A few cylinders, a slippery bridge, and the most beautiful beach I've set foot on

Saint John's Travel Blog

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Johnny with the Red Shoes!
Waking up to music.  When not an alarm, this is always a good thing.  Waking up to authentic Caribbean music outside your ship?  Now, that's how a spring break should be.  Since my stomach/body had gotten used to the 'gentle' motion of the ship, I was a much happy traveler when I woke up this morning.  After lathering up with sunscreen, packing my bag for the day, and making sure my camera was fully loaded, I headed out with our crew into St. John's...capital of Antigua. 

Almost immediately, we were surrounded by taxi drivers asking us if we wanted their services.  We finally got a good deal...after much deliberation.  We asked one driver, then went 10 feet farther and asked another, who gave us a cheaper deal.
Devil's Bridge, on the other side of the island. Talk about cool...
  Finally, we went about 2 blocks into the city and found him.  He, being Johnny with the Red Shoes, gave us the best deal.  He had his own name, his kids are doing well in school and life,  a fairly well known reputation on the island, and he has the coolest pair of red shoes I've ever seen.  They looked hot...figuratively and literally  :-/  

Johnny with the Red Shoes (his name's long, but it really loses its luster if I shorten it) drove us all the way across the city to the east coast.  A place called Devil's Bridge was our destination.  We had heard that it was a sight to see, something really unique that only Mother Nature herself can create.  Johnny with the Red Shoes recommended it too, so we knew it must be good.
Group shot at Devil's Bridge
  When we got there, I was a little disappointed.  I couldn't see much of a bridge, and the land wasn't very attractive at all.  But as we walked over to the edge of the cliff, a huge wave splashed into the side and rose up well above our heads, revealing the awesome power the bridge had created.  It looked monstrous.  And treacherous.  And fun.  The bridge had formed from erosion of the cliff, waves crashing into and destroying parts of the land.  Johnny with the Red Shoes wasn't about to walk across it, but he said those that did always got splashed. 
'The devil doesn't want you walking across his bridge.  You do and be ready to get very very wet.'

I got soaked.  And I slipped and thought that was the end of me for about a half a second.
We got a little crafty with the sand...
  If you fall off you fall into jagged cliff edges and swirling waters and crashing waves.  Not a leisurely dip in a pool.  We hung around there for a little while, just taking in how amazing this site was, then Johnny with the Red Shoes took us to his beach.  Well, not his beach...but the beach you recommended the most out of any.  He took us to Long Bay, close to Devil's Bridge, then told us he'd be back by 5.  Amazing.  Beach time!

When I first saw the bay, I was overwhelmed by how white and how clear the sand and water were.  It was like something you see in the caribbean cruise commercials.  We got our beach towels laid out, scoped out the restaurants, huts and shops, then enjoyed one of the best days at the beach.
Look how clear the water is!
  Ever. 

I say ever because I got to snorkel for the first time in my life.  While the underwater life wasn't that impressive, snorkeling is awesome.  I snorkeled and snorkeled and snorkeled.  By the end of the day, my head was probably underwater more than above water.  In fact, I had an attractive little circle around my face from the snorkeling mask.  But it was worth it.  We didn't have flippers, so it was a struggle to get over some of the larger coral.  But we got out to an impressive 20 feet or so and saw some amazing sites.  This is the first time I wish I had an underwater camera.  There were some cool shots underwater. 

Though, after all this snorkeling....I couldn't help but wonder about it a little bit.
Sunset over St. Johns
  See, when I started snorkeling, I was thankful for the convenient paths that were seemingly natural to swim through.  As I got farther and farther away from shore, the paths continued....in almost too perfect of shape to be natural.  Then I got the notion that these were man-made, which was disappointing.  One, in the fact that I wasn't actually climbing over coral and struggling to become a part of the underwater life, just simply swimming past it as I paddled down the narrow avenues, coral on both sides.  But two, in the fact that coral had to be destroyed for these lanes to be created.  Fish had to pack up and move, plants got chopped down to make paper products and toilet paper.  Well...probably not, but I imagined it like turning a rural area into a thriving metropolis.
My beer of choice on our Caribbean excursion
  I was the Wal-Mart and they were the people who've lived in a house built by their great great great great great great grandfather many many years ago.  It was sad.  I got pleasure out of swimming past fish I'd essentially evicted.  My parking lot used to be their forest. 

Yeah yeah...quit being down to earth and sappy and what not.  Whatever.  I know the earth is over 70% water, but damn.  Can't we as humans leave something alone?

After our beach excusrion (and my Wadadli beer, Antigua brewed......but sorry, not a big fan), Johnny with the Red Shoes came back and picked us up and took us back across the island to our ship.  After a nice shower (haha, yeah right), I met back up with the gang and we headed to dinner.  We went to The Coast for dinner because we saw that there was live music later that night.  We decided to hang around after we ate.  What a great decision that was.  Caribbean music, rasta men everywhere, nobody caring what color you were or how you danced.  My kind of scene.  We danced the night away and got back to the ship around 1 or 2 in the morning.

We've been there and done that in Antigua.  Done and done.
AlexandraQuinton says:
Sounds idyllic. :)
Posted on: May 27, 2008
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Johnny with the Red Shoes!
Johnny with the Red Shoes!
Devils Bridge, on the other side …
Devil's Bridge, on the other side…
Group shot at Devils Bridge
Group shot at Devil's Bridge
We got a little crafty with the sa…
We got a little crafty with the s…
Look how clear the water is!
Look how clear the water is!
Sunset over St. Johns
Sunset over St. Johns
My beer of choice on our Caribbean…
My beer of choice on our Caribbea…
Music to greet us as we get off th…
Music to greet us as we get off t…
Hanging out on the coast
Hanging out on the coast
One of the best beaches....ever.
One of the best beaches....ever.
From the Circus Grill
From the Circus Grill
Which cab to take...
Which cab to take...
Driving on the wrong side!
Driving on the wrong side!
One of the hosts of the 2007 Crick…
One of the hosts of the 2007 Cric…
Wildlife on the side of the road
'Wildlife' on the side of the road
Devils Bridge
Devil's Bridge
Powerful
Powerful
Group shot on easyCruise!
Group shot on easyCruise!
Saint John's Nightlife & Entertainment review
I couldn't decide whether to classify this as a restaurant or a nightclub because it acted as both. In any case... The Coast is the St. John's (an… read entire review
Saint John's
photo by: stevenguyen