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My long VG trip report - Feb 25/Mar 7

A place for members to talk about things outside of Virgin Islands travel.

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Postby chrisn » Wed Mar 18, 2009 2:02 pm

Oh no! Sucks about the weather. Sorry your trip wasn't quite all you hoped for. We love both STJ and VG for different reasons. The eggs at Pucks...oh man, that brings back bad egg memories LOL! We will be vacationing on STJ in June but will return to VG the trip after that one! Gotta love Guavaberry and the people of the BVI's!
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Postby Lex » Wed Mar 18, 2009 5:06 pm

Thanks for your report. Our last trip to the Caribbean we spent a week on VG. We'd been there before on a day trip but it was our first time staying anywhere in the Caribbean other than on STJ in more than 20 years. We loved it and will return. We'd intended to get to Anegada for a day, but there was so much we wanted to do on VG that we never got off the island.

We would have flown SJU-VG, but had AA miles to spend, so flew to EIS and took the ferry to VG. We made it in about what it might take us to reach STJ. And there's something about arriving by boat that I enjoy. And Trellis Bay is really a wonderful place to wait. The BVI customs officers generally seem like pretty serious people and expect their rules to be obeyed.

We stayed at Guavaberry and spent most of our days in the southern part of the island. Guavaberry is really run well. We were really entranced by the boulder beaches. We loved the caves at the Baths and went through them several times. We didn't get to as many beaches as we'd expected. We had a good morning at Savannah Bay, but we really wanted to hang out among the boulders.

We were there deep in low season so some paces were closed. We ate out most nights---Mineshaft was our favorite, went twice. Our approach when we did cook was to go see what was available and looked good and build a meal around it. If we had a meal in mind and went looking for specific things, we'd probably have been disappointed.

I enjoyed your dealings with Puck. We met him once. He met us at the ferry to give us the vehicle we rented from Mahogany. VG runs on island time and things may seem strange to us mainlanders, but there is a definite system, which works, although with a decidedly West Indian flavor.

Visiting VG, particularly in low season, provided us with what we were hoping it would. We first went to STJ in the 80s and had become increasingly disappointed by the changes since then. On STJ most businesses frequented by tourists are owned and staffed by transplants from the mainland. Most businesses on VG are owned and staffed by West Indians. There's a much stronger sense of being a visitor in a different culture. There's a strong sense that the people of VG are still in control of their island, although development is happening. On STJ, the West Indian population and culture is becoming less and less evident, being replaced by a kind of island lifestyle developed by people from the mainland.

Some folks who like STJ wouldn't be happy on VG. Some people who like STJ today wouldn't have been happy there 20-30 years ago. Some folks who liked STJ 20-30 years ago are less happy there today. There's been a lot of change on STJ and I don't think of much of it as improvement. VG still has a lot of what we fell in love with on STJ.

We'll go back to VG and likely will tack a few days on Anegada onto the end of the trip. We'll probably get back to STJ sometime before Maho closes down just to refresh memories and show gratitude.
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Postby NoWorriesMom » Wed Mar 18, 2009 9:45 pm

thanks for the excellent read and pics!
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Postby PA Girl » Thu Mar 19, 2009 3:39 pm

Lex wrote:The BVI customs officers generally seem like pretty serious people and expect their rules to be obeyed.


I did obey their rules, I was outside of the building taking pictures of the ocean AND had my camera turned off and back in the case before I walked back into the building.

Lex wrote: Most businesses on VG are owned and staffed by West Indians. There's a much stronger sense of being a visitor in a different culture. There's a strong sense that the people of VG are still in control of their island, although development is happening.


I agree and we really enjoyed experiencing their culture.

Being such a small island, we ran into the same people more than twice. The bartender at Leverick was picnicing next to us at Spring Bay.

She remembered us from the night before and after striking up a conversation, our kids played together in the water.

Later in the week, my husband ran into her at Rosy's and again they chatted.

I can't say enough about the island residents, they are truly welcoming to visitors.
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Postby Nancy_B » Fri Mar 20, 2009 9:28 am

Pa_girl, thanks for the great report. I enjoyed your writing style and your photos.

I hope you get a chance to return to STJ this summer.

Take care,
N
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Postby linne » Sun Mar 22, 2009 11:54 am

Thank you for the report and the pics. Sorry for you about the weather, but it seems as if you were able to enjoy your vacation nevertheless.

Linne
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Postby iowaguy » Tue Mar 24, 2009 11:36 pm

PaGirl---Thanks for the great report. Every year I seem to go through this debate on trying a new island---and VG is usually at the top of the list. I've looked at Open Deck online many times so it was good to hear a report. Like you, I miss strolling around the town in islands that don't have a main town. Sometimes you don't know what you have until you try something else!
---Jim
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