The Roads to Road Town
Tortola Travel Blog› entry 8 of 9 › view all entries
When the ferry returned to Tortola from Virgin Gorda, Drew and Julia wanted to go back on the ship. I was up for more exploring. So, I headed off the wharf at Wickham's Cay 1 to walk down the street into Road Town, the capital of BVI. I had to set foot on Tortola proper and officially say I had been there!
Outside the passport control tent was a popular vendor market area, but I pressed on down Administration Drive. Road Town began right there at the end of the dock, unlike Charlotte Amalie. I noted the geography of Tortola was very much like St. Thomas. Green hills and peaks rose right up from the coastline, with houses and red Flamboyant dotting the hillsides. The main part of Road Town hugged the narrow coast. To the left was the new looking BVI Administration Building. To the right, a few shops and banks. (Offshore banking contributes a significant amount to the BVI economy.) Road Town was not nearly as populous, or prosperous looking, as Charlotte Amalie. But, like it American cousin, tourism is vital to the economy. (There were many very nice small craft and sailboats moored at Wickham's Cay 2.) Despite the pirate themes prevelant in St. Thomas, Tortola was the real pirate haven during the 18th century and Blackbeard and his crew operated from the island. In 1774, the British Virgin Islands were formally organized as a colony and the days of buccaneering waned.
I soon reached the end of Administration Drive at Waterfront Drive. A sign announced that a traffic light was soon to be installed at this intersection, Road Town's first. I turned left to hopefully follow Waterfront Drive to the Old Government House Musuem. More stores and retaurants lined the street. I did stop at Pusser's Pub and Company Store. I had to find Tortola and The Baths magnets! Pusser's is famous for its rum and rum drinks. But, no "Painkiller" served in a Navy mug today. Beyond Pusser's was the ferry dock and then the Governor's Office in a pretty setting.
I had hoped to see the historic sites of the Old Government House Museum and Fort Burt (1776). But, there just wasn't enough time to walk further on down the street to those sites and then return to the ship. (I should have taken a Taxi from Wickham's Cay.) I hailed a taxi near the ferry dock. The taxi ws a true family operation. It was a family Toyota minivan, with dad driving, mom in the front passenger seat, and their two boys in the back. (The boys slid the door closed from the window.) Taxi fare was $3.00 back to Wickham's Cay 1, plus tip.
Carnival Miracle sailed at 2:00 p.m. From the Lido Deck, I watched as we slipped out of Road Town passing attractive houses lining the shore. Numerous sailboats, catamarans, and small craft passed in review as we sailed away. Farther out in the bay was the Royal Fleet Auxilliary ship Wave Runner. (Nice posting, Tortola.) I still hadn't had lunch, so went to the Horatio's on the Lido. A different international cuisine is offered each day at Horatio's and todays selection was Greek. I enjoyed soulvaki, greek potatos, and greek farmer's salad as the many other islands in the BVI chain made an appearance.
As the ship passed the many islands in the BVI chain, I met up with Susan in the Fountainhead Lounge. She told me of her