Monday, August 5, 2013

Epic Journey Part IV (continued): More from St. John Virgin Island

Saturday morning, we were excited to more or less stay put.  We had spent all day Wednesday and most of Thursday getting to St. John.  And on Friday, we had to take the long trip back into town to get the jeep. Saturday we wanted to stay closer to home and have a full-on beach day.

Eric and I (and, really, Eric more than me) had spent many hours studying satellite images prior to our trip, and had identified several beaches that looked ideal.  Indeed, one of the reasons we decided we had to get a jeep was to get to Little Lamasheur Bay -- a beach not too far from our eco resort, but that was only accessible either via a long hike (which we weren't sure Kai was up for) or a 4-wheel drive vehicle, because of the numerous and very deep potholes that riddled the road.  We packed our picnic lunches, grabbed breakfast at the resort's cafe, and we were off.

The road to Little Lamasheur was everything the literature promised it would be -- but, Eric has spent a good deal of time in Mexico and El Salvador, and is quite adept at navigating these sorts of roads.  So, it was uneventful getting to the beach (finally -- uneventful travel!)

And, the beach did not disappoint.  It was gorgeous.  Kai, as is her style, was stripped down to her suit and in the water before we had even found a place to sit down our stuff.  We spent the morning just swimming and building sand castles and looking for treasure (this is done by drawing an "X" in the sand when Kai isnt looking and then yelling, "hey, there's an X marks the spot" and then we dig and the first rock we find is the "treasure").  Kai started to draw the Xs all over the place and we spent quite a bit of time digging.  Eric built Kai a treasure box out of the sand, and that was a huge hit.

We also tried snorkeling again.  Kai had to be reminded again not to pop-up every time she saw a fish.  Little Lamasheur was an even better spot for snorkeling then Salt Pond.  We saw all kids of interesting and colorful fish.  Eric had purchased a snorkeling card the day before so we could try to identify the fish we were seeing... although, I'm not sure how much it helped me!  Kai loved seeing the fish, but was a little disgruntled with the water that kept seeping into her mask.  After about 15 minutes, she was ready to head in and eat.

While we ate lunch, we saw our first mongoose in the plants behind our picnic table.  Donkeys, mongoose, hermit crabs, a lizards... the animals of St. John!

After lunch, we decided to go on a hike.  There was a great trail right off the beach that went out to a point.  The terrain on the east side of St. John is beautiful but completely unlike the west side, where we had been 17 years ago.  The west side is lush and rich is foliage.  The east is much drier and there are lots of cactus and the trails are a bit dustier.  It was really beautiful -- but, we kept hollering, "look out for the cactus!"  There were little tiny cactus popping out of the ground and great big cactus trees hovering above us.  We didn't get great pictures of them, but they were pretty cool.  And the view at the end of the hike was really beautiful.

On the way back, we did a little more snorkeling.  Not too much, because Kai was starting to realize that snorkeling was a bit of work and came with it's own set of annoyances.  And, what she loved (absolutely loved) was playing in the water and building castles in the sand.  We didn't want to push her, so it was a quick snorkel and we headed back to the beach to swim and build a bit more before heading back to our resort.

Once we got back, we were all taking turns in the bathroom to get rid of the sand and take care of other basic needs.  The lock for the bathroom enabled you to lock the bathroom from the outside so that when you weren't inside the bathroom, you could lock the door and keep the trade winds from knocking the door around all day and night.  Or, of course, you could lock it from the inside was well.  So, tt was my turn in the bathroom, and Kai walked in and looked at the floor and yelled, "SCORPION!"  Indeed, she was right, there was a scorpion spinning around on the floor.  Before I had a chance to react, Kai was out of the bathroom like a flash.  She ran out, slammed the door behind her and then LOCKED IT.  Meaning, she was out and I was now locked into the bathroom.  With the scorpion.

"KAILEY!"  I yelled, "Come back! You locked me in!"

Eric appeared, saw the scorpion, and flicked it with a newspaper to the far end of the shower.  I ran into the cabin and Kai was nowhere to be seen.  I climbed up the loft and found her cowering under the covers of our bed.  "Did you see the scorpion?" she asked me. "Kailey!" I said, exasperated, "you locked me in there!"  "Well, I didn't want the scorpion to get into our cabin!" she explained.

It's funny, because we have told this story countless times over the last couple of weeks since it happened and now when we tell it Kailey corrects me and says, "well, I thought about locking you into the bathroom, but I didn't do it."  So funny -- she has reinvented history.  She wouldn't lock her poor mom into a bathroom with a scorpion.  Not her!

We did ask our resort managers about the scorpions and learned that on St. John, they are not poisonous.  The sting of the scorpion that lives on St. John is painful, but not deadly.  Good to know.

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