Leaving the BVI
I knew the time would eventually come for us to leave the British Virgin Islands and the Caribbean. We knew our April departure would come up all too quickly and we spend the last days frantically cramming in activities we once thought we had plenty of time for – diving, boat trips, beach visits, food to eat, sun and warm water to glory in.
I had more trouble leaving the islands than Barry so when he left to head straight back to Edinburgh for a stag weekend, I spent a few more days with Claudia. When Claudia had to leave too, also to Scotland, for her sister’s wedding, I started my own island hopping adventure.
Tiny Tortola/Beef Island airport and WinAir Airlines provided a tiny plane for the puddle jump to Sint Maarten/St Martin, and was only delayed by a little bit. I got seat No. 1, literally behind the pilot.
Our trip to the Caribbean gave us one of our most luxurious house sitting assignments (as well as giving Claudia a couple of weeks’ break from house guests). We love pets and we love house sitting so Claudia didn’t hesitate to recommend us when her friends found themselves without care for their two puppies just days away from heading Northern Europe. After we met them, we didn’t hesitate to accept.
Coastal and Geronimo are two of the best trained dogs we’ve looked after. Only a year old at the time and still puppies, they were very obedient. Their owners had put in a lot of hard work to make sure they waited patiently (with pleading puppy dog eyes) until they were given a command to eat. The puppies worked for their treats, lying down, shaking hands, etc. It was great fun.
Coastal, as a beautiful white Labrador, might have been the bigger of the two but it was Geronimo, the teeny Yorkshire Terrier, who ruled the roost. We don’t think Coastal ever got to lie in his big bed.
Peter Island is home to an exclusive resort on a reasonably large island in the Caribbean. When you’re living with your friend in Tortola, you don’t have to pay a small fortune to stay there, you can just hop a boat and turn up on the beach.
St John was a top recommendation for our trip to the Caribbean. Time was running out so Barry and I had to leave Claudia to her nutso 33 mile Tortola Torture race and hope the ferry over to the American Virgin Islands.
The trip from Tortola’s West End to St John is a very short ferry ride and easy day trip. I did my best to forget about the extra cost in departure tax from the BVI as the wind whipped through our hair and we crossed yet more turquoise waters.
The British Virgin Islands only grant visitors from most countries a stay of up to 30 days (so mean). Obviously, my moonlighting as a local islander and chilling out on BVI beaches and boats while staying with Claudia was going to take longer than that so the Easter break seemed a perfect reason for Claudia, Barry and I to flit off to San Juan for a visa run. And flit we did, in a tiny Seaborne Airlines plane (actually sizeable for the Caribbean) that takes about 45 minutes to cross the water (Barry still managed to have a nap though).
San Juan, Puerto Rico