Monday, January 25, 2010

There's No Place Like Home, Part Deux...

Tortola, British Virgin Islands...

What a magnificent island this was. Obviously, it was my favorite as I took more pictures here than anywhere else. The temperature was in the 80s and this was the view from the ship when we first pulled in. A beautiful island...




We got off the ship not knowing what we were going to do. We found an open air vehicle that we hopped on - a great choice. Not far from the ship, we saw this site which of course, I HAD to take a picture of. As soon as I got my camera up, the old man was telling us it was "one dollar" to take his picture. We found on this island that "one dollar" will get you just about anything you need.


The driver took us around half the island, up and down hills (and they're STEEP hills!) all the while, him honking at cars coming toward us and them honking back. Is that a friendly thing or "move the hell over"? I never did figure it out. The driver told us a lot about the island and all the "waycation" homes here. There are some magnificent places which I'm sure are owned by rich Americans and British.



You know me, we passed this old car with plants growing out of it and I had to take a picture. The driver laughed and actually stopped so I could get this. "Lady, you want to take a picture of THAT?" Well duh!



The driver told us about this next place where you could have a free "waycation" and stay as long as you want. I bet there's not another prison in the world with a better view...


Your basic island public service announcement...


These flowers grow on all the islands, they're African tuplips and bloom from September through April.


This was probably my favorite "waycation" home we saw. Loved the colors and the style...


We drove to the highest peak on the island where there was a small watering hole and bathroom. The driver was sure to tell us the following important information...

"You can use the bathroom here for free"

"as long as you buy something."

"If you don't buy something, it's costs $1 to use the bathroom."

See, you can get whatever you need for a mere dollar.
Evidently, cock fighting is legal on these islands. He pointed out these fighting chickens.



On the way up one of the hills, they had painted these murals of their culture that I found interesting...


On the back side of the island was a beautiful little village...


I thought about how wonderful it probably was to go to such a small school in such a magnificent place. The kids all looked so happy...



A cow.




Then off to Labadee, Haiti. I had such mixed feelings about stopping here. How could we possibly get off the ship to have fun when just 80 miles away there was such destruction and sadness?

However, the cruise line assured us that the Haitian Government needed and wanted the ships to stop as they employ locals and that all the money spent on the stop would go to the Haitians. They also offloaded 400 pallets of food, water and medicine. They were picked up by UN trucks being guarded my machine gun toting soldiers.



A news crew had brought a water taxi out to take pictures of the ship coming in...


A Haitian sailboat. I found taking pictures of the locals much more interesting than the island itself.


And we finally got in the water and I swam in the ocean for the first time in my life!



It was a wonderful vacation (especially the FREE part!) But to be real truthful, none of these stops were places I would ever go back to. The litter on every island was horrible - evidently no litter laws. I couldn't believe having such wonderful islands, wonderful weather, and the residents don't seem to care about pollution or taking care of what they have. What a shame.

Adam and Elmer are saving up for a trip to Alaska for Adam's graduation present in 2years. While they're gone I'm going to Belize. I'm taking my niece Andrea and we're going to go and discover the rainforests and wildlife of Belize.

8 comments:

Dee said...

Your pictures make those places look lovely-----no litter in sight. Thanks. Its nice to think of them as perfect. But that's the way it is in Mexico too----so littered, so dirty ----- no need to go back there !

You went swimming ! wahhhHoooooo
Don't you love Caribbean water !

kate said...

Those pictures ARE gorgeous; as I was reading about Tortola, I thought "She's going to want to MOVE there!" But uugghh, litter? Really? That's awful, especially for such a gorgeous place.

As for Haiti, yes, they desperately need the money and supplies right now. If the cruise ships stopped coming, it would be devastating for their economy.

YOU SWAM IN THE OCEAN! Wowoweeee!!!! The color was amazing; was the water warm? Isn't it cool, how the salt water helps you float?

I'm glad you had a good time. Now, I about Belize: I wanna go!!!

jaci said...

Wow, Jodi - what a fun time! like you, I would have wanted the photo of the dead car: too cool! And all the lizards - very cool.

I'm glad the cruise line stopped in Haiti - they really do need the money there & the relief.

Now... Would you mind if I "stole" that donkey picture sometime to paint? Just the donkey. He's so sweet. :)

As for the litter... I remember in 1974 when I went to Japan, it was the same thing. All these amazing mountains and wild places, and litter everywhere. Made me so ashamed.

Welcome home!!

Jodi said...

Jaci, of course you can steal the picture, you just have to post the picture you paint after you're done!

Kate, I had a long visit with Andrea yesterday and I told her to do some research on Belize. Wouldn't it be fun if the girls could all go in a few years!

Casey said...

Oooh, that donkey picture gave me a flashback to the cruise I went on for my senior trip, but I can't for the life of me remember where it was. All I know was that it was cute and if you wanted your picture taken, you had to pay for it.

Welcome back! I'm glad you got to see a new part of the world, especially for free.

Kristin said...

Beautiful!! Tortola must be amazing. My girlfriend rents a private house there every year. Says it's her favorite too! Glad you guys had so much fun!

tallulah said...

I'm so glad you had a great time! Pictures are beautiful.

Linda said...

Wow, what great photos. I love the local flavor. Facinating. I'm glad you shared them. Looks like Elmer had a great time, even tho he didn't get to hunt anything.

:o)