Day 14-St. Thomas US Virgin Islands


I’m behind on writing yet again.  Too much to do. 

Another warm sunny day in paradise.  We ate another early breakfast on took off to see the sites.  We booked a shore tour for the day at the last minute just after we got off of the ship.  The Paradise Tram and St. Peter’s Greathouse looked like it my be interesting.  We both love panoramic views.

On the way to the taxi, we got distracted and had to stop for a bit.ST catchin some raysST iguanas (1024x683)

These characters were hanging around the dock.  I heard later that they would rush over to the nearby restaurant and beg for goodies when someone sat down to eat.   They were very wary, but could be approached if you were slow.  Get too close and they would threaten you.  By close I mean 1 foot.  They were black in color, I’m used to seeing green ones.

Time to pick up our taxi

ST local taxi (1024x683)

and take off for adventure.  Not much of an adventure, though.  Just a relaxed drive through the streets.  Look at the driver and the steering wheel.  Now check this out…

ST drive on the wrong side (1024x683)

We are driving on the wrong side of the road.  St. Thomas is peculiar is this respect.  The vehicles are American made with the steering on the left side, but a person drives on the left side of the road as they do in Europe and Australia and for that matter, most of the rest of the Caribbean islands.  Our guide said that this was because the donkeys in the old days didn’t like to pass on the left, so traffic was made to pass on the right.  Sounds a bit far fetched (I doubt if a donkey could tell left from right), but I’ll have to run with it until I hear differently.   Maybe the smartest donkey in the world was alive back then and set up the traffic rules.

ST tram start (1024x683) - Copy

The start of the tram ride up the mountain.

ST dreadlock net  (1024x660)

I got a chance to get a shot of the dreadlock nets that many of the locals wear.  Looks hot to me.

St me going down (1024x683)

The Celebrity Summit behind me.

ST Paradise point (1024x683) - Copy

From here you have a view of the entire area.

ST sailboats and houses (1024x683)

ST view from top (1024x683)

We got to hang around for about a half hour, we got a free rum punch and looked at the trinkety BS on sale.  While waiting for the return, I spotted this little guy.

ST lizard cropped (1024x581)

Rather look at this!  The yellow stripe intrigued me, looks like a bird could spot this species of lizard easily.  But there were a lot of them around when you got to looking.

While waiting for the tram car to return, I suddenly thought I was seeing things.  Being on board a rocking ship for three days had upset my equilibrium.   The upper platform seemed to be moving.  The people running the tram got a big kick out of me rubbing my eyes and staring.  But I spotted what was going on and realized I wasn’t going crazy after all.

ST surprise (683x1024)

A large ram tightens the cable so the cars won’t rock when you alight.  It moves slowly, but I had detected the movement.  But I sure thought I was nuts for a moment.

Time to be off and around the island.

ST Drakes chair (1024x683)

Drake’s Seat.  Story was that this was Sir Frances Drake’s favorite place to sit.  It overlooks Magen’s Bay.

ST Magens beach (1024x683)

Magen’s Bay was owned by a person that donated it as a park to the people on the island.  This kept the wealthy people from ruining it with their fancy beach houses.  Sheltered and pristine, it is the favorite beach on the island for both locals and tourists.

ST seaplane (1024x469)

I spotted a seaplane landing while at an overlook.  This person was busy all day long.  Must have been an air taxi service.

Last stop on the tour was the St. Peter Greathouse.

ST great house entrance (683x1024)

A wooden walkway lead you around to visit the property.

ST gh cafe (1024x683)

The restaurant.

ST gh banquet room (1024x683)

The banquet room.  This was set up for a wedding reception.  And the grounds…

ST gh baby cocos (683x1024)

A couple of coconut trees allowed me the first good close up view of this fruit.  These are the babies.

ST gh cocos (1024x683)

and the older “orange” fruit that the locals prefer.  And lots of flowers.

ST gh flowers (1280x853)

ST gh novia with flowers (1024x683)

ST gh red flower (683x1024)

And a few parrots.

ST parrots (1024x683)

All in a lush tropical setting.  Back into the taxi and return to the downtown area.  Time for lunch.  We chose this one as the lady seemed to be very polite and nice.  Other people were hollering out about their food, she just smiled.

St lunch (1024x683)

The food was unremarkable, but filling.  We walked around the area and both a few things and then caught another taxi back to the ship.  Nearby were a couple of toys.

ST yacht (1024x683)

I caught one of our fellow passengers looking this one over and I jokingly asked him if he owned it.  He scoffed and his reply was priceless, “Hell, I couldn’t even afford a port hole!”

ST THE yacht (683x1024)

The Northern Star, berthed next to us.

ST The yacht two (1024x683)

There was a crew of at least 9 on board and probably more.  A truck showed up with supplies and 6 more people showed up to haul the goodies (looked like groceries) in.  It has two shore boats.  There was another that you can’t see in this photo that was stored on the bow.   I could see two hot tubs as well.  The crew polished and washed and cleaned and dusted and scrubbed and puttered all day long.

A bit of a financial disconnect.  While there are some very wealthy people onboard the Ryndam, I don’t think there were any that could come close to affording this.

Next stop, St. Johns, Antigua.  British West Indies.

12/17/12 10:00am 1 hour east of Eastern Standard Time.

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About Ken

I am a federal employee that loves to travel. I don't get any time off during the busy salmon tagging season, March through November. So, I save my leave and explore the warmer parts of the world during the winter.
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