Day 4 – Tuesday, April 28, 2009
After spending the morning walking around Road Town, Tortola on our own, we dropped off our purchases back in our stateroom and headed over to Rockin Bar D for our excursion, “Tour to Virgin Gorda”. We met up with Michelle and Danny and our tour led us back downstairs to board the ferry to Virgin Gorda. We actually boarded the ferry directly from the ship, instead of having to walk off the ship to the ferry and then board the ferry! The ferry ride was 40 minutes long and it took us through the Sir Francis Drake Channel to Spanish Town in Virgin Gorda. At first, the four of us sat outside at the back of the ferry but it was soon clear that the splash from the waves was going to be horrible. The weather was overcast and pretty soon, we were soaked and freezing so one-by-one we left our seats and huddled under some shelter near the middle of the ferry!
Our ferry from Tortola to Virgin Gorda
Onboard the ferry before getting soaked
Leaving the Disney Magic
View of Tortola from the ferry
View of Virgin Gorda from the ferry
Once we disembarked the ferry in Virgin Gorda, we boarded an open-air safari bus, which took us through Spanish Town and up a hill to an overlook of Savannah Bay. As we continued the drive to The Baths, we passed by through the town and I noticed the houses were colorful like the shops in Tortola but much further apart.
Virgin Gorda in British Virgin Islands
Our safari bus taxi and driver
Savannah Bay, Virgin Gorda
Colorful houses in Virgin Gorda
Finally, we arrived at the highlight of the tour, The Baths National Park! We were dropped off at the Top of the Baths and we had to hike down to the Baths beach. It was easy and interesting hike down. There were lots of boulders jutting into the path and we saw hermit crabs and lizards along the way too. It was about a 15-minute walk down. At the bottom were restrooms, thank goodness! Unfortunately, in the women’s restrooms, the toilets weren’t flushing, some stalls didn’t have toilet paper, and, in case you wanted to shower after going to the beach, all the showers were out of order. Still, I got to relieve myself so I was happy. We, along with Danny and Michelle, decided to put our belongings into a locker. BIG MISTAKE and you’ll find out why in a little bit. After locking our stuff up, I grabbed a hot dog at Poor Man’s Bar as a snack.
Then we headed out into The Caves. The Caves is probably the most unique part of The Baths. It’s a maze of natural giant boulders that you walk, crawl, climb, and even wade through. It was totally a unique experience! The best part was definitely finding the large tide pool that we could wade through and there were all sorts of fish and even a sea urchin! Chris was so excited to see fish in their natural habitat without having to swim!
The Baths National Park
Trail down to The Baths beach
Entrance to The Caves
Inside The Caves
Large tide pool inside The Caves
Fish in the The Caves tide pool
Going through The Caves took about 15-20 minutes and the reward was coming out to Devil’s Bay. It’s a gorgeous beach surrounded by those giant boulders! It was magnificent. Unfortunately, the weather was still overcast so it was a bit cold going into the water and all my photos are a little dark. It would have been nice if the sun was out but it was still beautiful. By the time we got to Devil’s Bay, we barely had 15 minutes to enjoy the beach before we had to hike back up to meet our tour. We snorkeled and swam for the 15 minutes. It was so disappointing to have so little time there because it was sooo nice!
Swimming in Devil’s Bay
The hike back up the Devil’s Bay path to the Top of the Baths was much worse than the way down. It was longer, steeper, and we were surrounded by cactus and it felt like a desert jungle. It was pretty horrible. We made the mistake of wearing our water shoes during the hike up too. We should have dried our feet off and changed back into our walking shoes. My feet hurt so much. Michelle got 2 bloody blisters as well. I also didn’t wear insect repellent and I got 2 huge, itchy bug bites on the back of my left leg. I’m pretty sure the bugs bit me during that trek back from Devil’s Bay too since it was like a jungle. We realized while making the trek back up that our belongings were in lockers that were at the BOTTOM of The Baths path. Ugh. Bad idea. When we finally got to the Top of the Baths, Danny and Chris went back down The Baths trail to get our stuff out of the lockers and would have to bring it all back up again!! Poor guys. So yeah, if you don’t plan to stay at The Baths beach, don’t use the lockers!!
While waiting for Chris and Danny to come back, I walked around the Top of the Baths area, which included a restaurant, outdoor pool, and a couple of shops. The shops weren’t anything spectacular, even for a souvenir collector like me. The view for the Top of the Baths was lovely though! When Chris and Danny finally got back, we used our free drink coupons from the tour to get rum punch. That was very refreshing! When we boarded the open-air safari bus, I noticed several children with cuts on their legs because they fell on cactus during the walks up and down from The Baths or on the rocks in The Caves. The bus took us back to the ferry. This time on the ferry, we were smart enough to sit inside the air-conditioned cabin with 2 flat-screen TV’s! When we first boarded, they were showing a bootlegged version of the live action “Dragonball” movie and then it suddenly cut to “Paul Blart: Mall Cop”. o_O Either way, it didn’t matter to me. I slept the entire ferry ride back to Tortola! I was so exhausted!!
The “Tour to Virgin Gorda” excursion was a lot more walking/hiking than we thought. The Caves also took longer to go through than I thought it would but Devil’s Bay is absolutely gorgeous. Overall, the time at The Baths seemed too short. The tour description said we would have 2 hours of free time and that wasn’t true. It was so disappointing to only have 15 minutes at the beach but going to the The Baths was truly unique and beautiful experience! When we got back to the ship, the Royal Caribbean ship had left so we had a much better view for Tortola from our balcony!
Top of the Baths pool
View from Top of the Baths
View from Top of the Baths
View of Tortola from our verandah
We both took showers, did some prep for the next day, and then got ready for Pirate Night!