The Roads to Road Town

Tortola Travel Blog

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Road Town Harbour, Tortola, BVI

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.

Welcome to the BVI!

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.

Carnival Miracle at Wickham's Cay pier, Road Town

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 Tortola excursion. (During the time Drew, Julia and I had gone to Virgin Gorda for our adventure at The Baths, she had taken a Carnival shore excursion around Tortola.) The excursion, via a typical open air "safari" taxi, first took the group from Road Town up into the mountains for a scenic view over Cane Garden Bay on the opposite site of the island.

Yacht harbour at Road Town
Then, the group drove along the shore road to Soper’s Hole. Soper’s Hole was once famous as a hideout for Blackboard and other pirates. (Tortola really was the pirate's lair of legend.)  Today, Soper’s Hole is a terminal for ferries to Jost Van Dyke (the third of the major British Virgin Islands) and St. Thomas and a shopping and dining area. A forty-five minute stop was made for shopping and looking around the community. A major destination there is Pusser's Landing Restaurant and Store, related to the Pusser's I’d visited in Road Town. The next stop was Nanny Cay, a popular yacht harbor.
Colorful hillside at Tortola
Sailboats can be rented here for daysailing as well as charterboats for island hopping and it is a destination for sailing and yachting enthusiasts from everywhere. (One family in port had sailed their catamaran from
Massachusetts to Nanny Cay.) The shore road took the group back to Road Town, while seeing Fort Burt from the highway.
Pooh themed "safari" taxi

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Road Town Harbour, Tortola, BVI
Road Town Harbour, Tortola, BVI
Welcome to the BVI!
Welcome to the BVI!
Carnival Miracle at Wickhams Cay …
Carnival Miracle at Wickham's Cay…
Yacht harbour at Road Town
Yacht harbour at Road Town
Colorful hillside at Tortola
Colorful hillside at Tortola
Pooh themed safari taxi
Pooh themed "safari" taxi
Banking in Road Town
Banking in Road Town
BVI Administrative Center
BVI Administrative Center
Road Town
Road Town
Progress comes to Road Town
Progress comes to Road Town
Tropical fruit vendors stall
Tropical fruit vendor's stall
BVI governors office and residence
BVI governor's office and residence
Pussers Navy grog mug
Pusser's Navy grog mug
Ferry basin
Ferry basin
Commercial pier
Commercial pier
Sailaway from Road Town
Sailaway from Road Town
Tortola
Tortola
Catamarans are popular
Catamarans are popular
RFA protecting the BVI
RFA protecting the BVI
Islands in the stream
Islands in the stream
Tortola
photo by: Andy99