Monday, December 19, 2016

Caribbean Cruise Day 5

November 23d 2016

Rain had fallen all night and by morning the skies were looking questionable. I did catch this beautiful picture (with my phone) of the suns attempts to push through the clouds,
I also caught a rainbow...

Despite the clouds we were optimistic about today's new adventure on the Island of Tortola. The boys decided to stay back and hang on the ship while Mark, Diane and I headed out for a day of Island fun.
Tortola is still part of the Virgin Islands, but it is part of the British Virgin Islands.
Like St. Thomas many of the Islands income is made up from tourism and from the presentation of the port stores (all very new and clean) they are looking to expand on this capital. As pretty as the shops may have been we were in search of a beach.
Once again we had decided to make our own excursion rather then rely on the Cruise's plans (added expense and more people.)
We found a taxi and a not nearly as nice as George; (our driver in St. Thomas) driver and asked him, what is the best beach? Smugglers Cove was the answer....although
the skies didn't  make a day on the beach look so promising....

I am pretty nervous about many things....riding in an air plane, being stuck on a bridge, dentist visits and elevators to name a few....but driving on these streets had to take the top.  I have never seen road conditions in such poor shape. To add insult there had been a lot of rain the evening before and the surrounding walls of mud/dirt and rock that held both the homes and landscape above as well as below was slowly eroding as we passed. Like in St. Thomas the roadways are quite narrow, and the bends are quite sharp. Our driver had to beep his horn often as he rounded a corner. There was debris along the roads everywhere and the road were incredibly steep...(I did not spend as much time taking pictures out the windows this time. I actually remained pretty stationed my eye on the edges of the road as we came ever so close to a wheel falling off any of the paved roadway.
Ahhh!!!! But when we go there!!!! It was heavenly!!
and for quite some time it was only us....and just down away was....can you believe it....the family that accused my mother in law of taking her towel. (Really). Well I was having none of it and focused my attention on the amazing place we had found nearly all ours alone.
There was some overcast. and a bit of debris on the sand from the storms the night before, but otherwise it was lovely. We purchased some lounge chairs (I can not remember if it was $5 or $10 a piece.) and planted ourselves in paradise.
Smugglers Cove was quite secluded and very private for the most part. There was a local pub/snack shack and a restroom adjacent to the water, but there was little else around. The waves came in hard, but softened before it met the shore. Perfect for enjoying a swim. I watched from the shoreline for quite some time as the waves rushed into these rocks and smashed water spraying everywhere.

The overcast continued and the clouds thickened as we consumed the water.

Mark was in heaven. He absolutely loves the ocean. I love it to but not nearly as much as Mark. He loves the waves, the rush of the water, his toes sinking in the sand, and his face deep in the salty wetness. I on the other hand LOVE the air, the sounds of the waves crashing and the birds diving. I love the smell of the salt and water on my feat while waves lightly brush my thighs as they come in. I absolutely do NOT like salt water in my eyes, my nose or anywhere in my face and I hate sand in every crease and crevices of my body. (and I have several crevices...) I am also just a bit convinced that a creature may find my pink little toes look like a nice lunch and take a bite.  
None the less.....I still have to say I am quite fond of any water and this place was truly AMAZING!!!

Not only was the water, the beach and the seclusion incredible...but we also had lush jungle like tropical trees that span the shore keeping the beach's seclusion a secret.
There were also chickens....LOTS AND LOTS and LOTS of chickens.

I spied a bird taking arial dives into the water. Over and over he plunged at incredible speed.
I'm not sure what kind of bird he was. I thought perhaps a pelican, but then I think they have larger necks. 
 Here are a few shots that I enlarged....
 He kind of looks like one of those Dinosaur flying creatures in this shot,

As I watched him sail over the skies I noticed the clouds were moving in ....

These clouds did not keep the people away and soon own nearly private beach was overcome with people from the Cruise ship. 
Clearly Mark didn't care....

...and really neither did I!!!
Those clouds did eventually come in and so did the rain, It moved many of the recent inhabitants to under the bush, including Diane, but Mark and I just played in the waves and soon it passed on by,

Soon we decided we had our fill and our little piece of paradise was beginning to become overrun with Cruise guests, There was even a Norwegian photographer that was taking pictures of families. We chucked at one elder gentleman who had come in his boots and long pants. Boots off and pant legs rolled up, he still couldn't keep the waves from soaking his pant legs....he still smiled a big gigantic smile as he posed with his family.

The return ride was much more traumatic then going. This time we had a full van and the roads were quite wet from the more recent rain.
I attempted to direct my fears by taking pictures of the scenery. I wasn't the only one fearful of that drive the women in front of me had her eyes closed the entire 15 minute ride back to the ship,
And there she is, down below in the port.
Up ahead however was this gem lodged in the road!!!!
Yep...sometime while we were off enjoying the waves this boulder took a tumble and landed itself right in the middle of the road. Pretty scary! Good thing our driver was being cautions when he came around that curve or we would have smashed right into it. Even greater fell before we came and not while we were driving by,
Back on flat port we enjoyed some music and checked out the small shops before returning to the ship.

Late lunch included deserts and drinks.
Then we enjoyed some late afternoon games in the atrium.
The game was called Who wants to be a Bizillionare?Diane had put both Mark and my name in the drawing to play. When I heard that, I had decided that I had better take a hike in the other direction. No way was I smart enough to answer those questions even with a lifeline! "Diane" was called as I had started walking, Okay...I'll stay!
Diane on the other hand, has some BRAINS!!!

She did not win a BIZILLION DOLLARS...but she did get a nice Norwegian Cup holder and I decided on a Mudslide.
The next game was more my pace. 80's music trivia!!!! BooYa!!!
There was only one song I had NO answer for, and even when we were told the name and the band I had never heard of it. SOOOO NOOO we did not win a Prize.It was still super fun!
The boys had patiently awaited the ropes course to open. (It was closed earlier due to the rain) and took their turn at it.

We had a nice dinner in one of the restaurants. (Taste or Savor)

I had some of the best chicken parm. Yummy!!!
After dinner we headed to the theater to the comedy show. (Inclusive),

There were four comedians and they were all so funny!
Soon it was time to hit the bed. WOW another incredible fun filled day. Tomorrow promises to be beautiful skies and a day at sea as we head back towards the North. It is also Thanksgiving!