Hiking St John

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This morning we left Francis Bay after Jude and Mycah took some no bake cookies over to our sister ship. We really love our new friends, Carlos, Marlene, Patty and Andy. They left the same time we did so we each took photos of each others boats to email to each other.

We motored over to Honeymoon Beach which is just outside of Cruz Bay, where we planned on starting our adventure from. After mooring, we took the dinghy in, and met our friend, Reagan. We became friends with Reagan after meeting him at the dive shop called ‘Beach Bum’, where he works. We walked over to where the taxi’s are, and got a ride up the mountain to the trail head.

The trail we used is hundreds of years old – once used by the Dutch. Reagan explained that all the growth on the island is second growth, which means that at one point every bit of vegetation had been removed and sugar cane was planted in its place. When that all came to an end, the original vegetation grew back.

Along the trail we found many tarantula holes, and tried coaxing them to come out and play, but were unsuccessful.

Many of the trees had air plants growing in them.

So many beautiful plants! I am so amazed at the beauty of nature, and simply can’t get enough of it.

One of the many fascinating trees is what the locals call the ‘Tourist Tree’, because when it gets hot it turns red and peels, just like the tourists do! In cooler weather it’s greener.

Another interesting one is the fake pineapple plant. The base of the plant grows just like a pineapple, but instead of a pineapple shaped fruit, many small yellow fruits are attached to a thick center stem. They taste like pineapple and have a Novocain effect on your mouth. Quite delish!

The pirates used to pick these thick leaves and write on them and use them as playing cards. The writing stays on, turning a yellow color, and the leaves last a very long time.

Other interesting things we saw, are millipedes, which in South Africa, we call Chongalolos. Against Reagan’s wishes, I gently picked one up and held it in my hands. It brought back memories of when I was little and played with them.

Large dead leaves lay here and there, and I thought they were so pretty.

We climbed several peaks and were able to look out at the most gorgeous views. Here is the view of Caneel Bay. The large island in the distance to the right is Jost Van Dyk, BVI.

This shows some of the bays we have been exploring over the past few days.

Here’s Cruz Bay with many boats moored in the anchorage. The town of Cruz bay can be seen with all the red roofs etc. In the distance to the right where all the buildings are, is St Thomas. On the horizon line (it’s hard to see) is St Croix.

And here, the catamaran farthest to the left, is Tanda Malaika. Our beautiful home in a beautiful place.

We eventually made our way all the way down to Cruz Bay, and stopped for an ice cream. What an amazing hike! We were very ready to get in the water and cool off.

When we got back to Tanda Malaika and jumped into the cool turquoise water, and the first thought through my mind, was, I love my life.

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