March 7th 2009

Travel Log_Tortola_Feb 2009

tortola-smugglers-cove4Road Town, Tortola

We have Everton McMaster ( to thank for a truly memorable day in Tortola. A hot blue Suzuki scooter and tips on the best sights & eating establishments, his parting shot being, “Don’t forget to drive on the left!” We headed off, somewhat unsteadily through down town Tortola to our destinations. Little did we know what was in store for us, an incredibly scenic drive to Smugglers Cove. Aside from forgetting how to unlock the baggage compartment & leaving the kickstand down (we were rescued by the locals during these instances), the Suzuki was a dream to drive. Tortola has a very healthy economy with a strong British influence brooking no nonsense on the roads & thoroughfares. We came immediately face to face with this approach when we met up with numerous prolific speed bumps on all the roads especially around churches, schools, small villages & entrances to resorts.

The Island is quite small with an absence of conspicuous road signs, thus our journey to Smugglers Cove took many unexpected turns. However every turn gave us another stunning scene. Just when we were about to give up hope in finding it, we turned into Smugglers Cove. What a stunning discovery

Imagine a pocket bay with waves crashing on rocks at the entrance, brilliant white sand, azure blue water washing gently onto shore, Pelicans diving for fish among the coral reefs. It was hard to decide what to do first. We walked about 15 ft and had our own private piece of beach to ourselves. In all, there were a handful of people on the beach which included 4 from Seattle, 4 from Virginia, and Patricia, who barbecued scrumptious jerk chicken on the beach (as well as $3.00 rum pain killers). We all seemed to have found our own tiny slice of paradise that even a very brief Caribbean shower could not deter us from dashing into the waves. As the blue sky & heat returned, everywhere we looked it seemed like another Corona beer commercial. There went our agenda for the day, we could not peel ourselves away from the Cove – it seemed senseless! Our new found US buddies provided us with umpteen tips of what islands to visit, (e.g. Jost Van Dyke, home of the famous sailors bar) plus accommodation tips.

It’s a sailing haven with continuous breezes and sail boats everywhere you look, amazing cats & yachts. We finally tore ourselves away from Smugglers Cove with our friends reminding us that this is the best & prettiest spot in the Caribbean. Off we went, after many wrong turns, to Long Bay, Cane Bay, Brewers Beach. The trusty Suzuki was flat out going through some of the steepest hills & switchbacks we have ever experienced. Our next target was Sage Mountain National Park, which we did find after going up the wrong mountain & dogging a few aggressive watch dogs that were willing to take a chunk out of our legs or tires.

At Sage Mountain, we of course took the long way up to the view point. Thank goodness we met Keith when we finally got to the lookout. An NCL employee stationed in Hawaii, who had lived in Tortola for many years. The view was stunning, he pointed out Peter Island, owned by the Amway founders & explained the culture of Tortola. Keith showed us the shortest route back to the parking lot, down the mountain, and back to down town, via one of the longest, steepest hills I’ve ever driven down. It was brakes all the way. He threaded us through the mazes & roundabouts & pointed us in the direction of our destination. We delivered our trusty machine back to Everton, safe & sound, making this a home run day!


Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Similar Posts:

Leave a Reply