Caribbean Cruise – Tortola BVI

IMG_9237Wednesday 20 January – Tortola, B.V.I.

Didn’t know what to expect in the BVI as it was a place I had many dealings with in my working life and thought it might be like Georgetown in Grand Cayman.

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Hillside living Tortola style

I wasn’t expecting it to be as hilly as it is and it is certainly not as well developed as Grand Cayman.

Catch up with former colleague, Stephen Bridson and his wife, Lisa for a lovely coffee at a small coffee shop on Main Street.

It reminded me of a café just outside Brisbane which we were taken to by Q and Angela when we were there a couple of years back.

The width of Main Street is so small, it is only one way traffic and even small open sided tour buses struggle.

Stephen tells us that a few months ago two US tourists were killed when their bus overturned on a tour in the island, no one has seat belts, all but the driver required hospital treatment. It has been kept pretty quiet though!

Nice catch up and a bit of an insight into what life is like on the BVI. Beach, beach and beach maybe for relaxation. Much of the cruise terminal and surrounding area, we are told is on reclaimed land and in fact Main Street used to be the main route through town.

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Colourful BVI house & shop

After coffee, Stephen and Lisa have to get back to work, we head off for the J R O’Neal Botanical Gardens, a flat walk through the back streets past colourful buildings, the old prison and a building with a fascinating history – The Fireproof.

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The Fireproof

The Fireproof, built in the 1750s  was where documents were produced conveying the BVI lands to  the freed slaves in 1834.

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Tortola Old Prison

The Botanical Gardens are not as big as the one we went to at Punto Garda last year, but peaceful with some interesting areas, including the Christmas garden and a Calabash Tree (Crescentia cujete).

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Christmas Garden

Back towards the ship in the heat so we do the o.a.p. bit and sit on a bench, but only for a second as the benches are still sticky with new blue paint.

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Calabash Tree

No signs around to suggest wet paint, just incompetence on the part of the BVI government?! 😞

Hopefully, the paint will come off with some white spirit when we get home. (Sadly it doesn’t and they are consigned to garden use)

Nevertheless, decide not to venture out again today, a rest is needed and after dinner, watch Jonathan Wilkes, a former West End singer, quite good.

Thursday 21 January – sea day

A lazy day today with a port talk on the next few destinations and tonight’s entertainment being the 4 singers from the Headliners group, quite good but many of the songs they sung were not particularly well known.

IMG_9234Too many people by the pool getting red and burnt, this is obviously why some people come on Caribbean Cruises.

We are off to Grand Turk, part of the Turks & Caicos Islands tomorrow but not sure if there is much to do there.

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