Time in Tortola

We woke up this morning docked in the port of Road Town, capital of Tortola in the British Virgin Islands. We had been here twice before; on the Arcadia in 2005 and the Ventura in 2012, so we didn’t have any excursion booked today, just deciding to do our own thing.

We spent the morning relaxing and pottering about; Trevor wanted to watch the West Ham v Sunderland match which was being shown at 08:45am (12:45pm at home) as we had nothing to do and all day to do it in. Sunderland lost 1-0. 😦

Afterwards we gathered together hat, sunglasses, sunscreen etc. and disembarked the Adonia for a slow walk into town. It was not yet 11 o’clock but the tropical sunshine was already very hot indeed. We haven’t seen a drop of rain so far this cruise, and in fact the Caribbean sea has been very calm; most of the time you wouldn’t even know you were on a ship, as the Adonia‘s motion has been barely discernible.

Tortola has changed a lot since we were last here, four years ago. We were somewhat perturbed to see that there have been a lot of new, swanky buildings and a shopping precinct built, and there was further evidence of an even greater expansion to the cruise terminal. To me, they are spoiling Tortola; we liked it better when it was a fairly undeveloped port, with little shops, boutiques and refreshment shacks and little cafés and bars, and chickens pecking desultorily at the roadsides. They are going to turn Tortola into an Americanised, commercialised, gilt-edged tacky place like Nassau or Cozumel, with your rip-off merchants and casinos and the ubiquitous Diamonds International. What a shame that some of the lovely Caribbean islands are losing their uniqueness in the name of money-making.

We didn’t really do much; we just looked round the shops and wandered around, then found a stall selling souvenirs and postcards and got a couple to send home. Then, of course, we had to find somewhere to sit and write them out, which would also offer a respite from the sun. We spotted an English-style pub called “Pussers” and went gratefully into its cool, dim interior.

The pub was doing a lively trade. It was filled with nautical memorabilia, reminding us of Tortola’s Royal Naval history and heritage. There were lots of old photos and ship’s wheels, lamps, ropes and life-belts and other maritime mementos.

We enjoyed a cold Carib beer each while writing out the postcards; afterwards we decided to go back on board and enjoy a swim before lunch, anything to cool down really. 🙂

Back on the Adonia we changed and made our way up to the Crystal Pool deck, where few people were around, so we had the pool all to ourselves. Kicking off our shoes, we had to move fast to get into the water as the deck was too hot under our bare feet. It was gorgeous and refreshing in the water, and we swam lazily around for 20 minutes or so, before getting out, drying off and enjoying a light al fresco lunch in the shade.

We didn’t really do much after that. We just relaxed on our balcony and I did some kumihimo braiding and read my Kindle, and just generally whiled away the time in its usual pleasant way until it was time to start getting ready for dinner.

The show in the Curzon lounge featured another show from Lion King singer Phillip Browne; once again his performance was excellent. We then went up to the Crow’s Nest where there was a performance by classical guitarist Robin Hill which was a pleasant and relaxing interlude.

Then, as ever, we finished off by participating in the syndicate quiz but once again our hat-trick of wins eluded us.

Then it was back to cabin A006 to settle down for the night, and once again we slept soundly.

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