men. Fabrice, Jean-Claude, Joël, Jean-Pierre and Gaston all twirling around. A lot has happened since our day started off with a light breakfast of croissants.