Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you. -- Carl Sandburg
There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

January 31, 2013

Another Day in Another Paradise

Wednesday we ventured to St. John, the small volcanic island just to the east of St. Thomas.  We drove down to the east end off St. Thomas for the car ferry, or more accurately, vehicle ferry.  The Hundai Sonata that we rented is very low to the ground and I did a poor job of following directions and scraped the bottom horribly backing onto it.  The Ferry guy did a great job trying to direct me but I didn't fully understand his signals.  He had me back into a slot between a mini van and a big semi truck.  At least 2 more panel trucks were also on the ferry.  This is a work horse ferry  It is a short trip across the channel to St. John.  Coming off, I drove off at an angle and did a lot better with the bottom.

We proceeded down the south road, or I should say up the road.  I thought the roads in St Thomas were steep but this was incredible!  One hairpin turn up an amazingly steep incline made the car protest a lot.  Then it leveled out some.  We came to an intersection with the northbound road (Gift Hill Rd) going up at an ominously steep incline.  So I continued along with glimpses of spectacular coast lines far below until I came to an amazingly steep incline.  We decided we really didn't have the car for that and backed up a few feet to a drive way where I could turn around with only delaying one van.

So then it was up to the north side into the National Park.  We stopped at Hawksnest Bay that had parking and toilets.  It has a narrow pristine white sand beach with the cleanest sea water ever.  Makes St Thomas look dowdy by comparison.  The waves were bigger too.  Just a breathtakingly beautiful place.  My sister sat on the beach while my BIL and I walked the short beach and got our feet wet.

After that little jaunt, we continued down the road.  Up over another steep, steep hill with tight switchbacks.  I did better on them and didn't make the car screech about it.  We managed to make it to Maho Bay and decided that we had better go back.  My sister seems to be very allergic to St. Johns and she started coughing ominously.  Also, the roads we took looked fairly easy on the map and the upcoming ones were shown as twisty windy so I don't think a Sonata is the right kind of car for that island.  There's a reason there are so many jeeps on the road.

St Thomas from St John

We made it back to the car ferry and I did much better backing onto it in a zig zag.  We were the first car on the ferry and I think the ferry guy was happy to put me on first.  He was really nice and jovial about it.  They really do seem to have the attitude of "don't worry, be happy".
1st on the ferry

We lazed around most of the afternoon as the trip to St John was a bit tiring and my sister had to recover from her increasing allergy/asthma attack from St John.  At about 6 my BIL and I thought we would swim in the ocean.  We got down there and both thought "how much do we really want to do this?" as a cool breeze swept over us.  We opted for a pleasant wade in the surf instead.  Then it was time for the fabulous buffet they had in the beach restaurant.   They had what they call a carnival show with a couple of limbo dancers.  After they did their act, the emcee guy brought up all the birthday boys and girls then went after the longest married.  Right before he did that, my sister went back to the room so they narrowly escaped that! They've been married 49 1/2 years. I was a fun show but I like the steel drums better.

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