St. John Journal - 12.18.07 (Tuesday)

View of Coral Bay from our porch ~ wow.
I kept a journal while traveling last month to St. John, in the US VI and this is my second entry, written December 18th, 2007. To read the first entry, go here. St. John is the smallest of the U.S. Virgin Islands and 2/3 of it is a National Park. The only way you can get there is by ferry or boat! We flew to St. Thomas - via Miami, and then we took the Red Hook Ferry. Here's my 2nd journal entry:

My first full day here. It is evening again and I forgot to write yesterday about all the sounds at night. I think it is mostly frogs and bugs but it sounds like (and feels like) you are smack in the middle of a jungle! When I woke up this morning it was so quiet in comparison to the sounds at night. I also woke up to a beautiful view of Coral Bay. I could simply sit up in bed and see the green hills of the islands and the beautiful blue bay.

We ventured out in the morning -- down the extremely washed out and steep ravine of a road that was paved at the very end, but nick-named by us, "the ski jump". A 4-wheel drive vehicle is an absolute must!! I put up with the drive to and from our place because I HAVE TO! We found our way to the 'Love-City' Mini Mart and Steven made sure to say "Good Morning" to the proprietress, keeping in tune with the local customs. We bought coconut bread (cake), two bananas and an orange-carrot juice (no coffee - and we had headaches later to prove it!). Then we had to make our way on the twisty-turny and hilly roads, watching out for donkeys, from Coral Bay to Cruz Bay so we could sign the papers for our rental jeep. The office was closed when we arrived the night before, but they graciously left the keys with the young man who met us at the ferry to guide us through the dark to our cottage.

We didn't feel like doing a lot today after all the traveling to get here, but on the way back from the rental place we stopped at Maho. This is a place, an "Eco-resort" where you stay in tents - huts on a wooden platform - very inexpensively. I was not sure I wanted to go that route when we were planning our vacation (tents, shared community bathrooms) so we choose to rent a guest cottage for the week -- and upon arrival we were given the whole house because of a cancellation! But I did want to check Maho out and see what it was like. Since we were driving right by on the way back, we stopped. Again, we faced another terribly steep driveway, up to Maho!

made it up the road just fine, parked the jeep and the first thing we came to was the Pavilion/eating area. It has the most beautiful view of the Bay below. Click on any photo for a more detailed view.

Next, we walked on the boardwalk paths that meander through Maho and I checked out an empty tent to see what it was like! The living quarters really did not seem bad at all and the walkway through the "jungle" was really enchanting.

Steven & I continued down the boardwalk steps all the way to the beach which was really quite lovely and private. Of course that meant we had to walk back UP!! I wasn't used to all those stairs and had to stop and rest here and there, but it really wasn't all that bad. In fact, I liked it there; I surprised myself!
We got back on the road - winding back and forth and back and fort, driving ON THE LEFT! We made our way back to coral bay and the 'Love City' Mini Mart for provisions for our cottage/house. We bought fresh frozen fish & steak, potatoes, salad makings, 2 bottles of wine, milk, butter and cheese, fresh bread, frozen vegetables, a fresh sweet mango, and more for $130.00!! But, we figured this would be a lot less money than if we were to eat out at restaurants - and cooking ourselves proved to be much more fun! We finished the day by making dinner and watching a DVD movie in the living room (no cable). Wonderful!!      

by Lenna, as written in St. John on 12.18.07 - the 2nd of 5 journal entries.