Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Tortola (BVI) Vacation, Day Three

Monday morning gave us another beautiful sunrise (yawn), and another great breakfast.

After a somewhat lazy morning, it was time to have the rubber hit the road and do some exploring by bike.

Interestingly, if you look at the speed or distance, it's often meager, but the reality is that I'm in tourist mode. We tend to ride slow to take in the view, the ambiance; we stop to take photos, we get lost… I put that out there because in one part of my brain, a part that I work hard to squelch, I look at the speed, distance, time, and think about watts and all that other nerdy stuff. I use a GPS just to record where I've gone, not to analyze training data...

Anyway, we rolled out from the resort, down towards the Ferry landing, then up into the hills. The road quickly degraded to a dirt road then Jeep tracks, making mountain bikes the optimal way of getting around and exploring.

The island of Tortola may be many things, but it is NOT flat. Every climb was capped off with great views of sandy beaches, blue waters, and the surrounding islands. One of the hills, Zion Hill, probably had my heart rate up to just about 400 beats per minute by the top. In addition to the great views, each climb provided a white knuckle downhill as well. It's a bit sketchy riding on the left side of the road. And since around every corner you could be faced with anything from goats on the road, to tourist vans going wide to make a turn, we couldn't just fly down the hills.

Some of the switchback turns were so steep, it almost felt as if I was dropping in on a vert ramp. It was nearly the same exact carve, turn, and tuck. Yeah it was steep.

We only rode about 8 miles that first day, but we got to explore one part of the island that we would NOT have taken a car through, and we found a great beach that, coming in from another direction, would be accessible by car. We scooped up Jean's parents and took them to Smuggler's Cove.

Smuggler's Cove was just like every other white sand beach bordering Caribbean blue waters. It was beautiful. I'm not really a beach person, but I did my requisite swim.

There were some signs that mentioned the rip tide and the undertow… well, those signs could have been 40ft tall and in neon lights, and I still don't think it would have been enough to describe how strong the current was. Jean's dad and I found ourselves a little farther out than expected, and it was just "a little" harder to get back in to shore than expected. Sadly, we were swept out to sea and never heard from again.

Okay, not really, but it was intense. Truly, an "oh shit," moment where you wonder if you're going to make it. After our beach day, we headed to the local marina, Soper's Hole, got dinner at Pusser's, and stocked up on groceries. Another day was in the bag.

No comments: