Monday, April 6, 2015

Spring Break 2015 -- Part 1

We've just returned from another fabulous tropical spring break.  This year we wanted to "get away from it all."  It's a cliche, I know, but we really tried to look for a place where there were very few tourists.  So after months of research, we decided to visit the British Virgin Islands.

We flew into the capital island of Tortola.  We met up with our Denver friends, our usual spring break co-conspirators, and spent the first several days at a villa, "Mermaid Villa", on Beef Island, a very small island connected to Tortola by a bridge.  The view from our deck was spectacular:
We spent several days exploring the beaches and towns on Tortola.  This is Brewer's Bay.  I was fascinated by the rocks on the left of this shot and did several sketches of them.  
 Brian relaxed.
After a strenuous morning of navigating Tortola's mountain roads (honestly, I've never been on such steep and curvy roads.  They were frightening!), we stopped at the Callwood Rum Distillery in Cane Garden Bay.  Rather a rustic place:
Of course, we had to taste all of their different rums to decide which one(s) we wanted to buy.  After a few samples, we were very happy:
Our primary destination was the island of Anegada.  Anegada is a very interesting place.  Almost as large in area as Tortola, but very flat.  The highest spot on the island is 28 feet.  And it is very sparsely populated: only 180 people or so actually live there.  From Tortola it's an hour long ferry ride.  An interesting trip when you have 6 people, 8 suitcases and 8 boxes of food and provisions.  Did I mention that Anegada doesn't have any grocery stores?  We had to buy what we needed and take it with us.

Luckily, the ferry was large and the porters helped us with our "baggage."  And we were off to Anegada:
We had rented the only villa on the island, "Lavenda Breeze."   The sleeping quarters were on the ground floor, the living areas (and a 360 degree deck) on the second story.  This is the inland facing side of the house:
Only a few yards from the house, Loblolly Bay stretched out.  The house was situated right in the middle of the bay's beachfront.  There was a restaurant at each end, and several small cottages, but other than that we had the 3/4 mile beach to ourselves.  It was amazing!  White sand, turquoise water, the coral reef less than 100 yards offshore.  And no other people. Perfect!
 I spent a great deal of my time in a beach chair:
 We had lots of "friends" of the non-human variety around.  This is a ghost crab:
We also saw humpback whales out beyond the reef.  Several times they were so close we could see them breeching and slapping their tails as we sat on the beach.  We also saw lots of turtles, rays, exotic birds, colorful fish and flamingoes (there is a flamingo preserve on the island).

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