A small taste of the island

Hey everyone! First update from the tropics today – everything is slightly primitive here (in a good way!) so going online is very difficult business… also, there is so much to do and to see that I really haven’t had any time to sit down and write what it’s like….

After a very long trip,

Packed and ready to go

I arrived in St Thomas about a week ago, and was greeted by a complimentary shot of rum!! Cruzan rum is almost some kind of island sponsor – it’s everywhere, and comes in many fruity flavors like coconut and mango.

After a taxi-ferry-taxi ride we arrived at Maho Bay, where the camp is  – the place is amazing! It’s made up of elevated wooden boardwalks:

Boardwalks

and cabins that make you feel like you’re sleeping in a treehouse! Our tent is small but it is perfect. There’s a small kitchen/ lounge

Maho bay camps tent - lounge

 Kitchen

 a bedroom,

Maho bay camps tent - bedroom

and a small private deck with a bit of a view of the ocean! We get lots of visitors of the insect variety, and there are little lizards everywhere (I dropped some granola on the floor and then watched this little dude try to chew on the raisins for about half an hour)!

Going to town on a raisin

They’re friendly and harmless, and they’re more than welcome in this tent – they feast on mosquitoes and other very annoying bugs.As soon as I arrived, we headed to the beach to do some snorkeling. It’s like a natural history museum down there! There is amazing brain coral (it really looks like a brain!), all sorts of funky looking fish, lots of huge sea urchins (spikes about thirty cm long!) – we got to swim with sea turtles (even a baby one!), sting rays (apparently there has also been some manta ray sightings but we haven’t seen any), we’ve seen squid, an octopus, lots of jellyfish (apparently they don’t sting – not that I’m willing to risk it!) We spent the first couple of days hiking and exploring the island.  The island used to live off sugar – there were sugarcane plantations everywhere, and you can still visit the ruins of sugar production factories. The trail that takes you to Reef Bay, were the most famous sugar mill ruins are, is fascinating: after walking for some time in what looked like an enchanted forest,

Reef Bay trail

populated by white-tailed deer :

White-tailed dear

and hermit crabs (they live in abandoned shells that they carry around with them, exchanging them for bigger ones as they grow bigger – funny little creatures!), you pass by a secret  waterfall in the mountains that used to be a sacred place for the Arawak (i think..)  tribe that inhabited the island. There, around a small pond in the rocks,  they have carved strange symbols on the walls, and pictures of birds and monkeys.

At the petrloglyphs - can you spot me in the picture?

The sugar mill ruins at the end of the trail were fascinating – it’s so strange to think about all the slaves that worked and died here.  The place is completely abandoned except for the hundreds of hermit crabs crawling about, and also a colony of a different kind:

A different kind of colony

A couple of days ago we went to a beautiful beach called “Oppenheimer’s” – apparently, Oppenheimer himself, increasingly worried about the effect the advances of science would have on mankind, decided to withdraw from civilization and bought himself a small property by the beach.

Oppenheimer's beach

As you can see, he knew how to live! He lived here until his death, and his daughter committed suicide there a few years after his death. Made me think of this book (Kurt Vonnegut is brilliant). Sad story aside, this has probably been the most beautiful beach I’ve seen so far on this island…

Hmmm… re-reading this, it seems like all we do is go to the beach or to beach bars… we actually do work, and love it! I was lucky enough to have been assigned to the front desk. I work with some very nice people, there is a lot to do and to learn, I get to interact with guests and meet a lot of pretty cool people.

Ok – this is it for now! I wanted to post so many pictures but the connection is incredibly slow… so this is just a first taste – i promise to update this with lots more pictures as soon as possible!

Sunny greetings from the Caribbean!

Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    Great story, Vicky! I am waiting for pictures with more than your feet on it, though! ;-) Jörg.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Your tent is really amazing and very romantic ! ! I don’t think that a couple in love could ask for something more ! Have a great great time ! Kisses to both of you. And more pictures please !!!!! Love you ;)
    Anastasia

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