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Hills in Marigot are so steep that steps go up the hill to the houses, not roads.

We took a local bus from Simpson Bay to Philipsburg.  Riding the bus exposes you to the local people and also gives you an opportunity to see the landscape.  As the bus went up a steep hill, we got a breathtaking view of the lagoon with the Dutch side in the foreground and the French side in the background.  Bob saw a green airplane and thought he would take a picture of the airport.  It wasn't the airport at all but rather the body and tail of an airplane without wings converted to a bar and restaurant! 

Plane converted to bar and restaurant

Philipsburg is one of the places where cruise ships regurgitate their passengers for duty free shopping.  We arrived and were breakfasting at a waterfront cafe when the landing craft brought 500 people per trip to the island's dock.  We watched the first unloading.  The shopping area is cleaner and better maintained than Nassau, St. Thomas, and San Juan.  It seems more spread out and less crowded.  The stores have beautiful jewelry but too expensive for a boat budget.  The courthouse set in the center of town was originally built in 1793 and has been renovated several times, most recently in 1995.  It is still used for judicial proceedings.  A restaurant across from the courthouse is called Kangaroo Court!

Kangaroo Court Restaurant

Phillipsburg Courthouse

Neat antique car advertising Old Town

After sightseeing, we shopped for several things, an extra battery for the digital camera, a telephone adapter so we can plug our laptop computer into French phones, a tire pressure gauge, and tee shirts. We found the camera battery for $40 cheaper than what we had paid for one in Ft. Lauderdale and the other items were also reasonably priced.  We could not find a tire gauge.  When we returned to Simpson Bay, we walked from Texaco station to car dealership to car parts store and finally found the gauge.  We needed it for the bike tires and also for a new water accumulator tank that must be pressurized to 40 pounds.  Bob had had to estimate the pressure since we had no gauge.  It's always a challenge to find tools, parts and accessories.

The local people were very nice and helpful.  On the bus going to Philipsburg, I was having trouble opening the window of the non-air-conditioned bus.  One of the men got out of his seat and opened it for me.  The visit has been delightful but we are preparing to head south.  We just heard this morning on the cruisers' net that the hurricane season is expected to be quite active this year.  We will skip many islands on the way down with the intention of visiting them later.  We must get to Tobago Cays before July 1 as required by our insurance.

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