March 2007Wendy Crum
Other notable excursions on Virgin Gorda included a trip to Copper Mine, where you can tour the ancient mine site, and hike a very rugged coast pockmarked with colorful tidal pools that reminded us of the Maine coastline; Little Dix Bay, a quiet and understated resort with an excellent beach; and Leverick Bay, a village with Marina on the far eastern tip of the island.
Eating is always a favorite activity for us, and we found several good spots. We frequented a beachfront breakfast spot on Fischers Bay where you could have tasty omlettes and breads, then swim in the protected cover afterwards. We also liked Mine Shaft Café top of a hills on near Copper Mine – it delivered the excellent sunset views and rum drinks as advertised. On the more gourmet end of the spectrum there was the formal restaurant at Little Dix Bay, and an Italian restaurant called Giorgio’s near Mahoe Bay. One night got a babysitter and had a couples night out at Giorgio’s. The pastas were delicious, the wine list extensive, and the waterfront views of Tortola excellent. We found a good grocery store at the main marina, and that’s where we stocked up for our home cooked meals.
The beach and snorkeling at Mahoe Bay held our attention for at least part of each day. We never tired of the amazing snorkeling across the vast expanse of this quiet bay. One night just before dinner I went out alone and as the dying light of the day sent horizontal shafts of light through the blue green waters I spotted a sea turtle drifting through the shafts of light – an amazing memory.
We always try and tap into the locals for insight into the best off the beaten path places to go, and when we told a waiter at Giorgio’s that we had loved The Baths, he told us about a “secret” beach up over the boulders that most people didn’t know about. Armed with this exciting knowledge we set off the next morning, down the path, up over the boulders that defined one end of the main beach area, and down into a magical stretch of sand caressing huge boulders. We played there for an hour before striking out over another mountain of boulders to come upon a third and even more spectacular stretch of hidden beach, this one lined by swaying palm trees.
The snorkeling continued to be excellent here, and on the hike back up to our car we discovered the small Mad Dog café overlooking the ocean serving drinks for other intrepid explorers like us. We plopped down on comfortable benches with worn cushions, in a cozy dark wooden room with distant ocean views. Chickens scampered about outside, jumping up into trees as the light dimmed – something we’d never seen before! When I presented my credit card to settle up I was told they only took cash. The owner was quick to tell me that it was no problem, I could come back and settle up the next day, so we did. What a great excuse to come back to The Baths, as though we needed one.
Our trip ended too soon. Villa VG COO felt like a second home. We enjoyed sunsets from the dining room table each night, lots of fun in and around the pool, and peace and quiet when we wanted it. We checked in for our flight then sauntered over to the funky Iguana Bar where we shared drinks and swapped tales with fellow travelers. All of us were reluctant to leave the peaceful yet exciting hideaway that is Virgin Gorda. Now I just need to figure out how to spend two weeks down here next time.
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