Tortola, British Virgin Islands

 In Honeymoon Planning

During our years at sea, Cassandra and myself were fortunate to be able to visit many exotic islands along the way.  They each have their own special memories for us. While

 Long Bay offers stunning panoramic view

Long Bay offers stunning panoramic view

working to gether on the Carnival ms Holiday,  we had the pleasure of visiting the lush mountainous island of Tortola on a weekly basis.  Our typical itinerary was to depart from San Juan Puerto Rico every Sunday around 5 pm.  Monday mornings we would wake up docked outside of Tortola – the pearl of the British Virgin Islands.
Tortola is also known as “land of turtle doves,” or Chocolate City. It is the Territory’s main and largest island, with a population of over 14,000. Sage Mountain is the BVI’s highest point with a National Park at 1,780 feet above sea level. Tortola’s mountain peaks are covered with frangipani and sage on its southern coast, while its northern shores flaunt white sandy beaches, groves of succulent bananas and mangoes and groups of palm trees. Beef Island, the site of the BVI’s main airport, is connected to Tortola by a bridge. Road Town, the capital of the BVI is located on the southern shore of Tortola.
A few days after I met Cassandra, I needed a huge spot for our first date.  I had heard about a spot called “Virgin Gorda”. Virgin Gorda or “Fat Virgin,” refers to a protruding mountain seen by Columbus when he first encountered the island. It is second largest of the British Virgin Isles at ten miles long and two miles wide (8.5 square miles), and a population of about 2,500. Virgin Gorda is known for its yacht clubs, quiet coves, and safe anchorages for bareboats and yachts.

The day started off pretty well. Being a well run British Island, Cass was able to find some of her precious UK chocolate at one of the local shoppes. Her favorite is a Bounty bar (Coconut covered in dark chocolate – very similar to a Mounds). We caught a scenic ride up the coast past the majestic Long Bay.  Eventually we could drive no further so we chartered a boat to take us to Virgin Gorda.  Once we arrived, we took a bus to the tip of the island. We found a brilliant restaurant that overlooked “The Baths”. The Baths is a remote beach covered in beautiful giant rock formations.  It’s a great place for snorkelling, hiking  and frolicking in the surf. After a sumptuous meal of local island fish and conch fritters, we did just that! Later that day we caught a romantic  water taxi ride back to the mainland. Our ship sailed at 6 so we always had to be punctual.
Tortola was one of the most laid back and relaxing islands we visited. It was not overcommercialized and was ensconsed in a carpet of lush forestry. Less than a three-hour flight from Baltimore, Tortola is easily reached by a number of Cruise Lines. The weather is sunny and 80 degrees routinely through the winter with an occasioanl quick splash of rain around lunch time.
Our first date there was an amazing memory and we hope to get back and see it again soon.
The Rox

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