After almost 4 full years, I finally made it back to the BVI for a couple of weeks. To be completely fair, it was a work trip so I saw very little of the island during the daylight hours, but it really hasn’t changed much. All the same bars and restaurants, some under new names & management, but things don’t move along all that quickly on Tortola. Lots of strange faces though, which is sad but expected given the transient nature of the island.
On my one day off (where I wasn’t gorging myself at the Tamarind club) I spent my time circumnavigating the island and taking photos of all my favourite spots. My first stop was Josiah’s Bay beach, where I spent the majority of my beach time in the first few years on the island. Like everything else, the changes were minor apart from a bit of welcomed polishing. The new beach huts were solid and vertical, two things that couldn’t always be said about the coverages of the past.
I drove up the ridge road though the east end of the island and around behind the local prison to capture some great views of Guana Island. The stretch of dirt road along the north eastern most point of Tortola has long bit a favourite area for me, with great views, very few people and often lots of roaming goats to keep you company.
From there I continued around the eastern tip and made my way back towards Road Town, following the ridge road again for it’s stunning northerly views. I made a stop at a very popular pull over point high above Brewers Bay for some iconic imagery.
I skipped through Apple & Carrot bay in order to make my way down to another favourite spot in Smugglers. It used to be an out of the way, hidden beach complete with an honour bar that was almost always empty apart from a few other locals willing to drive the rough roads to get to a secluded beach. Now the roads have been cleared, signed have been posted and the once exclusive beach was overrun with people. I even spotted a pair of local life guards, something I never experienced on even the busiest of beaches during my six year stay here.
There are still a few hidden beaches however, but with the increase in housing development that I saw they won’t stay that way for long. I dread that my next return to the BVI will find the road down to Little Elizabeth Bay paved and the small parking space full of those terrible tourist trucks. It’s only a matter of time I’m sure.
I realize I sound like an old man complaining about how things used to be. Maybe that’s just who I am now? I hope not, I’ve still got a long way to go before I can collect my pension and shout at kids to get off my lawn!
More tropical island type images can be found in the gallery, if that’s your kind of thing.