Monday, May 27, 2013

Adventures in Paradise: Photo Bomb

Renting a car in the islands is not for the weak of heart.  It's also not for the weak of stomach.  After one evening jaunt into town via the windy island roads here on Tortola, complete with drastic elevation changes, blind corners and sporadic speed bumps - Isla puked all over me.  Not pretty.  Did that stop us from spending five hours in the car the next day? Nope.  We just took it a little easier.

Exploring inland is something that Scott and I vowed we'd do more of this time around.  The coast is great; but life happens inland and while we love to lounge on our boat gazing out at the horizon just as much as the next person, we also love to explore and get a taste of what goes on behind the palm lined beaches.  To do this, renting wheels (two or four will do) is, in our opinion, the way to go.  Thirty to fifty bucks for a day of free-form adventure is well worth it, so we hit up the rental place to get a ride.

"You're license is expired" the nice lady at the counter told me after we had just spent fifteen minutes filling out paperwork.  Huh?  I grabbed my card, did a little math and - sure enough - it was defunct.  Luckily, island folk don't care much for rules and red tape because, after a tense pause the cavalier cashier shrugged and said, "Just be careful, okay?"  Yeah.  This is my kinda place. (Note:  replace license next time I am home.)

After filling up on a local breakfast of deliciously greasy johnny cake stuffed with egg and cheese, we hit the road.  Armed with coffee, sharp eyes and a guide book, we circumnavigated Tortola, making stops all along the way whenever we saw something that looked cool which meant we stopped at anything brightly colored or shiny.

We visited Bomba's Surf Side Shack (more commonly known as "the Bomba Shack") which is exactly as the moniker alludes:  a beach side shack.  But this shack is super famous and - judging from all the underwear that adorns the rafters and fading photos of bare breasted women tacked to the walls - Bomba throws one hell of a party and has a thing for blondes with double D's.  Isla wanted to hang up her diaper next to all the thongs as a funny joke, but we told her that Bomba probably wouldn't appreciate her (very advanced) sense of humor.

We also visited a crazy shell museum.  I say "crazy" because a) we didn't see a single soul there (neither patron nor proprietor) and b) there must have been a million and a half shells in this place.  The floor was paved in shells, the walls were covered in carapace and shells dangled from every conceivable place on the ceiling.  It was like an eerie shell graveyard and must have taken a lifetime to collect them all.  Like Bomba's, colorful signs painted on plywood plastered every square foot of space not occupied by exoskeleton.  Oodles of Bible verses, proverbs and gentle reminders like "slow down" were painted everywhere and despite the misspellings and poor grammar, we enjoyed reading them.

The roads here are insane and driving them is an ear-popping adventure.  Crazy switch backs with blind turns are the only way to climb these steep slopes and apparently the threat of plummeting hundreds of feet to certain death does nothing to tame the speeds of the wheel screeching locals (remember bus ride in Grenada?  It's like that).  Numerous times we pulled off on the shoulder to let more aggressive folk pass.  We had enough to worry about making sure we stayed on the right side of the road (they drive on the left here, we're technically in Britain, after all) and tailgaters were not something we were comfortable with while navigating narrow mountain-side roads.

It was a great day, and we're looking forward to our next adventure in car-renting.
Our breakfast spot.  Cheap and delish!
The Bomba Shack
The fact that we totally match and blend in was unintentional.
Recipe for a successful island bar:  1) Find beach plot 2) construct shack 3) adorn with painted signs 4) serve beer.

On our way to the semi-creepy shell museum
Paved in shells and, again, more painted signs.
Isla loved it.
Have you ever seen so many shells?!?
Isla, examining a conch shell.  This was taken right before she threw it on the ground and broke it.
Throwing things to the ground and practicing with gravity is the newest skill we enjoy.

Do you see us amongst all the signage?
We stopped by a beach for some palm-shimmying practice

A swim.
It's true.  Isla is the real captain of this ship.
This baby oozes love and happiness.


Beth said...

I think you can renew your license online. - as long as you haven't gotten a ticket I believe you can do it all online and they'll send you a sticker to put on your license.

Windtraveler said...

Unfortunately I already got the 4 year extension sticker so I must go in, take the test and get a brand new license. Such a bummer because the photo on my current one is actually quite nice. You don't get lucky and get TWO good license pics in a row. Sigh (wink).

Michelle said...

I love all of these pictures, especially the last one! Just too cute.

Lisa Hanneman said...

These pictures are like a breath of fresh air after the yuck weather we just had over the weekend. Blah. Bring that ocean and sun scented baby home for a visit, please! xo

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