Monday, November 21, 2011

Tortola, BVI
We were in Tortola in March of this year. Reading in preparation for the trip it seemed that there was one place that everyone raved about: the Baths. I wanted to go SO badly but was dissuaded from doing so by people seemingly in the know based on their opinion that it was too challenging a trip with a toddler. So instead, last time, we went to a gorgeous beach and had a great time.

When we booked this trip which included a stop in Tortola, there was one thing I knew for certain, I was going to the Baths. I booked an excursion quite some time ago with a company that had a good reputation and had been around for awhile. In fact, it was the same company we did our last Tortola trip with. I was set! But, just a few weeks before our trip, the company went MIA. They stopped responding to emails and that was it. We tried to find another company to book the trip through and came up empty handed. The next alternative was to book through the ship but I wasn’t a fan of the idea. Finally, we decided to go it alone.

The day we docked in Tortola we quickly made our way to the ferry and got our tix. A 40 min ferry ride to the island of Virgin Gorda and a 10 min drive in an open air safari bus later and we were there, the Baths! Well, almost there. We walked down the hill –a bit muddy in a few places but really no big deal --and came to a beautiful beach. But that’s not what we were there for. No way. We wanted Devil’s Bay which is only accessible by climbing around, through and over these enormous boulders. Some places were a bit tight. Some required tromping through the water. We even got a bit confused and ended up taking a longer and more difficult route but we finally found our way and boy was it worth it! As we came through the last tunnel we were thrilled to find an absolutely gorgeous beach. Beautiful, amazing, breath-taking… are there some other words synonymous with pretty that I’m missing?? G frolicked (there really is no more descriptive word for what G does when we’re at the beach) in the waves. She screamed and ran and jumped herself to exhaustion. After that we hiked back.

The amazing thing was that G was just fine. In fact, in many ways the trip was easier for her than it was for us taller adults. Where we had to bend and squat or turn sideways to navigate, she could just walk right on through. And, I was so proud of her. She didn’t whine or complain even once. What a trooper!

The other shocker to me was how easy it was to do this outing on our own. The people on the ship's excursion rode on our ferry and our same safari bus. The only difference was that they were driven from the ship to the ferry and we walked... all of 10 mins at a casual pace. Of course, almost none of those people used the return transportation so they could walk back through the shopping area. For that they paid double what it cost us per person plus, if we would have booked through the ship, we would have had to pay for G. The way we did it, she was free!

Back on the ship it was time to shower and dress for dinner. We always enjoy dinner in the MDR. This one is very nice. The food really leaves something to be desired though. It’s not terrible. It’s just not that good. Whatevs. Not going to ruin my trip. After that, G was excited about going to the kids club. It was pirate night! Unfortunately we had an issue arise and we had to take it up with the supervisor. Still unresolved we scheduled a meeting with the cruise director to address it. Hoping it all works out well.

Overall A+ day in port, C- on ship. Hoping it improves.

Another of G's now infamous poses. This time with a view of our ship while waiting for the ferry to take us to the Baths.
G loved looking out over the ocean on the way over
We begin our desent

This way to Devil's Bay

G gets so much enjoyment out of playing in the water. She shrieks and laughs and has a great old time

You can see the rock formations in the distance. So beautiful

Making sand angels. All that sand would make me itchy but it doesn't seem to bother my girl

The walk to/from Devil's Bay is filled with these cave areas.

Goofball with her mouth wide open

Tomorrow: St Martin/St Marteen

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