Trellis Bay and a drive round Tortola, BVI
Tuesday 10th April 2012
Distance run: hardly anything at all!
We dropped the lines from the buoy at Marina Cay early and motored across to Trellis Bay. By 0815 we had picked up buoys and were heading ashore in the ribs. Then it was just a short walk to the little airport that serves as the international airport for Tortola to pick up the hire car.
We were pleased with ourselves for being early in order to make the best use of the day, only to find that the car we were to hire had not yet been returned. Didn’t think of that! However, the very nice lady said we could have one that had already been returned if we didn’t mind it being dirty still, so we opted for that one and were soon settled into the little green Hyundai Getz with Sarah at the wheel reminiscing about driving on the left hand side of the road in a left-hand drive car thirty years ago when she was working on flotilla out here. These tales mainly centred around the speed with which she managed to cover the distance we were currently travelling and might have worried those of a nervous disposition (who? me!?), but we have put ourselves in her capable hands before several times and she always does an excellent job.
This occasion was no different, and she drove us expertly around the island on roads that were interesting (to say the least). Several times we three passengers got out of the car to enable it to make it over the enormous gaps where the road used to be, sometimes with only three wheels on the ground! Signage was virtually non-existent and the map was not much better, and at one point on the top of a hill in the middle of the island we used our knowledge of the positions of neighbouring islands to decide which road to take back to Roadtown! It helped that from our vantage point we could see both north and south of the island and were able to identify bays in which we had recently anchored.
We visited the main town of Roadtown and had a wander around, eventually sniffing out an excellent cake and coffee shop for the first stop of the day.
Enjoying cake and coffee at a Roadtown patisserie.
We could not spend a day ashore without visiting a chandlery, so we went to the marina that Rob and Sarah had briefly stayed in and Sarah & I checked out the (very impressive) loos while the men did their shopping.
We drove along the south coast of the island and stopped at Soper’s Hole for a wander around the tourist shops. Sarah made another purchase here, this time some swimming goggles, and Rob was now beginning to look nervous every time we went near any shops! From Soper’s Hole we think we went off-piste a bit, although it was difficult to tell from the map, and this is where we encountered the lack of road on several occasions. We think we probably went along the road we were told we would only get down with a 4x4, so the little Hyundai obviously has an identity crisis and thinks it’s a Land Rover!
With Sarah’s expert driving we made it safely to the north west end of the island, and made a stop at Cane Garden Bay where there was a glass-blowing project that looked interesting. The glass is melted down from recycled beer bottles and made into a range of glassware which is for sale. We spent a while watching a wine glass being blown from a blob of molten glass, and when it didn’t break off properly at the end of the process, it was quite cleverly re-worked into a champagne flute.
Glass blowing project in Cane Garden Bay
Lunch was at a very nice beachside restaurant somewhere along the north coast road where we watched pelicans diving for their lunch not far from where we were eating ours.
Lunch at a beachside restaurant along the north coast. Our chariot for the day – a little green Hyundai Getz with big ideas.
After lunch we drove further around the island, only getting lost a couple of times, before heading back to Roadtown to do some supermarket shopping. Not far from the supermarket was a French deli/patisserie and we could not resist the temptation to have yet another pitstop before stocking up on provisions and then putting some petrol in the car.
Back at Trellis Bay we unloaded all the shopping and Sarah took the car back to the airport. We dropped the shopping off at the boats and Rob & Steve went back to collect Sarah. She was gone for ages, and when she eventually returned, explained that the not so pleasant man who had replaced this morning’s very pleasant lady insisted that there was not enough petrol in the tank and so Sarah had to go with him to a petrol station to put in another gallon!
In spite of this late glitch, however, we had a really enjoyable day with Rob and Sarah who just could not get enough of me reading out all the signs and notices as we drove past. One wonders how they manage when we are not around!....