17 September 2010

Bored on Virgin Gorda? Not us!

L-R: DG, DH, and me

 Nevis. Bequia. Virgin Gorda. Anguilla.  I'm frequently surprised by the number of people who wonder why we're not bored on our favorite islands.  No casinos?  No large scale all-inclusives with nightly entertainment? No duty-free shopping?  No booze cruises?  What can we possibly do with all of that time on our hands?  Well, here's what we did in Virgin Gorda, and we barely scratched the surface:

On one of the days we visited Spring Bay, we had the pleasure of watching several local youngsters climbing one of the boulders and jumping into the water.  We took a few photos, and the next day when we came back the granddaughter and I decided to jump into the water ourselves.  DH took a few shots of each of us and we had a lot of fun!
Same rock formation as above, but I shot this one from the water.


Here we are, ready to give it a shot ourselves!
One day we went to the Baths because seeing them on a daytrip from Tortola in 2005 was what made us choose VG for this trip.  It was late afternoon on a Sunday and the place was really crowded, which was a turnoff for us.  What’s more, we had to pay $3 per person (admittedly not a big deal) for the privilege of setting up our beach chairs there, when we had a lovelier setting at Spring Bay that was free of charge.  The snorkeling was disappointing compared to Spring Bay, too, so the best thing about our afternoon at the Baths was doing the crawl through to Devil’s Bay, which we hadn’t done on our daytrip in 2005.  That really was a lot of fun, I must admit, and we got some fun pictures there, too.  In the future we’ll probably skip the Baths or just come really early or much later in the day, or just go all the way down to Devil’s Bay instead, which was much less crowded.
This is the beautiful, iconic, primodial-womb-like entrance to "the Crawl"
One of the many staircases along the way.  You also have to duck, balance, climb, and crawl your way through to get to the end.
 After driving around the island, we stopped off at Savannah Bay one afternoon on our way back to the villa.  This is a really gorgeous stretch of sand and from the looks of it would have pretty good snorkeling just off shore.  The beach was nearly always deserted every time we drove by.  There are a few thatched umbrellas on the beach there, but they are not very strategically located—they’re so backed up against the sea grapes and shrubbery that by afternoon there would be no room on the sand in the shaded parts.  I would recommend this beach in the morning.
Beautiful, deserted Savannah Bay.  I'll have to spend more time here in the future!
 We drove out to the abandoned copper mine twice, once close to sunset and once in mid morning so that we could shoot it in two different lights.  We were fascinated to wander through the ruins and watch the surf pound below us.  I’d definitely recommend this place as a pit stop when you’re already down near the southern end of the island.  We spent around 30 minutes there, but you wouldn’t have to linger as long as we did.
Copper Mine, in the gloaming
Copper Mine in midday
The pounding surf was beautiful here and quite loud, too!

Sometimes we just stopped to watch the world go by.  Or paused to eat ice cream.  Or make a new friend.  From tiny little take-aways that dot the main road to full-on formal resort dining, Virgin Gorda has you covered.  One place in particular won us over, though.  It's called the Flying Iguana and it's located smack-dab next to the itty-bitty airport.  Puck is the man who runs it, and we had a great time visiting with him over the course of our various meals there.  He introduced us to his two parrots, who always kept us entertained.

The Flying Iguana, seen from its parking lot.  Doesn't look like much from the outside, but just wait...

View from the Flying Iguana, across the runway to the water.  Isn't that water gorgeous?
Watching the world go by, one small aircraft at a time.

Puck's two parrots at Flying Iguana
Ice cream always tastes best in casual places like this!

Hiking – on Sunday morning, granddaughter and I got an early start around 6:30 am and hiked up Gorda Peak.  There’s a little dirt road you turn off of the North Sound road where there’s a car park and a sign that indicates the hike to the top is about 50 minutes.  We’d had a pretty heavy rain the night before and the trail was wet in places, and in fact there was a light, lingering rain for the first 10 minutes or so we were walking.  I’m not in especially good shape, but I didn’t find the trail particularly challenging.  The hardest part was negotiating the slippery rocks on the way down.  Unfortunately the sky was still really overcast when we got to the top, so we didn’t see the jaw-dropping views everyone mentions, but it was still lovely.  We rested there and took photographs for about 20 minutes before heading back down.

Hazy view of the BVI seen from Gorda Peak
View looking south over the island from the turn-off to Gorda Peak
Pausing for our breath and a quick photo op on Gorda Peak
Bored in Virgin Gorda?  Why, no, we weren't, thanks for asking!  Hiking, swimming, snorkeling, exploring, making new friends, all tempered with large doses of snacking, reading, and eating, kept us feelin' groovy for our entire trip.  And now I'm missing it like crazy--maybe I can somehow plan a return trip in 2011...
This shot was taken on our villa balcony.  I think it pretty much speaks for itself.


  1. I wish you'd plan a trip to VG for President's Day week 2011! Hint, hint!

  2. If it didn't fall so close to textbook rush, and if it weren't so near the beginning of my husband's semester, I'd DEFINITELY plan something for winter break!


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