Arrived by ferry at Tortola, British Virgin Islands!
Only got three days here. I thought I'd have up to thirty days.
Small place, basically like the USVI but a somewhat more British accent, and somewhat different population and geography.
Like the USVI, BVI is scenic but not of much other interest to me. Now prepping to leave ASAP!
Kind of fun to have so short a time to find another place!
[Ed.: Also kind of not.]
I made up a word that seems to match the Caribbean, and my schedule:
Exactlyish (adj.): At precisely the appointed time, more or less.
Out of battery, found a café to charge up. Had a bacon butty with HP sauce. Bland. Get me to the French Caribbean!
By the way, I can't count the number of times I've thought to myself recently: I can't wait to get to Venezuela!
I'm feeling like an experienced traveler.
Reciting my recent countries at yet another immigrations officer.
Struggling to book another ticket, things going wrong again.
Hanging out at different transportation stations.
I think it's a normal part of travel, or anything really, for things to seem to be going all wrong for a while. It's important to keep at it, working towards success.
Things come and go in waves.
The southern Caribbean islands are next. There are several different island groups. I started in the northwestern ones, near the US, which happen to be the larger countries. I've worked my way down through much of the mid-Caribbean. Now I'm looking to get to the southern islands, near South America. Not going to every island, I feel like I've had a taste of the culture and geography of the main island groups.
The locals in BVI often seem rude to me, but some visitors and immigrants have been quite nice.
I now have a ticket to Guadeloupe. Hoping I get in, and a decent duration of stay!
Got a lift much of the way through the rain, to Beef Island, BVI.
Camped out right near the airport!
In the morning, went in.
I still haven't received the final confirmation of the ticket from the vendor. I'm getting nervous, but excited to (probably) get out of here!
There was a chicken walking around the airport, and now I've seen a cat walking inside the terminal!
Got to the counter before they had started checking in my flight. The woman let me through anyways!
Relieved, I went through security. They complained about my wet, dirty camping gear. Still, I got through.
While waiting at the gate, one of the staff came and asked me to go back to check-in.
There, they asked if I had a return ticket. I explained that I was going to ferry to other islands.
They told me that I couldn't take the camping gear as a carry on, so I had to repack it with my other checked-in baggage. They also said that I couldn't board without a return ticket. They asked where I had a reservation. Then they had to make a phone call.
After a nervous wait, the woman came back. She said that the place where I had a reservation didn't even exist! I said that it did, and showed her the reservation on my phone. Meanwhile, I had repacked my stuff, with some tape and assistance from the staff.
Finally, after some more questions, she let me through again!
After she reprinted my boarding pass, she had to load the repacked luggage. It was too heavy, she said. I lifted it up to show her. She asked me to put it on the conveyor belt. So I hopped over the scale, behind the counters, and loaded my luggage onto the belt!
Flew through stops in Sint Maarten and Antigua and Barbuda, to Guadeloupe!
The planes had nice aromas, not sure if they added those, or if I just sat near people wearing perfumes on all flights.
When I landed, It was late, I didn't see any messages from the place where I had a reservation, nor did I see any shuttle buses, so I decided to camp by the airport!
Jusqu'a maintenant, j'adore Guadeloupe!!!!!
Les personnes me parraient plus gentilles, respectueuses, interesantes, belles, et plus.
Le pais aussi me parrait beau.
Je veux voir plus!
Je doix pratiquer mon francais.
Il y'a des signales pour les activités de vélo!
Beacoups de cyclistes qui vont passant!!!!!
Je suis en amour, son nom est Guadeloupe!
Here's a quick overview of my last year, if you're interested.
After a couple of years refreshing at the beach, I'm back on the road of adventure!
Over the last year, I've traveled by boat from Miami to Bahamas, walked through Bahamas, walked across Cuba, walked and biked around Puerto Rico, biked around Dominican Republic, biked and bussed across Haiti, spent a night in a detention center in Turks & Caicos (it's a country), and walked and biked over the US Virgin Islands!
You can see tons more of my writing and media at Worlds O Wisdom, which reached its thousandth post this past year!
This upcoming year I plan to continue through the Caribbean, and probably return to the continental Americas.
Keep on going!
After walking to one side of this island, found a swampy place to camp.
In the night, I felt something on my head. Brushing it away, it looked like an animal. A lizard? Later, I felt something like teeth or claws on my hand. Again I brushed it away. Looking around, I could see a handful of small animals, rats I think. I found another camp spot.
Took a ferry to the third island in the US Virgin Islands, St. John. So far I think it's my favorite of these. It seems smaller, more charming. Still has the same overall feel to it as the other USVIs.
I find it difficult to get things done on these islands. They're understandably catering towards tourism, so they're not very practical. Often tough to find wifi, the food and lodgings are expensive, tons of distractions.
While I was lying on the beach, a Dominican woman who works here came up and said hi. She later asked if I smoke marijuana or crack!
Tons of challenges in traveling to new places, on top of the ongoing challenges. Have to adapt!
Slowly, while appreciating the ride, getting towards one's goals!
Rough night. After I'd fallen asleep, camping on the beach, someone woke me up and asked me to leave. Apparently they have private beaches here. Found another spot, off in the middle of nowhere, fell asleep, then was woken up again by a different person! Finally, third time's a charm. Tons of hill climbing, but managed to get some sleep!
Finding ferry info is always fun in the Caribbean. Contradictory schedules and prices, often out of date. Likewise, finding when a food place is open.
I'm now thinking that I'll probably leave USVI somewhat earlier than expected. It doesn't look like there's much more that I want to see on St. John. It's a pain to get anywhere, on the islands or among the islands, and everything is preposterously overpriced, as on many of these small Caribbean islands. They've basically turned these entire islands into Caribbean theme parks. It's OK for what it is, but I have tons of other activities that I want to do now.
The places are extremely beautiful. Every day I'm here I appreciate the beaches, the plants and animals, the food and music, and more. I do like being here, but I also want other activities which are impractical for me here, like more consistent work, and meeting more people who aren't on vacation or working in the tourism industry.
I'm aiming to get some more planning and work done this weekend, instead of walking over to the other side of the island. Then maybe I can catch a ferry this Sunday or something. I don't yet feel ready for the British Virgin Islands, my next stop. Still, I'm ready to move on.
The BVI looks from what I've researched so far like a comparable area to the USVI. They even use US dollars there. I think I'll find some novelty in it, plus the ongoing pleasure of being in the Caribbean. However, I think I'll also want to leave there after not too long. Maybe spend a week or two on some of those islands, then carry on to other islands.
The rest of the Caribbean strikes me as largely these smaller touristy islands. I'm looking forward to the French ones (like Martinique), and the other European-associated islands, for differences in culture. Not sure how European/American/Caribbean they are. I had thought that Dominica would be more Spanish, but the place names on the map are largely in English. I'm also looking forward to Trinidad & Tobago. If I remember correctly, then it has a sizable Indian population.
Made it to St. Thomas, USVI!
It's a larger-seeming place than St. Croix.
Comparable scenery, but more elevation.
Had a rough ride getting here. Woke up at like three a.m., in the rain. Walked along the rough roads. On some I was on trails, reaching a dead end. Went back another route. Flat tube, broken tire. Barely making it!
Sea sick on the ferry.
Now already looking forward to next island!
Found a place to work, then camp. As I was pushing my bike into the area, noticed the front tire was pushing up against barbed wire! Then, as I walked into the place, felt stinging pain in my legs. Wasps!
People here in St. Croix, USVI seem loud, and often rude. There are notably exceptions.
An ongoing struggle to get wifi, water, electricity, food.
Doing what one can, when one can.
At least the scenery's beautiful!
Tons of rude people in USVI.
Things cost five to ten times more than on other islands, are of often lower quality, and with ruder service.
Soon going to the next island!
People here seem talkative. People say hi, chat, much more than in other places I've been recently.
(Not always friendly, but often talkative, sometimes friendly!)
Fixed up the bike so that it rides!
Before, I was only comfortable walking it, which was still a huge improvement over carrying my stuff.
Nice scenery here in USVI.
Overall, I prefer traveling in Latin countries. I like the food better, I find the people friendlier, and the places are often more affordable.
I'm still unsure how long to stay on this island. Depends on the ferry schedule.
Looks like I'll be here on St. Croix until at least late next week. Maybe I'll leave the weekend of Friday, February 7, or after.
Having a day when many things seem to go wrong. Still, many things going right, too!
When I catch myself getting annoyed at the lack of amenities here, I remind myself that it's called the US Virgin Islands, not the US Town Whore Islands.
Looks like I'm probably spending at least another week on this island.
Tricky to get around this island!
US Virgin Islands, St. Croix.
They had delicious rum samples upon arrival at the airport!
Beautiful island. Quietest place I've been in a while.
Friendly people. Even the drivers are courteous!
Tasty food, but expensive.
Driving on the "wrong" side of the road.
Not many (affordable) places to rent. Camping.
A few days of rain, but it looks like it's going to be sunny again!
Picked up another bike!
Feet are sore from walking.
Small country. I've already walked to one end of the island, and now getting near to the other end of the island!
Laptop survived some falls, water!
So much catching up to do!
Loud noises disturb me when I'm trying to work.
I can't remove noises entirely. However, I consider it important enough to find decent environments in which to work.
Working. Getting ready to go on!
Looking ahead at the US Virgin Islands (USVI), seems expensive and small. Maybe make this another quick tour.
Three hour walk to the airport, maybe go tonight.
Going again!!!! :)