Cruz Bay, St John
For the evening of the 4th of July, we went to see the Cruz Bay Fireworks display on St John. Laura had suggested we take a taxi, because the whole island was likely to be there, all fighting over the twenty or so parking spaces they had in Cruz Bay. After making dinner on the camp stove, Tyler and I walked to the front office, and spoke to the taxi driver who was sitting there. (There was always at least one taxi waiting there, sometimes as many as three or four) He agreed to take us into town for $7 each, but only after he got a few more people to make the trip worthwhile. This was no problem, as it was only 6pm at that point, and we had several hours before the fireworks would start, sometime after 9.
Sunset over Cruz Bay
We only waited about 10 minutes before a family of four came along to share the ride. (The open-air taxis they use there, have either two bench seats under an awning, or several rows of seats, depending on which type you get. They can easily seat 10-12 people) It wasn't long before he dropped us off in town, near the National Parks Visitor Center. It was then that Tyler and I had noticed, there were several parking spaces available, many more than there were when we hiked the Lind Point Trail here, a few days before! We could have taken the jeep after all!
We walked a block or so to the bar where we were to meet Laura and a few of her friends, they had come over on the passenger ferry earlier. We saw Keith, who we had met on the Ferry, and Rob, the first mate on the "Reel Tight".
Carnival in the street!
We also met a few more people that I had never seen before. We hung out at the bar for awhile, then the gang decided they were going to walk across the street to a restaurant for dinner. Since Tyler and I had already eaten, we decided to walk around town a bit, as it was a carnival-like atmosphere for the Fourth of July. There were plenty of booths, street vendors, and goings-on. We looked for, and found, a small convenience store, where I purchased a bottle of aloe lotion. I was starting to feel the effects of my sunburn- my back was pretty red and sore by this point! Since I had forgotten to apply sunscreen back at Francis Bay, I basically spent 3 hours with my back exposed to the tropical sun while snorkeling.
Sunset over the boats
I was paying for it now!!
I had a headache, and was starting to feel a little dizzy, so I decided to pick a spot on the beach to lie down and wait for the show to start. I found a good spot, pulled a towel out of my backpack to lie on, and used the pack as a pillow. I was able to get some nice shots of the orange glow of the sunset over Cruz Bay. Tyler didn't feel like staying in one spot, so he decided to wander off and do some exploring on his own, while we waited for Laura and her friends to finish dinner. I just didn't feel up to walking around anymore, as the pain of the sunburn was starting to get to me! It just seemed to sap me of energy... I could have gone to sleep right on the beach!
After about an hour, Tyler came to find me, and told me that Laura and her friends wanted us to join them, at a spot on the beach by a bar/restaurant.
Waiting for the fireworks...I think the sunset is better!
Well, whats wrong with my spot? I'm camped right on the water! Tell them to come here! No dice, though...once Laura makes up her mind, that's it! Ty led me to the bar, (actually it was a series of them, right on the water) We then spent the next 10 minutes looking for a restroom! When we finally found one, there was a long line! By the time we got back, the fireworks show had already started. There was a pretty big crowd there, it was standing room only. They also had a band playing on the sand, and a bunch of people were dancing.
I still wasn't feeling well from the sunburn, so we didn't stick around for too much longer after the fireworks show ended. There were large crowds of people milling around who all had the same idea, they just wanted to get home or wherever they were staying.
Our goal was to find a taxi that would be willing to take us back to Cinnamon Bay
at this time of night! I asked several, but they were all taking full loads of people back to nearby hotels. I was really starting to regret not taking the jeep here, when I noticed an empty taxi parked a ways down the road. We walked over and asked the cabbie, a rather large Jamaican woman, if she would take us. She said "Ya, mon, but I need a full load! Go get dose tree people, who I just turned away! Dey want to go to Cinnamon Bay as well!" It turns out she had just rejected a ride to three drunken revelers, who were now stumbling off into the darkness, about 50 yards down the road.
Tyler on the taxi
Did they think they were going to walk back to Cinnamon Bay?? With those three, plus us, it would be worth the trip, she said, so Tyler took off to tell them the good news. A few minutes later, he came back out of the darkness....with two of them! "Oh, no, no, mon! Must have all tree! said the cabbie. "Where de other one go?" It turns out, the three people were an inebriated young woman and her two brothers- but only one of them accompanied her back to the cab! The other brother was apparently extremely drunk, and continued to stagger off alone in the darkness ahead. Well, the cabbie would not leave with only four of us. I suggested we take off and pick him up, since he had wandered off in the direction we were going anyway.
Tyler with Auntie Laura
... the cabbie said ok, but the girl refused to get on without her other brother! The two drunks then wanderd back off after the missing brother. Tyler went with them, and somehow was able to round up all three and lead them back to the cab. It was like herding three sheep who wanted to wander in different directions! While we were waiting for them to return, another, older, sober couple asked the cabbie if she could take them to Maho Bay... one stop past Cinnamon! Well, they sure lucked out... if we had already left, these folks almost surely would have been stranded there! The time needed to get all the drunks on board, bought them enough time to catch a ride! The drunkest of the three was hanging onto the back rail of the cab... I don't know how we made it all the way back without him falling off...but we did!