Thursday, August 8, 2013

Epic Journey Part IV continued: Last Day in St. John

Our last full day in St. John! 

We decided to spend the morning heading to the west side again in order to go to Maho Bay, where there is a nesting ground for giant sea turtles.  Kai was not too excited about the idea of more snorkeling -- but, she was intrigued about the sea turtles.  So, we set out in the jeep. 

Although St. John is a tiny island, it is also quite hilly and there are not many roads.  So, it takes about 45 minutes to get from the eco resort where we were staying to the beaches on the west side.  Every time we piled into the jeep, Kai started chattering up a storm.  It was hilarious.  I wish I could remember more of what she would go on about -- but, she kept up a steady stream of questions and chatter the whole time, jumping from topic to topic.  So, the car rides were always entertaining -- although, sometimes a little trying since she never stopped talking while in the jeep!  

We got to Maho Bay at about 9:30 in the morning and saw another group of snorkelers in the water -- we figured that must be where the turtles were so we hurried and put on our gear.  Kai did so a bit reluctantly, but we insisted that the sea turtles would be really cool.  Once we had on our stuff, we headed out and were almost immediately rewarded with the sighting of a giant sea turtle.  Kai was duly impressed but then claimed that she was done snorkeling for the day.  We wanted to see more turtles, but Kai wanted to build castles in the sand.  We all got out and headed down to the other end of the beach, which was near the rocks and coral, thinking that Eric and I could take turns checking out more of the underwater life.  

Eric went out first and I stayed back with Kai to build sand castles and dig for treasure.  Kai decided to head back into the bush behind the beach to gather more sticks and "treasure".  Suddenly, she yelped and then went hopping on one foot to the water.  She was screaming and crying and stuck her other foot in the water.  I had no idea what was going on, and Kai wasn't communicating.  I asked her if she got stung and she just kept crying and then sat down and started examining her foot.  

Eric was still in the water, but he heard to commotion and came out to see what was happening.  Kai still hadn't calmed down and wasn't letting us get much of a look at her foot, but I could see that one of her toes was red and a little swollen.  We looked around to see if we could figure out what got her, but there were no clues.  Worried, we ran with her to the car so we could get back to our cabin and get her some Benadryl. 

It was a stressful drive back.  Kai was crying the whole time.  Her toe looked like it was getting  a bit more swollen.  I thought maybe she had stepped on a bee, but it also could have been a scorpion, a stinging cockroach, or the spine of a sea urchin.  We really didn't know.  

Once back at camp, I took Kai into the cafe to get some ice and Eric sprinted to our tent (not a small journey!) to get the Benadryl.  Kai was starting to calm down.  Some other resort guests got her some spray to take away the stinging.  We gave her Benadryl and finally got a good look at the toe.  It hadn't swelled much more, so we figured we were OK.  Kai fell asleep about 30 minutes later and slept for some time.  

When she woke up she said, "hey! My toe is all better!"  And jumped up and asked if we could go to the pool.  She wasn't limping or complaining about it at all.  So weird.  It still looked red, but Kai said it didn't hurt.  Yea! 

We spent the afternoon swimming and then decided in the late afternoon to head back to Salt Pond Bay, the beach that is closest to our resort.  It was a cloudy and drizzly day, but we still had a good time splashing around in the ocean.  

Once we got back to camp, we changed -- even getting a little dressed up -- because there was live music in the cafe that night.  We got a great table and had such fun listening to the music.  Kai befriended the daughter, Charlie, of the guitarist, and they ran up to the pavilion above the cafe to play games together.  After a bit of a stressful morning, it was a great ending to our day.  We listened to the music, watched the sunset, and took comfort in the fact that while we had to start our long journey away from paradise come morning, at least we were leaving to another part of our journey.  Vacation was not over.  

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