Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Tortola, BVI: Smuggler's Cove & Cane Garden Bay

Wednesday, Day 41

I fell asleep so fast last night -- with three fans and a comfy sofa bed.  And slept in until I had to pee at 7.   I really should stop drinking so much water before I go to bed. I could sleep in another hour I bet!

I got up and got ready for the day, had a bowl of granola and soy milk (that I bought at the grocery store last night), and got caught up online before Jenifer got up a little after 8.

She was ready in no time, so I made us some green smoothies for the road.  But she didn't like it! HA!  She had one little sip and was like no way.  I thought it was delicious, so no worries here.  I drank it!

The plan was to get a ride in to town with her to the rental car company to pick up my car.  But when we got to her office, she got a phone call that the car was not going to be returned today -- so I didn't have a vehicle now.  UGH.  She said she would drive me to some other rental car companies, but it's such a hassle, so I just asked her, "Do you trust me with your vehicle?"  She paused for a second and then said sure!  I couldn't believe it!  She said there is a problem with the transmission so it doesn't go up hills very well, but other than that, just be back to pick her up at 5:15 so we can go to Catholic church at 5:30.  Done!  Perfect!  I'm hardly spending any money here.  No lodging, no vehicle -- just some groceries.  It was the same in St. Martin, Anguilla, and Saba, too!  I'm telling you, Couchsurfers are the kindest people on the face of the earth!

This is the road I was talking about last night.  No shoulder, no barrier - just ocean and mountain...

I'm really happy I decided to come here.  I almost stayed another day in Saba, I almost stayed a few more days in St. Martin.  It's easy to get comfortable and even easier when you have new friends.  It's a little scary to head to a new place sometimes and wonder if it will work out.  But it always does.  I still get a little anxious sometimes.  Like why leave all my new friends in St. Martin when they want me to stay?  But I'm glad I'm here, experiencing another island (or chain of 60 islands, actually) with another new friend.

Anyways - enough about that.  I took off from her parking lot and headed to the east end of the island...driving on the left!  Only took a second to get adjusted.  The roundabout was interesting though.  Had to think about it, ha!

Jennifer's car in front of her office

The first roundabout

There was supposedly a barge there that takes you to Virgin Gorda, a neighboring island.  It would save money if I could take my car there and not have to get one or taxis there.  I made it around 9:30, and only had to coax the jeep to make it up a few hills.  I was a little worried on one it was going to stall out, but it made it.  Barely. ;)

Goat traffic jam

I found the barge, and it was leaving at 10 (only Mon, Weds, Fri) so it was perfect timing!  I drove up to the barge and was about to drive on when it dawned on me that I should at least ask how much it was.  It was $150 roundtrip!!  I could practically fly back home to Kansas for that price!  And two people I had talked to said Virgin Gorda and the famous Baths weren't that awesome.  So I said forget it.  I backed up and said no thank you.  That's too much money for a 30 minute ferry ride.  I think the captain was giving me the tourist price, but maybe not.  Either way, I have other island exploring to do.

Getting ready to pull on to that barge...until I found out the price!

So I started driving back to Road Town, a little flustered that that didn't work out, and saw a car coming right towards me.  It took me a second to realize that I was the one on the wrong side of the road, not him!  Ha.  They drive on the left here, but the steering wheel of the car is still on the left, so it's all a bit confusing.  I did fine, I think I'm a good driver.  Drive with one hand, hold the phone and navigate with the other.  I only had that one little slip up!

Not a bad drive when this is the view ^^

I made it back through town and back out to the far west end of the island.  I was jamming out and listening to music and singing and somehow drove right past her turn to her house.  It actually took me THREE times of driving past it to find it!  But I did.  This stone on the side of the road is my landmark.  Not easy!

Jenifer's apartment building

Came back to the house, had a snack and used the bathroom, and then set off to drive all the way around the island.  On the agenda:  Smuggler's Cove, Cane Garden Bay Beach, and Brewer's Bay Beach, all on the north side of the island.

But first, I stopped at the West End Ferry Dock to figure out times.  I'm telling you, you can not find any ferry times online, and if you do find them, they aren't right.  Half the time, the ones posted out front of the office aren't even right.  You have to actually GO and ASK the current times.  It's crazy.  There are so many from so many different spots on each island...going to different spots on neighboring islands.  I just take pictures to try and keep it semi-straight.



So I had looked on my map on my phone, and the road looked like a normal paved highway all the way around the tip of the island. So off I went.  Well...the road is definitely not much of a road!  It was a tiny little dirt one-way with rocks everywhere!

And no road signs - I had no idea where I was at.  In fact, I could see what I was pretty sure was Smugglers Cove from the road up above, but was just thinking I was never going to find this hidden beach.  And ten I happened to see an orange arrow spray painted on a tree ... and decided to try that road.

Smuggler's Cove from above

Lucky me.  First try and I came through some trees to this beauty!

The wind was to strong -- which meant the waves were a bit big for me to get in the water to snorkel.  I mean, the flag was yellow!  I hardly go in when the flag is green! ;) But either way, I stayed for awhile on the white sand and soaked up the sun and crystal clear water!  There weren't any services there...I mean no bathroom or beach bar or anything like that.  Just nature at it's finest! (Seriously, it looked fake it was so perfect.)

Next stop...Cane Garden Bay.  It was on more of a paved road eventually.  But super touristy.  This was like the IT spot I think.  I still stayed awhile - just away from the tourists!

I lost track of time and didn't have time to make it further north to Brewer's Bay, but I did get a glimpse of it from a viewpoint!

Brewer's Bay ^^

Road Town ^^

I had to get back to the apartment to shower and clean up and pick up Jenifer for church!  She goes every Wednesday to Catholic mass, and I said I would go with her.  I picked up two hitchhikers on the drive to West End.  Just two school girls but you should have seen their eyes widen when I slowed down and pulled over for them to get in, haha.  They giggled the whole time.

After I let the "hitchhikers" off ^^

So after I showered, I drove in to Road Town to get Jenifer from work.  Semi-dressed up, but with wet hair.  Enter mother nature and the windows down for a little blow dry!

Can't go to church with wet hair!

I was the only white person there, and pretty sure I was at least an entire head taller than everyone there, haha!  The service was quick, and then we went to another grocery store to get some broccoli and chips for dinner. Weird combination, but I had salsa already for the chips, and I needed a veggie side to go with the veggie burger for dinner!

The Catholic church we went to

Jenifer said she eats rice with every meal.  In fact, she said rice is in her blood, haha.  So she made that while I made the veggie burgers.  Look at my presentation! ;)

I tried...but yeah, it's pretty bad.

She had mentioned a friend coming over to go out with us tonight, but I didn't realize that meant for dinner.  So about the time I set the table for walked this guy.  Oops!  Ha - i felt so bad, but Jenifer had some fish leftover that she cooked and they shared that and one veggie burger. And then we went out!

First we went to a little bar not far from her house in West End.  It was really nice, and they had live music.  A fantastic guitarist from NYC!

I didn't want a drink, but I did want to check out the dessert menu.  And it wasn't a paper menu - it was on one of those old clicker flip through things -- I have no idea what they're called, but here's a picture of it.

I ordered a chocolate coconut ice cream thing, thinking Jenifer and her friend would eat some, too.  Well, they each  had one bite and said they didn't like sweets much.  UGH.  So I ate what I could, but didn't come close to finishing that thing!

The music ended at 9:30, so we drove over to Cane Garden Bay to another bar for another drink.  Well, they drank.  I sat on the beach and listened to the waves crash.  The ocean breeze is just fantastic.  I am certainly loving all of this warm Caribbean weather.

We eventually went back to her place and went to bed around 11:30.  Another late night for me!  I'm turning over a new leaf, haha.  (Yeah, right.  I could still go to bed at 8:30 every night!)

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