Lovely morning on Tortola

Sunrise over Tortola

Sunrise over Tortola

Woke up to a beautiful day this morning as we were pulling into port at Road Town, Tortola, British Virgin Island. According to Wikipedia, “Tortola is the largest and most populated of the British Virgin Islands, a group of islands that form part of the archipelago of the Virgin Islands.  It has a total population of 23,908, with 9400 residents in Road Town”.

By 7:30am the sun had already risen in the sky leaving a beautiful trail of light from the sky and shimmering down across the beautiful waters of the Caribbean Sea.

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As we prepared to meet our friends for breakfast, I looked out beyond the balcony at beautiful sight. There were sail boats in a bay of turquoise green waters and across the bay there were pastel colored homes of various sizes sprinkled along the hillside.  “Quite the idyllic site,” I thought.

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We met our friends, ate a quick breakfast then returned to the cabin to prepare to go ashore. As I mentioned at the beginning of our cruise, Randy would determine whether he was up to an excursion at each port-of-call. He chose not to commit to an excursion today so we decided to tag along with our friends who were just going to go ashore and look around.

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First things first, we stopped at Diamond International so the ladies could pick up their free charms to complete charm bracelets for their grandchildren. Randy and I first started cruising years before; we did the same completing bracelets for our three beautiful granddaughters and our lovely niece.  I actually have one too.  It was a great deal of fun collecting the charms.

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IMG_1366bWe walked into town and stopped at a colorful straw market and browsed colorful village of shops called Crafts Alive . The shops were filled with colorful tee shirts, dresses, magnets, tote bags, hand-made dolls, pottery, baskets, etc.  I purchased a new pretty, multi-colored bathing suit cover-up and a magnet for Kristine’s refrigerator.  Each merchant we encountered was very friendly and helpful as we browsed their shops.

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The one thing that caught my eye as we walked around this colorful little village was the feral chickens. They were everywhere.  We have seen this phenomenon of several islands in the Caribbean.

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IMG_1376bEach couple eventually went their own way in the market. Randy and I walked over to the sea wall and watched as a group of roosters and chickens slip in and out of openings in the sea wall. I wondered if this was a nest.  I found myself admiring the view from the sea wall out over the bay.  The view was beautiful and there to the left was our ship.  The view of the ship begged for a photo opportunity so I called Randy over and clicked away.

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Eventually we walked back towards the market and one by one each couple gathered under a tree. I told them about the ship and what a great photo we could take there as a group.  We walked back and found a very nice gentleman who was kind enough to take our picture.

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IMG_1383Someone in the group said, “It must be 5 o’clock somewhere,” so we were off to find a place to get a cold drink. We looked up and directly across the street was a welcome sight.  We spotted an establishment called the Bamboushay Lounge. It was a lovely open-air lounge with tikis, wooden tables and benches all under a canopy of lush green tropical foliage.

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Picture courtesy of Connie

As is our habit, we went up to the bar in search of a local brew. The bartender recommended the Virgin Island – Island Summer Ale. After a few sips Randy and I decided that it tasted like a Corona, just a little stronger.  It was very refreshing and delicious.  Others in the group order other island favorites; Presidente and Red Stripe.

After sharing our purchases and comparing our brews we made our way back to the ship. Randy and I changed into our bathing suits and headed up to the pool where we cat-napped a little, read a little and ate a lite lunch.  “A very nice start to the day,” I thought to myself.

View from deck 12 of the many marinas along the shoreline

View from deck 12 of the many marinas along the shoreline

Randy volunteered to get a light lunch for us both at the Windjammer. He ran into the sports journalist Steven Krasner. Mr. Krasner had predicted that the Carolina Panthers would win the Super Bowl 24-10.  “Didn’t work out the way you predicted,” Randy said good naturedly.  “Can’t be right all the time but it was a good game,” Krasner replied with a smile.  It was amazing to me that he got the score perfect.  Amazing!

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As we approached the dinner table I noticed that the sun was slowly setting and ran out to the deck to watch. I love sunsets.  I stood on the deck a few moments and then returned to the dining room.

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I was not particularly hungry today so chose to order a light meal. I chose the Caprese salad with fresh mozzarella cheese, sun-ripened tomatoes and extra-virgin olive oil.  My salad and a sweet baked potato was just perfect, delicious meal.

There was a production show featuring the ship’s sings and dancers scheduled for this evening’s entertainment, however, Randy wanted to just walk around a bit and then return to the cabin and spend some time enjoying the night sky and listening to the sounds of the waves against the ship.

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IMG_3621bOn our way back to the cabin I stopped to admire a piece of artwork I found fascinating. How fun is it to see ordinary objects turned into fun and interesting pieces of art.  The piece consisted of piping and green glass stalks . I loved the contrast of hard metal and soft green vegetation.  The green was so vibrant.  Interesting.  On the opposite wall was a shovel with etched flowers and a green stalk as part of the handle.  Lovely.

The pieces are the creation of Belgian artist Caroline E. Prissee called “Green Factory” (Glass & Metal) 1969.

The accompanying plaque read:

“My work derives its inspiration from my fascination with all the capricious manifestations of nature. I try to enhance them by contrasting them with culture.  I take an interest in my surroundings and in the influence culture has on how we look at and interpret things.  Here I have taken forms apart, combining them with new material, so that they create a different meeting.”

Tomorrow we will dock in Basseterre, St. Kitts.

IMG_1409bEnjoy,

Mary

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6 Responses to Lovely morning on Tortola

  1. Randy says:

    Great day. This island is very nice and clean(British). That island brew was a one of a kind that was brewed right on the island. I love the blue and green waters and was glad that Mary found a very nice pool/beach cover up.

  2. Connie says:

    So much has changed since the last time we were in Tortola but the craft market was exactly the same! I really like the quaint island bar and enjoying it with good friends.
    Connie

  3. Barbara Spivey says:

    Sounds like a great trip.
    Barbara

  4. helffrich says:

    Every time we’ve been there, we’ve browsed the Craft Market. I don’t think there is much else to do there.

  5. Connie and Ron says:

    Sounds like a fun day. I forgot to mention I won the football pool. My name was on the square with the final score. I won $25. That was just luck. I have very little knowledge of football. Thanks to the Broncos I was a winner.

  6. I’ll get to Tortola next year but based on your pictures and descriptions, it seems like a safe place to venture out on your own. Thanks for this post! I’m really looking forward to stopping there!

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