Once again, if you are just joining us head on back to the start, here, and catch up with out journey.
Day 2, hangovers, hiking, and happy hour; just another day on St. John.
The sun jabbed through the open hatch finding my bloodshot eyes jerking from my slumber. I hear footsteps from the rear; a rum bottle slammed on the table in front of me, and the owner of the boat, a young 100-pound girl, saying that we must drink quickly before the hangover comes. Good morning St. John, we meet again.
I rolled over to face the girl and we were soon joined by another member of our crew who expressed my feelings about her suggestion to drink rum at 9am. This sounded awful and all I knew was I didn’t care to move far but I also needed food. These two desires soon proposed a major problem as the boat was both out of propane and food; so I had to move. Just as this realization came to me and I was feeling conflicted as to the importance of each, another member of our crew, the guitarist, came bursting from the forward cabin wearing sunglasses and shouting about having left his phone and shirt at Maho the night before. Him being without his things was not funny, but the sight of him in this state of panic, carried over drunkenness, and sunglasses in the cabin, made me laugh and gave me the strength I needed to seek fresh-air back on top.
Someone took the dinghy over to grab Elena from the other boat a short distance away and we all then piled in and headed to shore. I needed something to eat and bad, so we parted from our new friends in search of food as the guitarist parted in search of his phone and wallet. We were headed back to Cruz when we passed a neat looking food stand on the side of the road and so we pulled in, as my need to eat was more immediate than the 20-minute drive allowed. The food was a very good Jamaican dish of which I don’t recall the name. I was just able to eat enough to settle my stomach a little and we paid what I am guessing was the tourist prices and started planning our day.
I found I felt better when I was moving, which was surprising, and I knew Elena wanted to go hiking that day so I sucked it up and we pushed out into the day; despite my strong desire to find a hammock and take a nap. So we headed over to Cinnamon Bay and decided to snorkel for a bit. We found some sea turtles feeding on the grass and followed them around for a while. We had cinnamon all to ourselves aside from one boat at anchor on the other side of the bay.
I found the swim in the cool morning waters refreshed me and we ventured out and found a trail near the East end of the island. At first the sweat and movement I was sure would kill me and I was positive she could smell the rum from my sweat as we trekked through the steep switchbacks; but after a mile or so I was back to at least 75% and that’s enough for me to function.
Rum punch, it’ll cure what ails ya.
The trail kind of fizzled out and rather than guess which way to go we backtracked and made our way to the jeep. We came back to Cruz bay around mid-day and both had a big hunger. Not feeling like eating at High Tide again we went over to Joe’s Rum Hut down the bay. This place has as a great happy hour and amazing food prices; a must stop for sure. We were early for the 3pm happy hour but they always have great food specials.
I read once that people often underestimate the medicinal powers of cold beer; this day that proved to be very true. We spent the a good part of the afternoon chatting with the bartender, eating some much needed food, and enjoying some great drinks; I finally got my Bushwhacker and I highly suggest you try one of these while there.
We wanted to find something more to do since this was our last full day in the islands. So on the suggestion of the bartender, we went to a trail behind the national park center located east of the ferry port. Here we followed the trail out to Solomon Bay and Honeymoon Bay. This is a decent walk down a long trail but it is well worth the trip as this was the most beautiful part of St. John I visited while there. Even if you are just in Cruz for few hours, if you want to go to a beautiful beach you must go to one of these amazing places.
We swam and sat in the warm blue water for an hour or so as the sun started to fall from the sky. We knew we wanted to get back through the trail before sundown otherwise we’d become a quick feast for the mosquitoes. So we packed up and headed back to the trail and back to Joe’s as happy hour was about to start.
We stood in the crowd that had formed at Joe’s for happy hour and eventually made our strike and obtained the all coveted seats at the bar. We ordered our food and several cocktails and watched the sun fall from the sky in what was an amazing start to sunset. Shortly before the sun set happy hour ended and we moved back down to High Tide as I really wanted one of their rum punches.
At this point I was feeling back to 90% and we enjoyed a few more drinks as the sun sank into the sea behind St. Thomas. We decided to move on and so we headed back across the island to Coral Bay again where our friends were gathered outside of the bar watching some of the locals race their motorcycles up and down the road. They were happy to see us as we sort of disappeared for the day. I was opting to not drink anymore for the night, as I knew the day we had ahead of us and still had a lingering hangover that had seemed to return.
But we hung out for the night returning to the hillside house and keeping it low key as we gathered on the porch overlooking the bay. Around midnight we all decided to return to the boat and get some sleep, so we made our way back to the tender and out to our floating cabin for the night and quickly fell asleep in our bunks.
All good things must come to an end.
The next day we rose early. We didn’t fly out until almost 5 but I wanted to have as much time as possible on the island and hate being in a rush. We had our hosts drop us off at the dock so we could collect our jeep and make our way back to Cruz, said our goodbyes, and headed off into the hills of St John.
Once again we decided to take a swim so we headed over to Maho Bay and swam in the cool Caribbean Sea for an hour or so. We then headed back into Cruz Bay where we found a place to re-pack some of our stuff and clean out the jeep of sand to avoid the steep cleaning fee.
We parked the jeep by Mongoose junction and walked back to High Tide Bar for breakfast. First though I stopped at the little place in front and ordered a rum punch. If you recall she boasted the best on the island and I told her I would be the judge of that; but true to her word her punch was the best I had had so far.
We ate at High Tide Bar and Grill and then headed back to the jeep. I dropped off Elena at the ferry port along with out luggage and went to drop off the jeep. The lady at the rental place gave me a ride back to the port and Elena and I resided back to high tide for some more rum punch as we waited for our 12pm feet to St. Thomas.
Jeff met us at Red Hook ferry and brought us back to his house. Micki, his better half, was gracious enough to lug us over to the airport. We said our goodbyes, check our bags, cleared customs, and went to our terminal where our plane was delayed slightly. But we sat there in the warm terminal of Spirit Airlines reflecting on the previous week. It had been a few years since I made to the islands and I knew I would have to return soon.
The plane touched down in Ft. Lauderdale and with sadness our trip was over. But I took solace in knowing our home was just another palm tree paradise.