A day on Virgin Gorda!
01 May 2012 | Leverick Bay, Virgin Gorda, BVI
A day on Virgin Gorda! - With time on our hands while we are still waiting for the winds to subside before heading to Anguilla, we decided to rent a car for a day and check out the highlights on Virgin Gorda. The “Fat Virgin” as Columbus called it because from seaward it resembles a woman lying on her back. The island is about 10 miles long with high peaks at the north and center of the island. The guide book listed 5 highlights so we set off to see them all.
First was Gorda Peak which is part of the National Parks. We found the entrance to the ½ mile “walk” to the observation tower off the main island road. Typically the trail went up through the trees and rocks sometimes almost straight up. At the top, it was a little hazy but we could just still see the islands including Anegada 15 miles away! Great views!
Next stop was The Coppermine which is on the south east point of the island. It was mined by Cornish miners from 1838 to 1867 and perhaps by others earlier than that. The remains of the chimney, boiler house, cistern and mine shaft can be seen. (Check out the gallery photos) It is right on the ocean so the views of the water are great also.
We took a little detour from our highlight mission and stopped at Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbour and walked around a few shops and checked out the boats in the marina. David even gave out his business card to a gentleman wanting to sell his older 50’ Gulfstar.
Next was Little Fort National Park. Well we found where this was supposed to be but no way to reach it. But now there is new restaurant built near where the entrance is supposed to be. The owner said there are a few ruins still visible if you climb through the rocks. We settled for a tour of the new restaurant Coco Mio which is set to open in a few weeks and moved on to No. 4.
The Baths! The Baths are giant boulders that form a series of sea pools. It is a must see when you come to BVIs and we had been there number of times, but always from our chartered boat. We were happy to see that the park was well maintained and we enjoyed a nice snorkel, a fresh water shower and a cocktail at the Top of the Baths Restaurant.
On our way to highlight number 5 we stopped at Little Dix Resort. Laurence Rockefeller built this resort and it is lovely. While very exclusive, they encourage visitors to tour the grounds.
Our last stop was at the 19th century Sugar Mill Ruins at Nail Bay. While not as extensive as the ruins on St. John, they are surrounded by a relatively exclusive housing area that is preserving the ruins.
We got back to Leverick Bay just after 5:00 and decided to get a quick bite to eat at Jumbies Bar & Grill. It was happy hour and pain killers were two for one. They also had entertainment. Michael Beam, who has been playing guitar and pirate songs in the islands for years, did his “Happy Arrrr’s Show” complete with a conch blowing contest. It was a pleasant end to a busy day!