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BVI Trip Report - Part 3

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BVI Trip Report - Part 3

Postby jmq » Wed Jul 09, 2008 11:24 am

Left off Day 4 Weds when we came over on morning ferry from Anegada and retrieved daughter (TG) missing bag in Tortola.

Back onto next ferry to Virgin Gorda (VG) to stay at Guavaberry (GB) for the rest of the trip. For a change from the usual bucket o' bolts, this ferry is one of those clean new cats that Speedys runs. What a nice smooth fast ride.

Met at Spanish town dock by taxi driver that GB had arranged. He is a really nice guy named Shorn who chats us up and gives us his card in case we need a ride later as we wont be getting a car til tomorrow. Since I forgot my CDs, I was going to look in Roadtown for local reggae hero Quito Rymer if we had done a little shopping, so I ask him about that, he suggests I try the music store at the yacht harbor.

Able to check in early, temporary for one night in 1 bedroom unit called Banyan pretty far up the GB property. Not only does Shorn give us ride in from the ferry, he waits as we check in and quickly pick a few items from the well stocked commissary and takes up up to Banyan. That commissary cant be beat. Cruzan 750ml for $6, Santa Margaurita Pinot Grigio for $14, Carib for $1.45 each. How come I only know the prices of the booze items???

GB has recently added a/c to some of their units and those cost $20/night more. We hadn’t asked for it, but both this unit and the next 2 bedroom we would be moved to had it and Tina (who runs things along with Val and Michelle) just told us to let them know if we ran it and only then would they add the extra $20. On the way up to Banyan, Michelle pointed out a few one night blooming cactus flowers that were likely to pop that night. Sure enough, we saw them later on. They have a distinct vanilla scent.

[img]<a%20href="http://picasaweb.google.com/jmackq/0806BVIAnegadaVG/photo#5218101213979677714"><img%20src="http://lh6.ggpht.com/jmackq/SGpraE1LFBI/AAAAAAAAB7o/bopphzT8Yr4/s400/IMG_3512.JPG"></a>[/img]

[img]<a%20href="http://picasaweb.google.com/jmackq/0806BVIAnegadaVG/photo#5218101448839470130"><img%20src="http://lh4.ggpht.com/jmackq/SGprnvwHHDI/AAAAAAAAB7w/Aq-whzGTpuQ/s400/IMG_3496.JPG"></a>[/img]

Drop bags, walk 15 min over to Mad Dog near Top of the Baths for lunch and liquid refreshments. Sandwiches made at the bar, eat out on the porch. Fillings were quite skimpy, but who’s complaining?

[img]<a%20href="http://picasaweb.google.com/jmackq/0806BVIAnegadaVG/photo#5220682648579179634"><img%20src="http://lh4.ggpht.com/jmackq/SHOXNWGbhHI/AAAAAAAACLg/Y6sih_2hWbA/s400/IMG_3859.JPG"></a>[/img]

[img]<a%20href="http://picasaweb.google.com/jmackq/0806BVIAnegadaVG/photo#5221018381761308930"><img%20src="http://lh5.ggpht.com/jmackq/SHTIjlqq6QI/AAAAAAAACSE/AHfXD0LV21A/s288/IMG_3429.JPG"></a>[/img]

Pretty hot after walk back, down to the GB beach, feels good to hit the water and lounge in the shade under the trees in their comfy beach chairs kept in a shed down by the beach.

[img]<a%20href="http://picasaweb.google.com/jmackq/0806BVIAnegadaVG/photo#5220703869282518514"><img%20src="http://lh5.ggpht.com/jmackq/SHOqgjYXhfI/AAAAAAAACQY/B_-uNUf7QQM/s400/IMG_4222.JPG"></a>[/img]

[img]<a%20href="http://picasaweb.google.com/jmackq/0806BVIAnegadaVG/photo#5220703399076581394"><img%20src="http://lh6.ggpht.com/jmackq/SHOqFLuiUBI/AAAAAAAACQI/p-DZOI5eqak/s400/IMG_4238.JPG"></a>[/img]

[img]<a%20href="http://picasaweb.google.com/jmackq/0806BVIAnegadaVG/photo#5218136778192548098"><img%20src="http://lh4.ggpht.com/jmackq/SGqLwL2RcQI/AAAAAAAACCI/WnkCXIwfNL8/s400/IMG_3904.JPG"></a>[/img]

The GB beach (part of Spring Bay) is off to the left in this pana shot. You can swim around the jumble of boulders on the right to the Baths.

[img]<a%20href="http://picasaweb.google.com/jmackq/0806BVIAnegadaVG/photo#5218084528721692434"><img%20src="http://lh5.ggpht.com/jmackq/SGpcO3ZrBxI/AAAAAAAACOw/nzecRI4dC3c/s400/GBbeach2.jpg"></a>[/img]

Decide to stay down this end of VG for dinner, looks like it might be a good sunset, so decide to take a shot on the Mine Shaft, as views are good from there. Food had been disappointing when we went there in 06, but I had seen more positive reviews since.

Called number Shorn had given for cab pick up, I get into taxi and I didn’t recognize driver and say “where’s Shorn?” He says “I’m Shorn!” Well he and the girls had a big laugh over this, I protest that he had a different shirt on, and no hat and sunglasses like he did before. AMQ thinks maybe I had a few too many of these before we left – hey, why not, no driving for me tonight.

[img]<a%20href="http://picasaweb.google.com/jmackq/0806BVIAnegadaVG/photo#5218098579348859970"><img%20src="http://lh4.ggpht.com/jmackq/SGppAuEPLEI/AAAAAAAACJA/MtGVWSbgIns/s400/IMG_3454.JPG"></a>[/img]

Mine Shaft deck does offer a good view, plus right as the sun sets, what seems like dozens of chickens gather under the big tree next to the deck and start a clumsy noisy ascent up into the highest part of the tree. What a spectacle.

[img]<a%20href="http://picasaweb.google.com/jmackq/0806BVIAnegadaVG/photo#5218100863656246626"><img%20src="http://lh4.ggpht.com/jmackq/SGprFrxjvWI/AAAAAAAAB7g/YUes1tdT-DQ/s400/IMG_3485.JPG"></a>[/img]

Hostess says they are wild and don’t have a man made place to stay, so they roost up in the tree for the night to stay safe from predators. What must that place sound like at 5 AM?

We were in the mood for simple and got different variations of their jerk chicken wraps which were excellent, as well as the homemade potato salad and curly fries.

[img]<a%20href="http://picasaweb.google.com/jmackq/0806BVIAnegadaVG/photo#5218099017535974130"><img%20src="http://lh6.ggpht.com/jmackq/SGppaOcL6vI/AAAAAAAAB6s/MogpXFwn0EQ/s400/IMG_3460.JPG"></a>[/img]

We also enjoyed a nice sunset from our seats.

[img]<a%20href="http://picasaweb.google.com/jmackq/0806BVIAnegadaVG/photo#5218100239328441858"><img%20src="http://lh5.ggpht.com/jmackq/SGpqhV-NdgI/AAAAAAAAB7M/rGVj7P9SGFg/s400/IMG_3478.JPG"></a>[/img]

[img]<a%20href="http://picasaweb.google.com/jmackq/0806BVIAnegadaVG/photo#5218100562544748434"><img%20src="http://lh5.ggpht.com/jmackq/SGpq0KC-55I/AAAAAAAAB7U/oeeN6pTVtIY/s400/IMG_3481.JPG"></a>[/img]

They call Shorn from the bar for pick up and when he gets out of cab, I say “where’s Shorn, what have you done with him?” He busted a gut over that one.

Day 5 Thurs Mahogany rental brings new Suzuki Jimmy right to our door. That’s nice. No more temporary BVI license for $10 needed either. Over to Baths, down path on far side of lot to go down to Devils Bay then thru the Baths in reverse.

Devils Bay
[img]<a%20href="http://picasaweb.google.com/jmackq/0806BVIAnegadaVG/photo#5218102137307483378"><img%20src="http://lh5.ggpht.com/jmackq/SGpsP0frTPI/AAAAAAAAB8A/HyfPO6NKqSU/s400/IMG_3531.JPG"></a>[/img]

[img]<a%20href="http://picasaweb.google.com/jmackq/0806BVIAnegadaVG/photo#5218102445920541538"><img%20src="http://lh6.ggpht.com/jmackq/SGpshyKw22I/AAAAAAAAB8I/jt8YZaNWcfg/s400/IMG_3532.JPG"></a>[/img]

Baths
[img]<a%20href="http://picasaweb.google.com/jmackq/0806BVIAnegadaVG/photo#5218103772584416034"><img%20src="http://lh4.ggpht.com/jmackq/SGptvAYFEyI/AAAAAAAAB8g/6GlyjvzV88A/s400/IMG_3540.JPG"></a>[/img]

[img]<a%20href="http://picasaweb.google.com/jmackq/0806BVIAnegadaVG/photo#5218105424544178322"><img%20src="http://lh5.ggpht.com/jmackq/SGpvPKZ-oJI/AAAAAAAAB88/_hJ1n1FfuSw/s400/IMG_3549.JPG"></a>[/img]

[img]<a%20href="http://picasaweb.google.com/jmackq/0806BVIAnegadaVG/photo#5218104722145045570"><img%20src="http://lh6.ggpht.com/jmackq/SGpumRw-bEI/AAAAAAAAB80/TDwxelVHTP8/s400/IMG_3544.JPG"></a>[/img]

[img]<a%20href="http://picasaweb.google.com/jmackq/0806BVIAnegadaVG/photo#5218104151040003554"><img%20src="http://lh6.ggpht.com/jmackq/SGpuFCO7DeI/AAAAAAAAB8s/bywnXoZm3h8/s400/IMG_3541.JPG"></a>[/img]

Back to GB beach for quick cool off and nice conversation in water with German couple who was on a 3 week vacation. We pick his brain about European destinations. Our families thinks WE travel a lot (hey there is more to life than the Jersey shore or the Outer Banks), so its always interesting to us to talk to people who are REALLY well traveled.

Off for laundry mat and lunch at the Yacht Harbor. Amazing fish tacos and tuna wasabi sandwich at the Bath and Turtle. I go into the music store to inquire about Quito Rymer CDs. Everybody I’ve talked to knows he has a new album out but you cant get it anywhere. The store owner complains even he cant get copies to sell, says I might not have even found it over in Roadtown, that the only place to get it (sometimes) is at Quitos Gazebo over in Cane Garden Bay. And I’ve read that ordering by mail thru his website can be iffy. Oh well. What else can he recommend? He plays me some samples and I wind up buying new album by Richie Spice of Jamaica. Its really good.

Back to GB and they had transferred all our stuff into 2 bedroom unit Mango which has pretty good views.

[img]<a%20href="http://picasaweb.google.com/jmackq/0806BVIAnegadaVG/photo#5220682387633253266"><img%20src="http://lh4.ggpht.com/jmackq/SHOW-KAEq5I/AAAAAAAACLY/lLSfS-R5qbU/s400/IMG_3839.JPG"></a>[/img]

On way to beach, see small herd of fat cows walking down the road that splits the GB property with Pearl and Soca running and barking after them. They don’t look like the skinny feral cows you see on Anegada. Tina rolls her eyes later about the nearby owners who are apparently not that vigilant about their gates.

Down to beach, play with GB dogs Soca and Pearl, snorkel, read, drink, repeat.

[img]<a%20href="http://picasaweb.google.com/jmackq/0806BVIAnegadaVG/photo#5218136901677480018"><img%20src="http://lh3.ggpht.com/jmackq/SGqL3X3X-FI/AAAAAAAACCQ/08WpGDuSGkI/s400/IMG_3903.JPG"></a>[/img]

[img]<a%20href="http://picasaweb.google.com/jmackq/0806BVIAnegadaVG/photo#5218083538727811698"><img%20src="http://lh6.ggpht.com/jmackq/SGpbVPYvOnI/AAAAAAAAB3s/xml2JwTNwaE/s400/GBbeach.jpg"></a>[/img]

On way back to room, group of 4 people wave me down to ask which way to market at yacht harbor, how far was it to walk (probably a good 25 min), how late it was open, and if they had fresh produce. They were French, just came in to GB, and were looking to stock up for breakfast. I said the GB commissary had stuff, but then realized they don’t want Rice Krispies, they are used to going to market for fresh produce.

Since its getting late and it’s a long walk, I drop girls and give them a ride for which they profusely thank. Its quite the squeeze in the back seat of the Jimmy for them and once they see much of the walk back would be uphill, I suggest a cab back. Good deed done for the day.

Dinner at Rock Café, indifferent waiter, but good conch fritters, couple of great pasta dishes and a sliced steak with balsamic reduction, parm cheese, and roasted rosemary potatoes.

Back at GB, chill under stars out on the deck.

Next up: dancin’ with the Jumbies.
Last edited by jmq on Wed Jul 09, 2008 3:56 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Postby RickG » Wed Jul 09, 2008 11:42 am

Very nice! It sounds like two forum votes for Guavaberry!

Cheers, RickG
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Postby AnyTing » Wed Jul 09, 2008 11:58 am

Good stuff! Must add going to VG for more than a day trip to the "to do" list.
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Postby jmq » Wed Jul 09, 2008 3:47 pm

Disclaimer on Guavaberry for St. John-iac villa meisters: the “Spring Bay Vacation Homes” are older, elevated hexagon shaped units with tiny baths, very basic kitchens, no pools or hot tubs, and basic brick charcoal “grills” down on the ground outside your unit, which could mean you could be disappointed with these accommodations if you’ve been spoiled by your fav STJ villas.

They are clean and very well maintained and very well managed, but are NOTHING FANCY. A few nice little touches though like a gallon of water in the fridge that is automatically replaced during your stay and freezer packs in the freezer, plus their location, price, and friendly service is what floats our boat.

Guavaberry also manages several villas in the area, plus there are plenty of villas in the Nail, Mahoe, and Leverick Bay areas if that is your preference.
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Postby chrisn » Wed Jul 09, 2008 3:51 pm

Another great report! I catch myself smiling as I read about Soca and Pearl or the commissary...it's like I'm there. We missed the chickens in the tree at Mineshaft. Got there after sunset that night. That had to have been a sight to see!
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Postby Maggy » Thu Jul 10, 2008 6:57 am

Thanks for another great installment. I love the Banyan house, that is our favorite one bedroom house so far. What a view!

Ditto what jmg sais about the houses at Guavaberry. They are not fancy, just perfect if this is what you want. I do think they have very comfortable beds though.

If I wanted to have a more upscale accommodation with pool, I would go for one of the villas they manage. Then you still could enjoy Spring bay, Guavaberry office services including the commissary.
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Postby liamsaunt » Thu Jul 10, 2008 9:47 am

I think Guavaberry sounds great! All these BVI reports are really making me want to book a trip there.

Thanks for another fun installment, and of course wonderful pictures!
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Postby jmq » Thu Jul 10, 2008 1:03 pm

liamsaunt wrote:I think Guavaberry sounds great! All these BVI reports are really making me want to book a trip there.


Thanks. Would taking the Caneel boat over to Little Dix for a few days be an option for you guys? The LD property looked pretty nice. We drove up one day and also stopped there with the diveBVI boat on the way out to snorkel the Dogs.
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Postby liamsaunt » Thu Jul 10, 2008 1:37 pm

jmq wrote:
liamsaunt wrote:Thanks. Would taking the Caneel boat over to Little Dix for a few days be an option for you guys? The LD property looked pretty nice. We drove up one day and also stopped there with the diveBVI boat on the way out to snorkel the Dogs.


Truthfully, I'm not interested at all in Little Dix. They only have the one beach and I have not heard that the snorkeling is so great. I know they have a top notch spa but I have never set foot in a spa in my life. That kind of stuff just does not interest me. I'd rather save all the "fun money" for travel and food.
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Postby jmq » Thu Jul 10, 2008 1:49 pm

liamsaunt wrote:Truthfully, I'm not interested at all in Little Dix. They only have the one beach and I have not heard that the snorkeling is so great. I know they have a top notch spa but I have never set foot in a spa in my life. That kind of stuff just does not interest me. I'd rather save all the "fun money" for travel and food.


Yeah on second thought that was a real dumb question to ask you, because the beach and the snorkeling cant hold a candle to Caneel, and the property did have much more of a traditional resort feel to it than Caneel. You would be much happier elsewhere on the island.
Re the spa, indeed one of the LD guys on the diveBVI boat was commenting to somebody else that the spa and the massage he got there was one of the best he ever had.
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Postby DuggChris » Thu Jul 10, 2008 2:57 pm

Hi

It was great seeing a picture of a night-blooming Cereus. When we first went to Guavaberry Spring Bay (in ‘96), Tina told us about them. On a recent visit with my (then) brand new Panasonic digital camera, I was faced by the problem of figuring how to auto-focus a digital camera in the dark. Well Duh! - it finally occurred to us that shining a small flashlight on the flower made auto-focus possible. Voila - a picture of the blossom virtually identical to the one in your post. (The best of a set of the pictures I took is in the collection on Picasa - noted below). Nothing we could say about Guavaberry would do it justice.

BTW, my favorite photo at Guavaberry (from 1998) is the following sunset shot :
picasaweb.google.com/papadugg/BVIAndUSVI1998/photo#5202480277255356098

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Postby Lex » Thu Jul 10, 2008 4:09 pm

Really enjoying your reports. I paid particular attention to the Anegada part. On our next trip to VG I'd like to tack on a few days there.

We've travelled much of the same area on the same paths. We stayed at Guavabery, in the Tulip house, which is up in the Banyan neighborhood. I wanted one of the higher up houses for the view. It would have been easy enough to walk down to Spring Bay from there, but we usually ended up driving.

The Mineshaft was our favorite restaurant. Ate there twice. Loved your description of the chickens bedding down: their "clumsy, noisy ascent." It really is a ridiculous sight. We have some of the same photos, as would be expected. I have one of my wife at the same table, reading the menu, with the sun setting on Tortola. And there's that huge house that the guy from the gas station built.

We really loved VG. For our next trip I'm pretty sure we'll stay on the southern part of the island again. Either at Guavaberry or at one of the villas they manage. Beach House seems about as perfect as I need anything to be, but we were very happy in the Guavaberry houses. I just was totally entranced by the boulder beaches and the caves at the Baths. A lot of folks seem to like the villas at Nail or Mahoe/Mango, but we just loved spending time on the southern beaches. It was all just so gorgeous that it was sometimes hard to believe what I was seeing.
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Postby Lex » Fri Jul 11, 2008 12:55 am

Here's another of those reading the menu at the Mineshaft photos. Not quite the same direction. This one looks away from the sunset
toward Fallen Jerusalem:

Image
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Postby jmq » Fri Jul 11, 2008 6:56 am

Lex - Ha! same seat. Think I had to manually switch flash on to get it to fire so as to illuminate my menu reader and still retain colors of sunset in background.

Dugg - I think the auto focus works via an infrared beam so you may not have had to do the flashlight thing. I didnt.
This seems very late in the season for those Cereus flowers to bloom - maybe delayed because its so dry there?
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