Edit Blog Post
Published: February 9th 2018
Our first port of call on our week-long Caribbean cruise was Road Town, Tortola, the British Virgin Islands. We didn't see any of the island at all though, as our plan of action was always going to be to visit The Baths National Park on Virgin Gorda. We hoped to make our own way there via public ferry, but due to a reduced time in port we missed this and had to join the tour organised by our cruise company.
**Sidenote : I need to rant about this first change to our itinerary and the reason given for it. Our time in port was changed from 12:00-18:00 to 14:00-18:00 because 'due to hurricane damage we'd been advised to only visit during daylight hours'. Funnily enough though, when I was on the sun deck at midday it wasn't dark at all! So unless I'm missing something, this nonsensical excuse was a blatant insult to our intelligence! Rant over**
Virgin Gorda was worth every bit of effort to reach. A 35-40 minute wild and windy boat ride away, the hurricane damage on the island was devastating to see. Beautiful homes with no roofs, vehicles smashed to bits, debris everywhere and
rows of yachts toppled onto each other with fallen trees added on top. Yet the locals looked happy and all waved at us on our ridiculous tourist train thingy. We passed a really sweet little school too, where the kids also happily waved at us, even though their wee swing was wrecked.
The Baths National Park was immense. Known for its unusual and fascinating rock formations, even on the approach to the park some (perhaps strategically-placed) rocks made it look like something out of 'The Flintstones'.
The pathway down through the park was uneven to say the least, and not suitable for anyone at all unsteady on their feet. It was a bit tricky to navigate in flip flops, and although I managed it without incident, I would recommend slightly sturdier footwear.
When we arrived at the gorgeous Devil's Bay it took my breath away. It was so perfect it didn't even look real, and there was nobody there other than our group. We had 30 minutes free time here and I spent it snorkelling. I saw crabs and fish that looked like less colourful versions of Dory, with pale iridescent blue around the edges.
happened next probably served me right because I did something very, very wrong - I considered touching, maybe even removing, a seashell. Yes, I am ashamed. It was just so pretty, it looked almost like leopard print and I needed to get a closer look. While I was trying to paw it though, I failed to notice my snorkel's mouthpiece dropping to the sea floor. When I eventually did see it and try to retrieve it I found that I could no more reach it than I could the shell. I frantically tried and tried, even going ashore to get the biggest rock I could carry to try to sink myself but alas, nothing worked. What a ridiculous situation to get myself into. I ran back along the pristine white sands of the beach to my group for help, only to be told it was time to move. So unfortunately I had to leave it. Day one and already I'd lost my snorkel's and polluted the Caribbean Sea. Oopsies!!
Next we explored a fascinating and complex cave network. Again, this definitely wasn't suitable for anyone with mobility issues. We had to squeeze through some tiny and precarious spaces. At
points there were rickety wooden platforms and ladders and ropes to help us along, but I couldn't help but wonder...who exactly checked that this cave system was still safe to enter after the hurricanes?? In the UK strict health & safety would definitely make this a no-go zone, but we passed through without incident and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It led us to another, slightly busier and not as stunning beach, and after a brief stop here it was time to get back to the boat. Overall a great first day.
Tot: 0.314s; Tpl: 0.05s; cc: 11; qc: 52; dbt: 0.0343s; 1; m:saturn w:www (188.8.131.52); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.4mb