The colorful cabbie


Since I’m a travel agent, my family assigns me the responsibility of handling our vacations. So when we recently took a Caribbean cruise, you know who was in charge of all activities. This was all good except for one thing: I ran out of time to research.

And so, it was on the fifth day of our cruise that we found ourselves agenda-free in St. Martin. What to do? Find a cab driver you trust and see where the adventure takes you!

The Line clan was tired of island tours and shopping. Instead, we wanted a beach, one that wouldn’t be crowded with (laugh if you want) tourists. But what beach? When in doubt, ask a cab driver.

Rufus wasn’t the first cabbie I’d encountered on the island. In fact, I chatted it up with two others before him. They, like many cabbies, answered my question, “Where would you take your family on your day off?” They gave generic answers. But Rufus answered my question quite sincerely.

This is how we discovered Le Galion Beach, or Coconut Grove as the locals call it. Our 20-minute drive there was more than entertaining. I discovered Rufus was a seventh-generation native of the island with dual citizenship. I learned the characteristics and politics of this dually-owned nation (Dutch and French). I learned kite flying on Easter weekend is a tradition involving family, camping and stealing a piece of your mother’s bedspread for the kite tail.

Coconut Grove was beautiful. The beach was wide with just a handful of tourists and locals scattered about. The crystal-clear water was inviting. There was a small restaurant with the best beer and grilled mahimahi one could ask for (burgers for the kids). All in all, it was one of our favorite days, thanks to a colorful cabbie named Rufus.

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