Time in Tortola

This morning the Ventura docked in Road Town, Tortola.  Tortola is part of the British Virgin Islands and we had been here once before, on the Arcadia in 2005.  Tortola has a rugged volcanic landscape rising to 1,709 feet at its highest point.  It hasn’t really been developed as a major tourist haunt so its attraction lies in the fact that it is less crowded and preserves its natural charm.

When we looked out from our balcony around 8.00am we could hear a couple of cockerels crowing in the near distance.  This reminded us of last time we were here, when we saw quite a number of chickens walking about loose.  Sure enough nothing had changed, and we saw many hens and roosters pecking around the roadsides.

After breakfast we went ashore to have a look around the shops.  Last time we were here I bought an unusual pair of green wedge sandals, so I wanted to try to find the same shop and see what else I could buy 🙂

We spent quite some time browsing the shops and, indeed, I did manage to find the same shoe shop, but this time none of them took my fancy.  The fashion seems to be for completely flat sandals, and I prefer heels, even small heels to flatties.  So we just walked around and enjoyed stretching our legs a bit after the lazy day yesterday.  We didn’t end up buying anything this time, apart from some cava and a 2-litre bottle of diet Coke to go with the duty-free Absolut vodka we’d bought on the ship  🙂

Back on the Ventura we passed the time in the usual lazy, relaxing way.  We spent some time sitting out on our balcony reading our books, drinking some vodka and diet Coke and watching the world go by.  Then, after an afternoon nap, we got ready for dinner.

Tonight it was smart-casual dress and we went down to the Bay Tree restaurant; yes, it was just the three of us again at our table for six.  In the past we have always got on well with our table companions which is one of the reasons we always choose a table for six or eight, but this time it was not to be.

The entertainment in the Arena theatre featured Clem Curtis, who used to be the lead singer of the soul group The Foundations in the 60’s-70’s.  Probably their best known songs are Build Me Up Buttercup and Now That I Found You.  As I like Motown music I thought he was very good and enjoyed his show.

Afterwards we wandered around the ship, had a look out on deck, and decided to go along to the Havana lounge, as they were showing Steve Larkin as ‘Mercury Rising’; a Freddie Mercury tribute act.  As ever the Havana was packed out and we could only get a seat near the back which meant we had to watch the show on a large screen installed for that purpose.  The Havana lounge is really badly designed for live cabaret; there are hardly any good seats and even so, people tend to move their seats and tables in front of other people, so there’s a fair bit of resentment caused.

We decided to finish the evening off in the Metropolis bar at the top of the ship, where the main attraction is that they feature a famous city skyline on a large plasma screen across one wall.  Tonight’s city was Hong Kong, and as we’d been there twice before, we decided to go there.

When we entered the bar there was a fantastic panorama of the Hong Kong city scape shown at night; the first thing that struck me was the sight of the Excelsior Hotel rising up.  I stopped and stared; it was outside the Excelsior, in Hong Kong’s Gloucester Road, that my sister Tricia was tragically killed when crossing the road in October 1996.  It felt really weird seeing the Excelsior; strange how I should walk into the bar just as they were showing that.

I had a couple of cocktails and enjoyed the Hong Kong panorama (it’s a fantastic city) then it was off to bed in B238.

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