Archive for the ‘2011 11 Virgin Gorda’ Category

V.G. (Leaving – One Last Boat Ride)

Sorry to have dropped off the grid for a bit. Illness and some issues with WordPress threw me off. However, I’m back! So Let’s finish this Virgin Gorda thing shall we?

You’ll also have to excuse me if some of these last few pix are a little funky. They were taken from a fast moving and bouncy boat taking me from Virgin Gorda back to Beef Island where I was to catch my flight to Sint Maarten.

This first was taken while pulling out of the Virgin Gorda harbor. You’ll note the flags and the palm tree that I got the nice sunset shot of from the other side at the end of my post about the Baths.

Bye! snif...

These next two were my attempt to catch a good view of the island chain leading from V.G. towards Tortola. From left to right you see Coppermine Point (on V.G.), Fallen Jerusalem, what look like a few tiny rocks which are actually the “island” known as Broken Jerusalem, Round Rock and Ginger Islands. It’s a shame you can’t see Broken Jerusalem more clearly. I kept waiting for the boat to go uphill a little bit so I could get a better view but oddly, it never did. You can actually see Broken Jerusalem better in the shots from earlier posts that I took from higher vantage points. Try looking at the “Assault On Gorda Peak” post.

I was hanging on for...

dear life while taking these

Here I’m looking back at Virgin Gorda one last time. To the right, Spanish Town; one of the little white dots towards the left is where my apartment was.

Again... snif...

This last shot was taken as we pulled into the Beef Island harbor (where the airport is). To the right of center you can see the airport control tower. To the extreme right is a bit of Road Town.

Off again yet again

I made my flight with a minimum of difficulty, although I carry a plastic bag full of Darjeeling tea that they opened and sniffed carefully. I must admit, it looks pretty suspicious.

Interesting fact: you have to pay a 25USD “departure tax”. Yes, you must pay to leave BVI. Weird. What happens if you don’t have $25? Do they deport you?

I flew with a Caribbean airline called Liat. My research on them had indicated that their safety record was excellent but that they ran on “island time” . However, my experience with them was fine. We were on schedule and it took all of 40 minutes to reach Sint Maarten. I wish I could have taken pix from the plane since when we took off we swung north up over Virgin Gorda and I could look down on everywhere I’d been from but a few hundred feet up. I didn’t realize how short the flight would actually be until we started descent for SXM and I could still see Anegada behind us.

In all honesty, while I have enjoyed aspects of most of my Caribbean jaunts. Virgin Gorda has a special place in my heart. Something about that gig/island/people really struck a chord with me. I hope to return soon and I heartily recommend it as a vacation spot for those who wish to actually relax rather than have a “Girls Gone Wild-party your a** off-I can’t remember half of what I did” kind of time.

Time may bring more perspective; but I suspect I will remember this as one of the most carefree and enjoyable months of my life.

V.G. (A Couple of Silly Things)

First: this really made me wonder…

Is Grandma not friendly?

Is Grandma not friendly?

Second: Any place where the standard license plate has four characters has my wholehearted approval. This was on my jeep.

Do you need a mnemonic for this?

Do you need a mnemonic for this?

OK – here are a couple of obligatory shots of my nightly perch at The Rock. BTW – I always try to be as polite as possible to some of my less musically educated customers. I’m used to having people getting Billy Joel and Elton John mixed up by now (yes, I regularly get requests for “Piano Man” by Elton John – the list goes on). Nevertheless, when a woman I’d have placed in her late thirties came up and looked at the photo over my head and asked, “Is that Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young?” I literally did a spit take to rival anything Danny Thomas ever did.

Front...

Front...

side...exciting!

side...exciting! And purple, very purple

This last started out to be a joke shot. I was going to trim it down to just the “All Toys $1.00” sign and caption it; So, how ‘bout that Xbox. Only after uploading it to my computer did I see my own reflection, the fluorescent lights inside and the reflection of “Rosy’s House and Home” (located next to “Rosy’s Groceries” where I regularly shopped) that suddenly this picture took on several layers of meaning for me. I have left it as is – a nice little multifaceted moment in time.

PS3?

PS3?

V.G. (Cliffhanger Resolved!)

OK, it’s really not that exciting. What ended up happening on my last night on Virgin Gorda was that I went down to Coppermine Point after my show to watch the stars as I’d done several times before. The difference on this night was that I fired up some music in my car (“Flight of the Conchords” – if you must know), aaaaaaand… I drained my battery.

Aaaaaugh! Have I typed enough “a’s” yet?

Picture if you will, my little self stranded at about 300A, without hope of recharge until 900A or so, and a flight to catch at 100P. I made my way to a friend’s house and apologetically settled myself on the futon to await the hour when my vehicle might be resurrected.

Well… it was actually slightly more adventurous (criminal?). My friend and I tried to, uh, borrow one or two cars along the way – no-one locks their cars here – so, y’know, we checked a few for the magic combination of keys in the ignition/cupholders/sunshades and jumper cables. No luck. One wonders – if we had found them – would we have gotten away with a brief hijack/joyride? Probably so.

V.G.P.D. – NO EVIDENCE HERE!

BTW folks, from what I understand, there are all of four police cars on all of Virgin Gorda. I am also given to understand that the major infraction here is failure to wear a seat belt.

Really?  I know I’m digressing but – just out of curiosity – does anyone on this isla… actually, any Caribbean island drive sober after oh… noon? That’s not necessarily a criticism. I’m not seeing people being hauled out of 90-MPH wrecks in pieces around here. There’s just a lot of… creative driving. One may also safely take the term “bumpers” as literally as one wishes and still be, terminologically and legally, on safe ground.

Digression over!

I know that my dear readers prefer pictures over my scintillating narrative so here we go. These pictures were taken as I trudged from my friend’s house (and a restless night on the futon) back to Coppermine and my vehicle to meet with the towing company guy. First up, Fallen Jerusalem. It does indeed look like a destroyed city from here. (Thanks to LGH for artfully editing out the power lines.)

My apologies to Cristobal

My apologies to Cristobal

Just a little farther down the road, and looking in the other direction; a view back towards Gorda Peak.

Yah, been on top of that

Yah, been on top of that

There’s still a boat ride and some odds and ends left to go. Stay tuned…

V.G. (Last Night – A North Side Tour)

This may have been the shortest-seeming month-long gig ever. Time simply flew by. Sure and there are still some things I wish I’d done; but by and large I got a good amount of exploring, picture-taking and just having a good time in. No regrets.

One thing I hadn’t done by my last night was get around to the north side of the island. So, with maybe an hour’s light left to spare, I decided to take a run at it. Given the size of the island, I estimated that I had plenty of time. I was correct – just barely.

Circumnavigating the island really drives home just how small Virgin Gorda is. That I could drive just a few minutes north-ish from my apartment in Maho Bay and see things from the west side of the island that were equally visible from the east side was little baffling at first. I expected new vistas, but came to realize that I was looking at the same things from only a small shift in perspective. A quick review of the pictures from previous posts helps to make this clear.

Aw, pretty.. ow, ow, ow!

Aw, pretty... ow, ow, ow!

This first picture was shot while standing in a nest of fire ants. Yah, painful. Just as I took the shot I felt the first bites, and being from Texas I recognized the sensation immediately. Immediately after taking the shot I was tearing off my shoes, whirling about and slapping at my legs trying to keep the little buggers from getting into my shorts much to the amusement of the patrons of a little restaurant/bar next to me. Fun. Back to the picture, though. My vantage point is from above Leverick Bay looking down towards, from left to right: Necker Island (back a bit and wholly owned by Richard Branson), Prickly Pear Island with Eustatia Island just visible behind it (from here it looks like part of Prickly Pear Island), Saba Rock (yes, there’s a tiny island under there somewhere) and Bitter End (distinguished by all the little teepee shapes on it).

A little farther up the road over Gun Point (no, not at gunpoint) I took a clearer shot of Bitter End with Saba Rock to the left. See the little harbor to the right of Bitter End? We’re going there.

Yacht Club City

Yacht Club City

Then it gets a bit interesting. You make a rather steep descent and suddenly you find yourself passing through a little village consisting of what appears to be maybe 6 bars, 4 churches and a handful of dwellings. I would have loved to get a picture of this, but as I mentioned, the descent was steep and I was more concerned with riding my brakes, navigating sharp curves and avoiding goats, chickens and assorted pedestrians who thought nothing of trudging up the middle of the road. This was Gun Creek, the only other “town” on Virgin Gorda.

Who?

Who?

I finally reached the bottom to find a parking lot and a visitors center (sorry, “centre” – this is in a Crown territory). I honestly have no idea who Captain Owen G. Harrigan is. There was no information to be found at the visitors centre and the web has proven to be singularly unhelpful in this regard. Perhaps someone reading this can enlighten me. Walking through the visitor centre rotunda leads to an anchorage/pier from which one can catch resort ferries to the North Sound islands. Unfortunately, I missed the ferry to Saba Rock by a matter of minutes and had to content myself with walking to the end of the pier for one more shot of (left to right): Prickly Pear Island, Saba Rock, Bitter End and a boat.

Oh, and somebody's boat

Left of center you can see the ferry I missed - argh!

So, with dusk rapidly approaching I climbed back in the car and headed back out. At the place where I had turned down to Gun Creek I went on straight so as to head south down the east side of Virgin Gorda. I couldn’t have gone more than a quarter mile when I recognized, with some surprise, the same little lookout point from which I had taken the shots of N. Sound the day I climbed Gorda Peak. I say again – wow, small island. I took a few shots anyway as the sun was setting and the light was interesting. Also, now that I had been there, I knew what I was looking at in the N. Sound picture below. The cluster of buildings in the foreground is Gun Creek. The islands are the same as described above – but you can see the separation between Prickly Pear and Eustatia Island maybe just a bit more clearly. Eustatia Island is a bit mysterious in that it is owned by an unnamed “private individual”. There are two villas for rent on it. That is – if you can swing $25-55K per week for a single villa or $52-87K per week for both. Yikes!

Suddenly it all makes sense

Suddenly it all makes sense

Turning back southwest-ish I snapped the sun going down over Tortola and one more shot down the spine of Virgin Gorda with a few lights beginning to come on in Spanish Town.

My last V.G. Sunset...

My last V.G. sunset...

all gold and shadow

...all gold and shadow

I headed back to my apartment to get cleaned up, go play my gig and then presumably get some sleep and catch my flight for Sint Maarten. Alas, it was not to be quite that easy.

Ooooo… a cliffhanger!

V.G. (Some Notes On Caribbean Linguistics)

When in the Caribbean, one might note the “natives” (usually of African descent) speaking to each other in what sounds to be nearly gibberish. I have always wondered about this. I asked a friend and she told me it was some sort of “native language”. It turns out to be just a bit more complicated. Here is the e-mail I sent back to her after doing some (admittedly amateur) research.

“Checked up on the language thing. Technically, the language we discussed is a creole or pidgin. Usually incorporating two languages (one of them usually European), it’s also known as a ‘contact language’. It uses a simplified grammar and vocabulary.

To make it trickier, there are a number of dialects. There’s Tortola Creole, Bahamian Creole, Anguillan Creole and a number of others. If the primary European language is French then it can be called a ‘patois’.

It gets even trickier when you throw in whatever language is being mixed with the European language. Sometimes they are multiple. In some places linguists have noted bits of African, S. American and even old Arawak and Carib words.

However, it is noted that older generations often have words that younger generations do not use and vice-versa. Of course, slang drift is common even in a relatively stable language. I would no more use ’23-skidoo’ than my parents or grandparents would have used ‘awesome’. Even my brother (only 5 years younger) used ‘rad’, a word I never incorporated. It’s worth noting that the general drift in the Caribbean Creoles over time is towards the European language.

It’s a little studied field b/c apparently islanders are not fond of non-natives attempting to learn their ‘speak’. It’s considered something that you are born into. Many islanders find non-natives trying to speak their tongue something of an intrusion, even an insult.”

So there you have it. Now that I know what I’m listening to, I’m beginning to catch bits here and there. Virgin Gorda is a little easier since the European primary seems to be English. Sint Maarten is harder as I believe the primary is Dutch – and I don’t speak a word of Dutch.

Something I neglected to mention in my letter was pronunciation. You, gentle reader, may look up phenomes, fricatives, aspirated v. unaspirated consonants etc. for yourself if you are so inclined. It’s a bit much for me to tackle right now. For starters though,  “th” is pronounced as “t”. Hence my confusion mentioned in an earlier post when my guide for the day told me I should go see the “bats” (baths).

Now for some fun island phrases!

Wah gwin ahn? = What’s going on?
She on island time, yah nuh. = She’s always late.
Check ayo layta. = see you later.
Weh dat is? = Where is that?
How much demfa? – How much do they cost?

Aaaand my favorite…

Weh de lime is?! = Where’s the party?!

V.G. (Assault On Gorda Peak)

I’m actually on to Sint Maarten as I write this, but we’ll get to that in due time. I’ve still got plenty of material on Virgin Gorda to cover.

The title of this post is a bit of an exaggeration. Gorda Peak is only about 1370 ft. above sea level, and you can drive to within a fraction of that. So calling the climb an “assault” makes me sound far more the bold adventurer than I am. However, as you will see, it wasn’t without it’s challenges.

The first was the short drive itself. The Explorer I was in needed to be dropped into a lower gear to make the climb up the rather steep road. At one point I glanced into my rear-view mirror and saw nothing but ocean. That was a bit unnerving. Partway up I found a nice place to pull over and take a few pictures. I’m swinging roughly from looking south to looking northeast.

Toward Tortola and Beef Island

Toward Tortola and Beef Island

Down the spine of V.G.

Down the spine of V.G.

Toward Spanish Town

Toward Spanish Town

Toward Spanish Town (5 minutes later)

Toward Spanish Town (5 minutes later)

Towards North Sound

Toward North Sound

Notice anything? Look at the sky. Compare and contrast especially between the two shots of Spanish Town. If you remember, in an earlier post I mentioned how difficult this place was to photograph given how fast the light changes. Needless to say, I should have had at least an inkling at this point of what was coming my way. Nevertheless: car trouble, heavy rains and other bits of nonsense had kept me from making this much anticipated climb for several days and I was running out of time. Today I was going up Gorda Peak come hell or – heh heh – high water. Oh yes, there will be water… and mud…

I drove just a wee bit farther and reached the entrance to Gorda Peak National Park. Like much of St. John National Park in the USVI, the land was donated by Lawrence Rockefeller.

Thank you, I feel welcome

Thank you, I feel welcome

A short hike up through a picnic area and I came to the trail entrance. As you can see, there was plenty of water on the trail left from the rains the night before; and bright boy here only brought one pair of shoes. No matter, I began what was billed as a 50 minute hike towards the “Lookout Platform”.

Thish way...

Thish way...

...squish way

...squish way

50 minutes was a gross exaggeration. Yes, I have rather long legs – but despite all the squishing and slogging it only took me about 30 minutes to reach the picnic area near the top. It would have taken less time had I not stopped for several minutes to marvel over the hermit crab pictured in the previous post. A couple of paths led away from the picnic area. Obviously on my first try I took the wrong one.

Time for lunch!

Time for lunch!

Time for, er, after lunch

Time for, er, after lunch

The second path I chose turned out to be the right one. Another few minutes of walking and I had reached the summit. Somehow it was anticlimactic. I don’t know exactly what it was that I expected the “Lookout Platform” to be, but it certainly wasn’t a structure resembling nothing so much as a slightly larger version of the treehouse my father built me as a child. “Still,” I thought, “how very Virgin Gorda”.

A secret you and me house (apologies to Shel Silverstein)

A secret you and me house (apologies to Shel Silverstein)

So up I went. The view was, well, not all that different than the one I had from the road below. Perhaps worse, as I was hemmed in by foliage. Still, I had done what I set out to do. However, the clouds you hopefully took note of in the pictures above were beginning to open up and in the pictures below I am beginning to get quite windblown and moistened.

Toward N. Sound

Toward N. Sound

N. Sound and a giant head

N. Sound and a giant head

Toward Spanish Town

Toward Spanish Town

Spanish Town and the same head!

Spanish Town and the same head!

If you are so inclined, take a closer look at the picture on the lower left. Beyond Spanish Town you can see a flat, rocky lighter-colored island. This is Fallen Jerusalem which I mentioned in a previous post. The scattering of rocky clusters beyond it comprise Broken Jerusalem (really zoom in and you can see the abandoned tugboat). Beyond that and to the left a bit is the aptly named Round Rock, and the bigger island to the right is Ginger Island.

And the rain, rain, rain...

Rushing, writhing rivulets

So there we are. The rain was really beginning to come down as I descended from the platform and made my way back to the picnic area hub. I took a third path as yet unexplored leading away from this area and sloping generally downward. I had heard that there was a place called “Pussy Point” by the locals. It acquired this moniker by the expedient of being closer to the platform than the park entrance. It turned out that this was the trail leading to said point. I beg to differ. While shorter, it was also exceedingly steep and full of rocks and other obstacles. Add to that the fact that the rain was becoming torrential and the path was now a combination of rushing creek and mudslide and it was quite a challenge getting down. My solution was to go full bore simian. I spent more time swinging from the trees alongside the trail than I did with my feet on any sort of terra firma. Here is a picture taken from one of the few points at which I could get my feet solidly under me for a moment. I’m not sure if it properly conveys the whole Michael Douglas/”Romancing the Stone” vibe I was experiencing. For better or worse, I arrived at the bottom not to land face first in the lap of Kathleen Turner in her prime – but rather soaked to the skin, covered in mud and unidentifiable bite marks, and laughing my fool head off for no good reason other than the fact that I was fully adrenalised and… had absolutely no idea where I was in relation to where I had parked. So I took off in what I thought was the right direction, pausing temporarily to snap a photo of what seemed to me a totally misplaced cactus. It seemed as incongruous at that moment as a mangrove in the Gobi. My sense of direction thankfully held true and a few minutes later I located my vehicle.

Really?

Really?

Whew!

Whew!

Lest there remain a doubt in the mind of the reader as to whether I enjoyed this particular adventure, I offer the following photo taken as soon as I was able to suppress the giggles long enough to hold the camera steady.

Soaked, muddy, itchy, goofy-looking and happy as the proverbial clam

Soaked, muddy, itchy, goofy-looking and happy as the proverbial clam

V.G. (Dogs, Goats & the Attack of the 50-Foot Hermit Crab)

If you read my St. Maarten posts from July, you’ll remember I mentioned the bevy of dogs that seemed to be wandering about at every turn. Not particularly vicious dogs, just… omnipresent.

Not so here. Chickens, yes – everywhere. Quite a few goats, too – but we’ll get to that in a second.

The absence of roaming dogs really didn’t occur to me until I drove by one the other day that had unfortunately been run over and was quite dead. Once the thought occurred, I asked a friend here about it. Her answer? “Oh, they’re poisoned by the goat farmers”.

So… there you have it. Feral dogs prey on goats; goat farmers are unhappy and set out chunks of meat laced with arsenic. My friend, who happens to be a teacher here, has heard more than her share of stories from woebegone children whose pets have wandered off only to come home and die of arsenic poisoning. I’m not sure how to feel about this, but…

These guys win!

These guys win!

Shortly thereafter (and purely by chance) I happened upon the entrance to the town dump. After reading the sign below I really have to wonder what’s up with BVI residents and traditional pets.

Hamsters OK

Hamsters OK

Turning now to happier animal news. Holy cr*p! Has anybody else ever seen a hermit crab this size?

OK, not 50 feet...

OK, not 50 feet...

...but softball-sized minimum

...but softball-sized, minimum

I came across this guy while hiking and in amazement just stopped and watched him for a while. When I finally ventured to step over him he curled into his (obviously) inadequate shell. One has to wonder – where is he going to find a bigger one? If he does, can his old one go condo? And what in blazes was he doing toiling upslope on a mountainside over a mile from the nearest beach?

V.G. (My Nemesis the Damp Spot, Coppermine, Piano Man’s Dinner)

I will be the first to admit I can be somewhat clumsy. I attribute this to two primary factors:

  • I’m pretty sure (and the law of averages will bear me out on this) that most buildings, homes, cars, airplanes et al were built by people under six feet tall. I have spent the better part of a lifetime coping with this, Anybody in my situation try driving a mid-90’s Kia?
  • I am, kindly put, absent-minded. I spend maybe a little too much time in my own head. What I do in there is my own business, but yes – I’m thinking about you. No. I’m just an introvert and I spend a lot of time in reflection.

The upshot of this is that I’m not always paying the kind of attention I should to my immediate surroundings. So I sometimes run into things (doorframes are the worst), stumble over cracks in the pavement, miscalculate chair heights… the list goes on.

Here in Virgin Gorda this is my current nemesis. Take a look at the picture below.

The dastardly spot!

The dastardly spot!

This is the little wooden ramp leading up to my apartment. About two-thirds of the way up on the right you will notice a damp spot. This is where the water from the roof happens to drain off. This picture was taken during a bright and sunny day. You may be tempted to wonder why this is an issue. OK, let me explain. In the dark – when I’m usually leaving and returning from my show. You can’t see it!!! Even with the porch light on!  Also, if there has been a rain shower, which there often is here in the Caribbean, the spot is BIGGER, and still invisible come sunset.

So, I have slipped and fallen – usually with an armful of gear or groceries – a grand total of four times in the last three weeks. “So what”, you say? Well… uh… OK. Perhaps the biggest damage has been to my ego by suddenly finding myself ignominiously sitting on my coccyx.

Give me a break – there’s bruising involved.

Went to the old Coppermine here last week and saw a sunrise. Yes, “rise” – I know – I’m still stunned by that too. Took several pictures of the ruins here, none of which are entirely satisfactory, but you get the idea. The small building was for smelting, the stack for venting of gases. Pretty straightforward. If I’d taken a shot looking left you could have seen the old mine shaft opening, but as it’s completely overgrown it would’ve have just looked like a few rocks covered by plants. Which, after all, is what it is.

Too dark

Too dark

Too wide

Too wide

Lens flare!

Lens flare!

Finally, as the house player here at The Rock I am entitled to dinner. Mmmm… good stuff. Since I always order it to go (for consumption after the show), I have to go back and get it from the kitchen as I am leaving and it is almost always labeled thusly:

Give us some food, you're the... no..

Sing along, now - "Give us some food, you're the..." - no, don't

Why this continually tickles me I do not know.

V.G. (Quick Dietary Note)

Plantains ≠ bananas. There’s more but… ’nuff said.

Except to say that it’s a little scary to fall (seemingly inexplicably) ill on an island with very few medical facilities.

All OK now, though. Will resume regular posting ASAP.

V.G. (Day Off – Part 2: Baths/Bats?, Caves and Devil’s Bay)

This is going to turn into a photojournal if I’m not careful.

The long and winding road...

The long and winding road...

On my first day here I was told not to miss “The Bats”. I almost said to my guide, “You know, my home town of Austin is pretty famous for its bats”. Glad I kept my mouth shut. He was, of course, referring to “The Baths” with a Caribbean accent *smacks forehead*. It’s little more confusing than that though. There are the Baths, the Caves, Devil’s Bay and the Devil’s Bay Trail. Having been there now I can tell you that the Baths are within the Caves which are a part of the Devil’s Bay Trail which leads to Devil’s Bay. Nevertheless, the whole mess is referred to as “The Baths”. Got it? Good.

This is it?

This is it?

It’s a bit of a circuitous hike just to get there in the first place. The picture above shows just a little bit of the trail leading down to the Baths/Caves/ Devil’s Bay/Devil’s Bay Trail. The picture to the left is what you finally find when you reach the bottom. There’s also a bar down there, just in case you didn’t get your fill from the bar at the top or if you need some quick fortification before hiking onward. Reaching this spot at the bottom of the trail I wondered. “Is this the noteworthy ’Baths’? Looks like another beach to me.” Not that is wasn’t pretty, but it wasn’t anything out of the ordinary around these parts. So I poked around a bit, followed some footprints and eventually I found what I was looking for…

Aha!

Aha!

Really?

Uh... really?

Ta-daa! The sign for the “Devil’s Bay Trail” and next to it, an unpromising looking cleft leading into a wall of rocks. In case you can’t read the sign above, the long and short of it is that the Baths/Caves area is made up granite rocks once embedded in lava. The softer lava rock has weathered away, leaving a big rockpile that you can walk in/through/on. Doesn’t sound hazardous at all, does it?

This does not inspire confidence

This does not inspire confidence

The reason for it being named “The Baths” becomes readily apparent once you worm your way inside. The ocean leaks in and around the rocks, leaving lovely little underground (well, under rockpile) grottos with pools in them.

A pool - no - a grotto

A pool - no - a grotto

A grotto - no - a pool

A grotto - no - a pool

Nice, eh? You have to use little wooden stairways and ropes to get through all this, and sometimes you have to just jump in and wade to the next spot. I was deathly afraid I was going to slip and soak the camera. There were a couple close calls, but the camera and I remained intact and only moderately moistened. Eventually you come out at Devil’s Bay. See the couple in the water with just their heads visible to the extreme left? They were at that moment saying to each other, “Hey isn’t that the piano player from The Rock?”. I saw them in the club the next night.

Hmmm... I expected something more sinister

Hmmm... I expected something more sinister

While making your way through the Caves/Baths area there are also numerous opportunities to climb or poke your head out of the side or the top of the rockpile and view your surroundings.

Hey, who's that in my shot?!

Hey, who's that in my shot?!

Yah, I was under all that

Yah, I was under all that

The picture on the left was taken from a place about halfway through where you can emerge and climb around on some very slippery rocks. The view on the right is from near Devil’s Bay looking back over the rocks I had just come under. I stuck around for a bit and then began hiking back. Once I got back out of the Caves/Baths area and started back up the trail to the parking lot I noticed this:

Boo! Scary

Boo! Scary

See it? A half-buried “skull” weathered into the rock. Be it the “face” on Mars or the Man in the Moon. Humans’ brains will anthropomorphize anything. We’re hardwired for it. Knowing this didn’t make suddenly seeing it any less startling, though.

After all this hiking around I was hungry, so on my way back into Spanish Town I stopped at a place called “Mad Dog”. I had heard they made great sandwiches. Indeed, their three-layer BLT was worth the stop. Out back they have signs with distances to various cities a la M*A*S*H. Somebody needs a geography lesson – I’m pretty sure Chicago isn’t 900 miles closer than Dallas.

Ha!

Ha!

Nice try

Nice try

Finally, on my way back to my apartment, I stopped by “Buck’s”, the local supermarket, for some much needed water and a few supplies. The sun was beginning to set and I could see flags waving out near the entrance to the yacht club and marina. I ran around all the boats and got out there just in time to snap this. Possibly one of the prettiest photos I’ve ever taken – and a fitting end to a busy and fascinating day.

The Union Jack and BVI flag fly at sunset

The Union Jack and BVI flag fly at sunset

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