Recently one of our guests decided to do a journal of his experiences at Adagio. What does one do on Virgin Gorda.
Trip report Day 1 - Virgin Gorda, Air Sunshine and more
We first came to VG on a cruise and liked it so much we always wanted to come back so this is our trip back for an entire week. I'm on VG time right now so my posts will come when I can but here are my experiences so far. Flew Delta from Atlanta to San Juan last Saturday with no issues. We had a 2 hour layover to make this connection and we checked bags. No problems with the connection. 40 lbs limit for carry on and with our group of 8 we only went over by 8 lbs, which cost us 1$ more per pound, not bad. Not sure what all of the comments were about Air Sunshine as our group of 8 had no issues with them whatsoever. Yes, it is not as convenient as booking through 1 airline that has a sharing agreement but for $200.00 PP savings over Cape Air, we couldn't pass it up. Not getting my "ticket" until you show up at their gate was a bit unnerving, but it was all good. The landing in Virgin Gorda is part of the excitement of the trip. :).
Rented Adagio Villa, a 5 br villa with a pool. Couldn't ask for better accommodations. Feel like rock stars staying here. Also used Mahogany for car rental and got an 8 person Tahoe that is plenty big to haul our group around. Our car rental person that met us at the airport (Verlyn) took us right to Bucks where we stocked up on food and booze and then led us to our rental. Had dinner at The Rock cafe for the first night and everyone liked the food and atmosphere as we ate outside amongst the boulders. No one in our group had any complaints on the food so that's a thumbs up. When stocking up for food at Bucks and Rosy's, fresh fruit comes in on Mondays to the island so Tuesday is the day to buy your fruit. Limes for gin and tonics are a must :)
The weather has been good and we've learning that the forecast always looks worse than what the actual day will be like so, think positive. I'll post day 2 soon...or maybe not...or maybe soon.... island time is having its effect on me.....
Trip report Day 2 VG The Baths
Every one has settled into our Villa on Mahoe Bay and we decided to head to The Baths to explore and take in the day. The Baths is an easy trip down "The Road" and I was pleased as we had a "no ship day" and the site was not crowded with people. We basically had It all to ourselves and had a great time. They seem to have reversed the desired flow of your trip through the baths since we were here on a cruise ship a few years ago and now you can start either to the Baths or to Devil's Bay. Didn't care for that so since there as no one there, we went through the new "exit" and went through that the Baths ending up in Devils Bay which I prefer. Nice snorkeling in Devils Bay after the rocks and then we all headed up to the top of the Baths after that. We ate at " the top of the Baths" and had a good meal and rinsed off in the freshwater pool and had drinks and a fine meal. All in all, a good day. Ended the day with gin and tonics and a meal at Hog Heaven which was great. Everyone agreed that the BBQ was great. Had the ribs and the wife had the BBQ chicken which was good. Great views there and the service was fine. You simply have to make a stop at Hog Heaven when you are here...good food and great views.
Ladies decided that we needed even more food to stock up on so we headed to Bucks and bought what I felt was the entire store. But...happy wife...happy life.... so all good.... and we have a full pantry.
Trip report Day 3 - Tortola visit
The weather looked "iffy" so the ladies decided they wanted to go to Tortola to shop so off to the ferry we go. Picked up the ferry at the terminal ($30.00 round trip) and off to Tortola we go. The ladies shop at all of the local shops in Tortola around the ferry dock while the men find cigars and "Pussers" for food and drinks. The women keep shopping and the men keep Pussers bar in business for almost the entire afternoon. Both groups considered the afternoon a success. Took the late ferry back and had dinner at the villa. Gin and tonics all around and an early night for us. Island time to really start to take hold as we sleep later...eat more, and generally stop checking email and caring about anything other than our next drink and meal.
Trip report Day 4 - Dive BVI Island Hopper
I thought that to give our group a feel for several Islands that we'd take Dive BVI's Island hopper for a day trip. Booking was easy online and our group of 8 was joined by another couple that made it feel like we had a private cruise. Kudo's to our captain Brad and his fiancé Michelle that took care of us from the moment we got on the boat. We hit several spots including the Indians and the Caves. At one spot we all hoped that we'd see a sea turtle. I hop into the water, look down....sea turtle right below me......then I found an octopus, and all sorts of bright fish, parrots, zebra's, etc. then we're off to Willy T's for lunch. They had called our order in beforehand so the food was ready when we got there....nice touch. I earned some beads by jumping off the top of the boat in the recommended manner ...to the disapproving look of my wife. But after 32 years and 3 kids, I think this marriage will take as her face turned into a smile. No children's morals were corrupted during this jump as we were the only boat there.
After Willy's, we head over to The Soggy Dollar for afternoon drinks where I hear the captain say words I've never heard before "please jump off the boat and swim to the bar"..... alright.... we do...then have painkillers, beer, and relax amongst folks from all over the world.
On our way back, we had options and we spot a very small island called " Sand Cay" where our captain says they filmed a Corona commercial because it was so picturesque. "Hey....lets go there!".....We all manage to get ashore and do an unscripted walk all around the island discovering crabs, birds and generally relaxed.
I'd definitely recommend the island hopper day and the price was right. Again, Brad and Michelle made the day for us.
Back to the villa for hamburgers, drinks, and an early evening as the sun took it all out of us this day. What day is it again?.... what month?.... all sense of time is falling away as island time fully takes effect.
Trip report -Day 5 recovery and Chef Chet
After what has seemed a busy but relaxing trip, we decided to hit the brakes and just lounge at the villa today. We collectively spent the day snorkeling off our Beach (Mahoe), laid around the pool, and then hit Hog Heaven for lunch and for pictures during the day. We saw a Sea turtle off our shore and others saw puffer fish, rays , and more. Very nice snorkeling right out our front door which we're pleased with. We asked the man grooming our yard where we could get some fresh coconut since the roadside stand we had seen earlier had shut down. He said "come back in 5 minutes mon".... then we see him go to a neighboring palm, get the coconuts we needed, then took his machete out (doesn't everyone carry one of those?)' whack it several times, then cut the top off revealing the fresh coconut water for drinks. Pretty cool.... add rum and serve :)... we tipped him for being so nice and adding to our afternoon's entertainment and drinks.
Chef Chet - dinner- the men in our group a few weeks back decided to splurge and unbeknownst to our wives set up an evening with "Chef Chet" for a private cooked meal at our villa. It's the first time any of us had ever done this and it was just a fantastic night. CC has about 7 menu's to choose from and it is a 3-4 course meal he prepares at your villa, sets the table, cooks, cleans up and is generally entertaining. Since we couldn't decide a single menu we wanted, he just said to pick and choose from all of them and he'd cook what we wanted. We had as an appetizer, fresh guacamole with chips, the best coconut shrimp anyone in our group had ever had, duck Salad (great and I am not a fan of duck), home made coconut bread, entrees were pork loin with rum raisin sauce, grilled swordfish, mixed vegetables, coconut rice, beef tenderloin. For dessert we had home made key lime pie with strawberry sauce (I know you're thinking strawberry sauce?, on Key lime pie? Trust me it works), and a banana flambe' (incredible). As we all set staring each other from our food coma, we thanked Chef Chet for a wonderful meal and he cleans up and cleared the table.....just an awesome experience. For full disclosure, With tip and service charge it was $85.00 PP and with the average prices per a VG restaurant, and the fact we have LOTS of leftovers, and that (we laughed about this) the food was cooked on our time not "island time" everyone said it was a good deal and experience. Search Chef Chet on this forum or Google and you'll find him. Up next....our day long excursion to Anegeda with Dave Irwin and DD tours.
Trip report Day 6 - Anegada
Day 6 or is it 7 ?.,,, can't remember.... The VG effect has completely taken hold. I am now convinced I am thinner, better looking, and my jokes are funnier than ever before. I have called my boss saying I am never returning to work and the friends I have at home I've said goodbye to forever.
I have chartered a day-long private cruise through DD to Anegeda and Captain Angel took care of us. Great weather...check....clear blue water...check, cooler full of booze...check.....no cell service...check ...yea! The ride over was typical and bouncy but enjoyable. (45 min). We docked and I picked up a rental pickup with bench seats in the back from L & S rentals eighty five dollars a day.......we rode in the back over to Big Bamboo to have lunch and had an enjoyable snorkeling experience there as well. I had the ribs and the DW had coconut Shrimp which she said was OK. It wasn't as good as Chet's but nothing is as good as Chet's. Great pictures were taken by all and then off we head to the next bar. We drove to a relatively quiet and quite nice Anegada Beach Club just for drinks. Fun bar and nice pool to wash off the salt of the day. Very cool Tent villas on the beach that might be fun to stay in but, probably not for us. We then drove off to Cow Wreck on the North Shore for drinks and the view. Fun little spot just for drinks and a few drinks later we are off.
The return trip back to VG was fine and our day with DD was a fun one and I would rent with them again. Back to the villa for left over Chet's food and gin and tonics by the pool.
As I watch the sun set over a beautiful blue ocean.....I am now convinced that I am the most interesting person in the world....and that VG is where I will spend my final days.
Trip report - Day 7 Ending thoughts
As our last day in paradise comes to an end, I have informed my wife that I will be staying on VG forever and will be changing my name to Raoul and working as a pool boy. She (again) sighs and keeps on packing. I swear however that I will be fine and will also supplement my income as an "island speed bump installer" as there needs to be one approximately every 10 feet on each VG road. Since I am from the US, and this is the BVI 10 feet is approximately 10,000 meters (I'm not very good at metrics).
I awake to yet another beautiful morning with the sounds of gentle surf, hummingbirds, gecko's and great views of Tortola.
Parting thoughts of what to think of when visiting VG and the BVI - Getting here is easy from the states, Delta to San Juan and Air Sunshine to VG was simple. I am not shill for Air Sunshine but the cost was a big enough difference and purchasing the tickets easy that I'd do it again......Buddy Holly plane and all.
We had 4 couples and rented a Tahoe which was perfect for our group. Please remember that any rental car on VG is approximately 47 years old, will have bald tires, most with questionable amounts of air in them, "air" that "kinda" works, and you will be perfectly fine with it. Rush hour on "the road" can be terrible as sometimes 2 or 3 cars can be spotted while you drive. At any given time of any part of a road, goats, cows, and random people will be found. If you hit any of them, it is a small island and the goats will find you. Brian is great and answered all of my questions and helped arrange a truly easy rental and experience for us. I will rent from him again.
There is a surprising amount of good BBQ on the island and not just at Hog Heaven ( the best IMHO).
Bugs - mosquitos, etc, we had very little. A couple of the ladies had a few bites it that was it. Almost bug free in my opinion and I never put on bug spray once. Yes, credit cards are accepted virtually everywhere but always bring cash...plenty of cash. Yes, the price you pay for a bottle of "Kirkland" water and anything else is way more than you pay in the states. Don't complain, it is what it is. Everything is flown or boated in and it just costs more. Dive BVI is great, book any of their tours and you can't go wrong. Anegada is truly unique and yes, it's worth the trip over to see.
Pack your suitcase , then open it up and take half of everything you packed out. You will spend most of your day in a swimsuit and come home with lots of unworn shirts.
Wife says an indispensable piece of clothing was the "rash guard" she wore in the water to protect her from all sorts of things but most importantly, it allowed her to keep enjoying the sun after a sunburn on days 3-6.
Bring more sunscreen that you think and also some for your lips.
Don't worry about figuring out where everything is before you come....it's part of the adventure. When I looked up an address attempting to find a bakery, the address said it was on "The Road"..... you know...the road...as in basically the only road in town. If you can't find something, roll down you window and ask, everyone was helpful and we always found what we needed easily.
You have to go to more than one grocery store to find what all you may need although Bucks and Rosy's has most everything.
Chef Chet was awesome, wives loved it (translation, they loved their husbands) for setting this up. Great meal and worth it.
We snorkeled all over these islands, from Norman Island, Devils Bay, caves, the Indians, just all over, and it was very good everywhere. You will see many opinions as to where the "best" snorkeling is. However we found some of the easiest, and best to be right out our front door at Mahoe Bay. I just saw squid, another turtle, parrot fish, flounder, angel fish , and more. This is all 50-100 feet from shore.
Weather - example Day 1 OMG it's supposed to rain our vacation is toast!..... weather is fine and sunny. Day 2 - OMG it's supposed to rain again!... terrible luck!....weather is sunny and fine. Day 3 - it's supposed to rain....hey...wait a minute...does anyone ever change the weather reports around here?...weather is almost always nice....do not fret when you read the weather reports.as they just use the same report each day. ( I swear) Hmm...maybe I could be a weatherman down here. ...
We will be back and my wife's swears she's taking that taller, better looking , thinner Adonis-like man home with her. That's one lucky guy.