An Island of the Virgin Islands, St. Thomas
To make it short, I do not know if this cute little guy is really a native of St. Thomas, but I have photographed him here. (Zum deutschen Blog.) But more of that later.
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I am on board of the Norwegian Escape cruising in the Caribbean. Today we arrive early in the port of the capital, Charlotte Amalie. Those of you who have read more of me, know that I often write about rain. Also today dark gray clouds cover the sky. Normally at this time of the year it should be mostly dry in the Caribbean, but my personal gray rain cloud seems to find me everywhere in the world.
Rent a car
This should be a day at the beach. We rented a car. It´s not cheap, but we really want to go around the island and visit the beautiful bays.
The first thing that catches your eye is that the steering wheel in all cars is on the left and people drive on the left side of the road. The island belongs to the United States and nevertheless they drive on the “wrong” side. From my guidebooks that I already read at home, I didn´t find a thing about it, nor that a one-month drivers license for $ 25 must be purchased before you get the rental car. It´s a pity that they do not fill the giant holes on the street with this money…
Around the island
We drive out of town towards the airport and follow the road. Not that we have much choice. The island seems to consist only of mountains covered with all kinds of greenery. And everywhere more or less beautiful houses cling to the slopes. Sure, if it’s so green here, it must also rain a lot. And that does it now. We are glad that we do not, like so many of the other tourists, sit in one of the open taxis that are responsible for the public transport here. I think they will get pretty wet …. The first bay we seek out is Dorothea Bay, which consists only of large pebbles and flotsam and high waves rolling with force onto the stones.
Ok, I admit, the beaches here I imagined different. So we drive to the next bay, to Hull Bay. The map shows the bay to be a beach. Is it one, the beach sand is fine and almost white, few palm trees bend in the strong wind. The waves hit high on the beach, so it is not much left. That doesn´t make us want to swim or snorkel. So we go on.
Just before we get to the supposedly most beautiful beach on the island, Magens Bay Beach, the number of taxis is growing and the sky unfortunately gets darker. Right in front of the ticket booth where we should pay the entrance fee to the beach, the sky opens up its gates, and it pours.
The surrounding mountains are hardly to be seen any more, so we’ll skip a rainy sandy beach, turn around and go to the island´s attractions, Coral World. An aquarium at Coki Bay.
We pay the entrance fee and the above mentioned fellow, the pretty iguana crosses our way. Not in a compound, but on the path to the sea turtles. We decide to ogle each other and to walk our way.
Not only this iguana can be admired here, but also small sharks, the coral reef and its inhabitants is simulated, stingrays can be touched from time to time and many more sea creatures can be found. There are also these cute parrots; one of them thought it was funny to take the short cut over my back.
There comes a little sunshine and we decide to go for a swim here at Coki Beach, that is situated right next to the aquarium.
Unfortunately, it is so full of day trippers of 4 or 5 large cruise ships that we find not even a small place for us. That is too crowded, so we drive on to
This beach is quite long, has got wonderful fine and light yellow sand and it is admission free. Despite the many other tourists we find enough space for our towels. We quickly jump into the high waves.
Snorkeling is not possible in the swell. In the distance we see a number of smaller islands, that quickly disappear into the looming rain. We also disappear and are glad to have the car, the others will probably get quite wet …
That’s it then with the day at the beach. After a few minutes we are already back in
Actually the sun comes out ! Now in the old town, we want to climb the famous 99 steps, which are in fact 103. The stones have been brought by the Danes as ballast for their ships hundreds of years ago. The island was too steep for them, so they built the stairs to move up. We would like to visit Blackbeards Castle, which is at the end of the steps, but at 15:30 it is already closed. So we return the car and go back on board.
Soon the long and deep hooting of ship siren sounds and we depart. Tomorrow we will already be in Tortola. Will you be with me again?
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