|One of the many lovely beaches in the USVI park on St. John - Cinnamon Bay|
A while back I did promise you 'd get back to the fun stuff, so not a single whine about the refrigeration or stories about head rebuilds!
The USVI National park not only has a lot of beaches, there are nature trails all over the island, as well as some nice facilities and some beautiful reefs. Cinnamon Bay on the North side of island has a camp ground with some interesting looking facilities and programs, though still too expensive for a night of kid camping like we are looking for. There are also a couple of trail heads there, so we strapped on our hiking shoes and headed for shore.
One of the trails is a short loop that runs past the ruins an old sugar factory. There are some historical plaques there that describe the process and how this was built. St. John is dotted with the ruins of a lot of old homes and economic ventures - various starts and false starts to try and exploit the region. Apparently he collapse of slave labor played no small part in the failure of some of these efforts, but there also was a fair amount of political upheaval as the various European powers swept through the region repeatedly. The loop trail is an easy shaded hike, surprisingly cool in the morning hours. Spiders, lizards and termites were what we saw of wildlife. The termites build large bloated looking nests in trees they are infecting; in truth the idea of kicking one of those open gives me the willies with all those bugs spilling out. There were also signs about some local large millipedes which could spray something nasty on you if you upset them, but we didn't see any of them on the loop trail.
|One side of the ruins covered with flowers|
|The stunning view|
The chart shows the elevation of the hill to be 526 feet. Seemed higher, and the view is just stunning. In the foreground is Maho Bay where we were planning to spend the night. Off in the distance you can see West End on Tortola, the harbor were we originally landed and cleared customs in the BVI's. A beautiful breeze blows up there, and the foliage provides some nice shade. It's a pleasant place to catch your breath and cool off after a hot hike up the steep hillside. And we saw our first of the spewing millipedes...and our 2nd through about 150th ones too, they seem to like it there. I will spare you the pictures!
|View of the ruins on America Hill from MahoBay|
|That's Evenstar's anchor light you can see there|
"Restaurant" is a bit of a misnomer, as it is the resort's dining facility. It's a restaurant in that there is a menu and someone else cooks for you. But you place your order at the register and pick up your food from the kitchen counter, and you bus your own dishes...not quite cafeteria, not quite restaurant. That being said, the food is wonderful and reasonably priced - I'm guessing not having wait staff helps with that. Each night they have a different theme and offer a meat, fish, chicken, and vegetarian dish to choose from as well as a salad bar and iced tea. We caught Southern Night and feasted on ribs and Southern fried chicken with collard greens and mashed potatoes. All in all a reasonable dinner in a stunning setting, so I'd have to give a thumbs up to those recommendations so long as you aren't expecting to be able to speak to a wine steward.
All this hiking and snorkeling is going to do me in, whatever happened to sitting under a palm tree with a cold rum drink in my hand?