Demonstrating that our adventurous spirits trump our common sense, we picked the hottest and least windy day to hike Virgin Gorda. The island is beautiful enough from the water, but we felt compelled to torture ourselves with strenuous exercise in the still, stifling, humid heat of the tropics.
The island is by no means flat, so half the hike was uphill and the other half downhill. Downhill is harder on my aging hips and knees, but climbing uphill my breathing kept giving me fits (asthma) and I felt dizzy and lightheaded. Fortunately, Dave filled and wore his Camelback again. I wouldn’t have survived this hike without it.
The view was rewarding, though, and we took blessed minutes to admire it.
We took turns posing on the rocks over looking the brightest turquoise bay. Simply beautiful.
I trailed along behind everyone, huffing and puffing, and trying to keep my breathing under control. But hiking wasn’t even for paddleboard yoga guru Debbie. Nope she felt energetic enough to climb the rocks. Bless her! I’ll admire the rocks from the trail.
Virgin Gorda is covered with cactus and other plants that can handle the fickle rain. But looking down on the bay and the beach resort, you would think it as tropical as Fiji. If anyone dreams of being stranded on a deserted island, just make sure it’s an island that gets plenty of rain. Since leaving Florida, we haven’t seen many of those. Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico might be the only two.
The Turks part of the Turks and Caicos is named for a cactus that grows there in abundance, the Turk’s head cactus (Melocactus intortus). Other islands have them, too, of course. We saw these on our hike. These cactus are so named for their flowering cap that resembles a fez, worn by the Turks.
I don’t think I was the only one that was relieved to see the end of the hike. Back at sea level, we walked behind the resort with the beach we saw from the top, through a mangrove, and by some horse stables where we temporarily lost Vanessa. Debbie couldn’t resist the rocks, but for Vanessa it was the horses. I was just glad to sit and wait on a shady bench. After such a hot and sweaty hike, I could think of little more than getting back to the boat and jumping in the water to cool down. And that is exactly what I did. No wetsuit needed today! Once I cooled down and regained my senses, I realized that we had spent our last visit with Why Knot IV and Indigo. They are both returning to Fajardo, Puerto Rico, to be hauled out for the hurricane season. Pura Vida has already returned to Florida and Mile High Dream has already been hauled out in Fajardo for the season. Here we depart from all our friends and continue on alone.
Francois and Vanessa swung by on their dinghy for last hugs and goodbyes. They said they may join us in India, though, for the Rickshaw Run. How awesome would that be? We sure hope to see them there. But for now, it is time for us to continue moving east and south towards Grenada! Anguilla bound.