Thursday, February 14, 2008

St. John Adventure - Day 12 (Caneel Bay)

Unlike yesterday, today was a happily eventful day. First I ran around trying to arrange a taxi ride for tomorrow to Little Lemshure. Since James and Christine are now gone I had to find us two new companions. I eventually became so frustrated that I just asked a random elderly couple that I met in the woods, and they said yes! They are called Frank and Lil and come from upstate NY. Anna, the taxi driver, said that she will only be able to take us to Lemshure if it does not rain tonight, because of the off-roading, mud issues, so let's hope for a clear night!

We made plans to meet Priscilla the Neighbor at a restaurant in Cruz Bay at ~6:15pm, and after some confusion about whether or not we should go anywhere at all, and if so where, we set out with the general plan to go to the Caneel Bay area. Going was slow because we forgot to stop by the locker to get some taxi cash (for later tonight), so I had to double back while Husband waited for me by the side of the road. As I was coming out of the campground a car was passing with two women in it, who, even though it must have seemed sketchy, agreed to pick Husband up from "somewhere up the road". It was actually fairly humorous to see Husband's reaction when a car with these two young women pulled up to give him a ride, since he did not know I was inside!

They dropped us off right at Caneel Bay, an intimidating establishment with a guard and a gate. The lawns were immaculately groomed. Fantastic landscaping had been done to convey the feeling of the tropics. A bunch of bananas hung right over the path. Cast iron tables were scattered among some sturdy-looking ruins, with candles lining every crumbling nook. All in all it looked polished, expensive and staged, like a paradise more real then the one beyond its walls.

We could not get a map, but someone pointed us in the direction of the beach. Actually it seems that Caneel Bay sits on at least three beaches, and we swam at the junction between Salomon and Honeymoon. The snorkeling was great, lots of live coral, especially huge stag horns, and very many colorful fish. At one point a platoon came along and dumped a mass of life jacked wearing snorkelers, so it must have been a prime location. The coolest part was that after you took a step into the water there was an immediate drop off, so you would go from ankle to waist deep instantly, making it oh so difficult to get out of the water with all the waves throwing you around.
I was really dizzy after we swam. It seems that it takes me longer and longer each day to get my footing on land after being water-borne. But we still had a ways to go. Around 4pm we began walking towards Cruz Bay on the Lind Point trail, which we hoped would get us there. It was fairly easy and afforded a most beautiful overlook of the harbor.

We came out of the woods at the National Park visitor center, which was closed, and I did a little switcheroo, secret-agent style, in the bathroom, entering as tough hiker chick and exiting as breezy tourist in dress and flip flops. We also saw what appeared to be a baby iguana, which is the only one we've seen so far at all.

After walking around town for a little while and checking out souveneirs, which were REMARKABLY expensive we met Priscilla in Rhumb Lines, a resturant with fantastic ambiance and delicious cuisine. It is an open air place, with thatched roofs and little canopies above tables, palm trees, fairy lights, bamboo placements, bohemian lighting and plush pillows with cast iron chairs. I had Jamaican style stake with horseradish potatoes and stuffed mushrooms, as well as a mango gaspacho. Husband had gingered salmon with palenta and veggies, and a rum and coconut drink.
After dinner we went to what could be called a bar, so that Priscilla could have a strawberry dacquary. While she enjoyed her drink I went into a little gift shop, where the I was just checking out some jewelry when the shop keeper told me to come back when I get my allowance. I still am not sure what that means. Any ideas?


maeverin said...

maybe the shopkeeper saw your wedding ring and thought "this girl couldn't possibly have any money that wasn't given to her by her husband (for an allowance)"

coming from a retail background i have seen this a lot, and especially in a tourist situation.

or maybe he/she thought you looked young.

Paulina said...

I think I've decided that it was a rude comment. But I still don't know why he said it. I told him I was just looking around, maybe that ticked him off?