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On Island Time in Paradise with WFR – Tortola

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October 21, 2012

Sunday morning in Road Town Tortola.  This is a beautiful Caribbean town nestled on a harbor between hills.  Almost like a bowl, this small city rests  serenely by the harbor and then meanders up into the hills around it.  Last Wednesday when we arrived, was the first time I ever laid eyes on this picturesque bit of geography. Road Town is the Capital of the British Virgin Islands and has a long history that can be seen in her streets, her alleys and most of all in her people.  This town is the center of commerce, government and all that makes up tourism of these islands.  Since we have been here we have seen both the extremely upscale tourist areas and the beautiful local haunts where it seems if you wait quietly, long enough you might catch a glimpse of the pirates and winches that once gathered here.  From what I have been told this entire town burned about 150 years ago so, almost all of the “old” buildings in town are less than 150 years old.  It is difficult to tell the old buildings from the newer ones at times, but really is in the wood frame buildings that you find the story of the life of this town.

Since we arrived earlier in the week, we have embraced the locals and they have done likewise.  It is not unusual for us to be invited in the homes of the people we meet wherever we visit.  It is no different here.  Last night we had plans to dine out on the town and found ourselves at an open-air bar where the two bartenders, a local couple invited us to dine with them in their home.  Dinner wasn’t until very late since they worked until 10:00 p.m.  We asked what we could contribute and James directed us to a market for fresh fish, veggies and fruit.  We asked what they would like to drink and they told us about an inexpensive Spanish wine they like.  It was a Pinot Grigio and because it was so inexpensive we purchased a couple of bottles and joined them at around 11:00 p.m. at their place on the side of a hill overlooking the harbor.  We grilled fish and veggies and enjoyed a fabulous bowl of mutton stew that Marlena cooked in a pot over the stone grill on their patio.  We enjoyed the wine and the food and the conversation until almost 4:00 this morning when we headed back down the hill to our sailboat.  Sweet Pea was still sleeping on the boat when I came ashore to buy some fresh breads and juice.  I did better than that.  I have found a little shop near a well-known hotel that is equally well-known for its pastries. While I am writing this they are putting together a small package of stuffed breakfast pastries.  They are grinding some locally roasted coffee that will be very welcome to Sweet Pea when I arrive and wake her.

Ah, my package is ready so I am ending for now.  It is time to pay for my goods and head back to the boat and the arms of my sweet wife.

In closing I think I should tell you, if you decide to visit here, you can come by cruise ship but, I would suggest you fly down or sail down so you can spend more time here than the cruise lines will afford you.  Though the city is small, there are more than enough sights and activities here to occupy you for weeks.

William Fair Roberts … on island time in paradise