Saturday, March 9, 2013

Tortola (BVI) Vacation, Day Six

Thursday morning was rung in with a great breakfast--home made mango pancakes. Of course, the only reason I remembered what we had (remember, I have food amnesia) was that I took a photo. MMmmmm.

Anyway, after breakfast, Jean and I did a short hike up on Sage Mountain--highest point in all of the British Virgin Islands. When I say the hike is short, I mean it was REALLY short... about a mile. Interestingly, for the vast majority of the hike, we were in tree cover, so we only had a good view at a couple of vantage points where little platforms were erected. It was fun, but a far cry from what we had a couple of months ago in Yosemite.

We got to talk with Jim who runs a gift shop and restaurant at the trail head. He's a Brit who's lived in BVI for 38yrs, and he's also a local mountain bike champion. He says he got into riding as a way to get healthy when he didn't have health insurance. He was a good resource to get riding information, and an interesting guy. I was actually thinking about doing an interview with him, as I thought his experiences of having to take ferries to different islands would be good reading, but he doesn't have a computer, and thus doesn't have e-mail or Internet access. When he told me this, Jean says my reaction was the proverbial record scratch. I was stunned. Anyway, I didn't have time to do an interview then, so that's going to have to wait for another time (i.e. never).

After our short hike and time exploring the area, we grabbed Jean's parents and headed to another beach, this time at Cane Garden Bay. Here's where I made a serious tactical error. I didn't bring anything to read.

That might not sound like a big deal, but I get bored VERY easily at the beach, and after about 4 minutes, I was starting to pace. I did my time in the water, I did my time walking up and down the beach, I did my time walking around looking for a shop or store to buy a book/magazine/newspaper, and then I did about all I could do... I took about 600 photos of pelicans.

I was pelican stalker.

The pelicans were actually kind of cool. Large groups would circle around, break off into smaller groups, pairs, or just solo birds, they'd skim the water, go up, and then dive down. At the last second they'd "hit the brakes," and awkwardly splash down. Sometimes they'd come up with a fishy snack, sometimes not.

After taking pelican portraits, and other beach pics, for what seemed like days, everyone else was finally mobilized into action. We had dinner at a beach-side restaurant, Tony's and then made the drive back to our villa.

The sunset on this side of the island was very cool, and I forced everyone to stop and wait for me while I took a pic or two...

Pelicans weren't the only birds on the beach...

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