Sunday, November 15, 2009

St. John USVI trip, Part I

We’re back. It took 3 shuttle vehicles, a ferry boat, two planes and our car, but we’re back. As always we had a fabulous time. There were a few hitches along the way but we came back relaxed and refreshed.

The biggest challenge, aside from getting to St. John, are the stairs! They used to have T-Shirts proclaiming “I survived the stairs at Maho Bay Camps.” There are 118 (I think) stairs from the beach to the main boardwalk, and another 60 or so to the restaurant. I always try to prep myself by going up and down the stairs at home a zillion times per day, but it’s never enough! The view you see here is just the beginning of the staircases from the beach to the first major boardwalk thoroughfare. The camps were constructed to minimize impact on the environment, so these boardwalks were constructed; you never walk on the ground to get from place to place.

We had a terrific tent-cabin this time; this was the view from our little deck:

The tent after several days stay – the kitchen area with the deck beyond:

Culling down the shell collection is a night-before-departure requirement!

The wildlife is always a thrill too; we had three resident iguanas who frequented the trees just outside our tent:

Naturally the children loved seeing the iguanas. The boychild in paticular was enthralled by them.

We saw fewer hermit crabs this trip, and no wild donkeys, but during our snorkel journeys I met my goal and saw not one but TWO octopi! I was thrilled out of my tiny mind! Loads of gorgeous tropical fish and barracuda and tarpon, a terrific encounter with a nurse shark, and I got to follow both turtles and rays to my heart's content. I like the corals just as well as the fish - the colors and shapes are fabulous, fantastical gardens beneath the surface.
And hubby made his traditional fish on the beach:

More in another post; off to do another load of laundry! Ah, the worst part of camping!

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