Virgin Gorda British Virgin Islands February 16-23, 2009
Tom, Jayne, Rory, Jenn Ferguson
Tom and I flew American Airlines, Boston to San Juan PR to Beef Island Tortola then ferried over to Virgin Gorda without any problems or delays, toting only two carry-ons apiece. Although we left Boston at 8:30 AM and didn't arrive in Virgin Gorda until 6:30 PM, it was worth every moment of traveling to be in the BVI's and paradise!!
We stayed at Island Dream, a private villa in the Nail Bay Resort that I booked through VRBO.com. The managers, Howard and Irma, met us at the dock, waited until we signed the paperwork for our Grand Vitara 4x4 from Mahogany Rentals, then brought us to Buck's Grocery Store in Spanishtown (3 minute drive) to pick up some food and drinks. We then followed them up a very bumpy dirt road into Nail Bay then down a very bumpy dirt road to Island Dream. It was dark by the time we arrived, so we couldn't see much outside, but the villa looked exactly like it did on the website and we were thrilled to have finally arrived!!!
We awoke to the most breathtaking sight! Pictures really can't capture this spectacular panoramic view, you have witness it for yourself! Our eyes feasted on the sailboats and yachts, gently making their way to the North Sound, the Dog Islands situated perfectly in full view and Long Beach sparkling to our right, framed perfectly between swaying palms and fuchsia bougainvillea! Tom was so impressed I managed to find this place without ever setting foot on Virgin Gorda before! Ahh, the magic of the internet!!!
Although it was so hard to tear ourselves away from the view, I really wanted to go to the Baths and explore the island in daylight! The Baths were one of the reasons I chose to stay on Virgin Gorda and wanted to go on our first full day there!! Lucky for me, Tom always trusts my travel decisions. Well, they didn't disappoint, we loved climbing through the caves, snorkeling among the rocks and hanging out at Devil Bay and Spring Bay Beach! The tropical fish were colorful, the water was warm for February and I couldn't stop admiring the scenery!!! An incredible sensory experience at every turn! We also had lunch at the Top of the Baths and enjoyed our sandwiches and the first of many Painkillers.
Today our son Rory and daughter-in-law Jenn were arriving to stay for the rest of the week via Air Sunshine. They flew from Orlando on Jet Blue to SJU, then took a small plane to VG, landing on the small dirt runway. We decided to have lunch at the Flying Iguana while waiting for them to arrive. The owner, Puck, was a delight, made us a fantastic lunch and fabulous strong Painkillers! It was so much fun sitting there, parrots perched nearby, listening to Puck's tales while watching the skyline for Rory and Jenn. We had no way of knowing if they'd be on time, (we were told Air Sunshine is also called Air Sometimes) but they arrived right on schedule!! We were all so happy to see each other!! That night we went to the Mineshaft for a great dinner, but we got there late and missed the sunset. Next time...
After having breakfast on our fabulous porch, we decided to explore the island. We ended up in the North Sound, tooled around Leverick Bay, then drove over to Gun Creek to take to ferry to the Bitter End Resort. We had a typical lunch at the Quarterdeck, served by a waitress who had just come over on the ferry with us. We especially enjoyed checking out the incredible boats in the harbor! I really liked Bitter End and I think I'd enjoy staying there for a few nights, sailing and island hopping on the little boats available to Bitter End's guests. Actually, we had planned to rent a small boat from Leverick Bay for a day, but though the weather was sunny and warm during the entire week, the wind howled quite a bit, making it too choppy to rent one.
That night we went to the Rock Cafe for dinner. I made a reservation so we could sit outside by the waterfall and it was exactly what we'd hoped for until it started pouring!!! No worries, as all the people around us ran inside, we just waited it out and within 5 minutes, the sky cleared and we had a great dinner by the waterfall. We also went inside when we were done, and hung out by the piano bar, dancing and singing along for quite some time after lots of wine! We had such a blast!!
Today we got up early to hike the Gorda Peak. It was an easy hike for us, the path was cleared and simple to follow, although we did meet some people who weren't expecting it to be so long and appeared a bit fatigued. It took us approximately 30 min up and 30 min down. At the top there is a wooden lookout to climb which offers a beautiful view of the entire North Sound. We saw a snake, some crabs in their shells and a couple of large spiders along the way. We were glad we all wore sneakers.
After the hike, we came back to the villa for hamburgers on the grill, then over to Savannah Beach for the afternoon. Although the beach is beautiful, the wind was whipping the sand around and every now and then we'd get a mouthful! Sand was also sticking to the sunscreen on our oiled bodies, yuk! Good thing we could wash off in the clear blue water! On a calm day, this beach must be great! Still, we found a cabana to relax under and managed to tuck ourselves under some shrubs for some protection from the wind.
We had reservations that night to see the Jumbies perform at Leverick Bay and eat at the buffet, but there was a mixup and the taxi that was supposed to pick us up earlier, didn't arrive until after 8. Unfortunately, by the time we arrived, the buffet was pretty well picked over and the food was cold. I should have confirmed our reservation, but thought it was all set. Nick, the manager at Leverick was very apologetic and even offered to buy us lunch the next day. The Jumbies were fun to watch and we had a lot of laughs riding in the open air taxi to and from. However, if we had to do it over, we would have just driven ourselves!
Back to the Baths, this time with Rory and Jenn! We got there pretty early and luckily there weren't any large cruise ships in town, so we got to hang out at the Baths all day with only a few other people! We had such a great day, snorkeling, climbing the boulders, visiting Devil Bay, lunch again at the Top of the Baths with a quick swim at their freshwater pool to wash off the salt and then over to Spring Beach to chill for a couple more hours! We loved Spring Beach! Of course, we couldn't leave VG without a trip to Mad Dog's, so after an incredible day limin', we decided to top it off by imbibing in a few cocktails at Mad Dog's Happy Hour! We had a great time chatting with a couple of people and sharing some BVI stories!
That night we finally made it to Sugarcane, the restaurant in the Nail Bay Resort! The restaurant and bar is very romantic at night and we enjoyed our meals. Too bad we never found time to have a cocktail at the swim-up bar!
Last full day, and last big breakfast on the porch! After an invigorating walk around Nail Bay, we decided to go to Mt. Trunk Beach on Nail Bay. Once again, we were the only people on the beach the whole time we were there! Did some snorkeling, saw some colorful fish and coral, and basically relaxed on the beach. This beach has lounge chairs and umbrellas, so it was nice to sprawl out and do some reading! Coincidentally, Jenn and I were both reading the same novel by Jody Picoult, Change of Heart, (awesome book)!
Later in the afternoon, we took the ferry via Gun Creek to Saba Rock. We did call first and they recommended catching the ferry at Gun Creek. What a great little resort! We had more frothy drinks, Caribs, excellent conch fritters and delicious key lime pie! It was so pretty sitting there watching the sunset. I really do like the North Sound!
Our last day in VG, sob! We got up early, finished off most of the food and drove to the dock to wait for the 11:30 ferry. Rory and Jenn were flying Cape Air back to SJU and we were back on American, with an overnight in San Juan. Everything went very smoothly again. Once on Beef Island, we had excellent sandwiches at the Cyber Cafe, did a little shopping at Aragorn Studios then walked the 5 minutes to the airport. While waiting for our flights, we spent the time relaxing and being entertained by roosters, chickens and cats hanging at the outside patio by the airport. Only on the ilon's!!!
Tom and I spent the night at the Intercontinental in San Juan and really enjoyed it! We got there around 6, walked the beach, had dinner at the beach restaurant on site, then spent a little time in the casino. The next morning we took a long walk and had a delicious breakfast by the pool before heading back to the airport. It was a great way to assimilate back into reality!
This vacation was a trip to remember and we'll be back to explore the rest of the British Islands again one day soon!!!!
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