Archives for December 2012

Rum Therapy On Tortola

 Ahhh…Tortola. We’ve have the pleasure of visiting this, the largest of the British Virgin Islands, several times – yet the more we visit, the more we realize we need to come back and spend more time. During our recent visit to the VI, we planned for another visit to Tortola, and once again ran out of time to see all that we wanted to see.

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Regardless, we’ve seen and done quite a bit in our 3 visits (so far) to Tortola and here’s just a few of the highlights to date….

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Tortola is a large and mountainous island, so it’s advisable to rent a car if you’d like to spend some time exploring. There are no car rental companies at the Road Town Ferry Terminal, so reserve one ahead ahead of time, (we didn’t and it took some time to find a car) and plan to take a taxi to the car rental office or check to see if the rental agency provides a shuttle. Remember to drive on the left and be prepared to tackle some pretty steep hills on the north and west ends of the island.

Our luxurious accommodations while on Tortola were graciously provided by Susan at the spectacular Limin’ House (more on this later), which is in the West End above Soper’s Hole, so we started exploring the east side of the island, hoping to scratch a few things to see off  “the list” before checking in to the Limin’ House.

Road Town is a bustling town with a lot of bars, restaurants, shopping and attractions such as a botanical garden, and we could have easily spent some time exploring (preferably by foot), but there were cruise ships in town and it was super busy, so we quickly headed out of town to find some beaches.

On the east side of town we crossed the Queen Elizabeth Bridge and actually left the island for a while to explore neighboring Beef Island, a small island close to Tortola which houses the Beef Island Airport, several pretty beaches and some interesting shops in Trellis Bay.

The first beach we stopped at was the lovely Long Bay on Beef  Island – not to be confused with the Long Bay on the west end of Tortola.

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Long Bay – Beef Island

We continued on to Trellis Bay, home of Aragorn’s Studio and the location of one of the two Full Moon Parties in the area.

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The Trellis Bay Full Moon Parties feature the Burning Man, Fireballs and Mocko Jumbies and are a bit…well, should we say, more family appropriate than the other one we will mention later in the article.

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The Burning Man and Fireballs, created by Aragorn, that are spectacularly set on fire during the Full Moon Parties.

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Aragorn’s Studio – great place to shop or just check out the local art.

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Trellis Bay is the place to catch a free ferry to The Last Resort – a bar and restaurant on neighboring Bellamy Cay that serves good food and drink and can feature some really boisterous entertainment in the evenings. We enjoyed a night there while sailing a few years ago and after returning to our boat, could hear the laughter and merriment continue until the wee hours of the morning!

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The Last Resort On Bellamy Cay

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The band loves to get the audience involved by offering free shots if you can name the song they are playing and are willing to come up and sing along.

From Beef Island we headed back to Tortola stopping by Captain Mulligan’s for a quick drink and a bit of lunch.

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We’ve stopped by Captain Mulligan’s a couple of times now, but would love to be there to watch a football game on the huge screen out back. You can also hit golf balls (buoyant ones that are retrieved) into the ocean behind the bar!

Making our way west, we passed West End and Soper’s Hole and continued on to Smuggler’s Cove. This was our first visit to Smuggler’s Cove, despite the fact that we’d been told by several people that it was their favorite beach on the island.

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Smuggler’s Cove – every bit as beautiful as we’d heard

After spending a bit of time walking the beautiful soft and sandy beach, we headed to Long Bay, Tortola.

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Long Bay is a mile long stretch of gorgeous sand and turquoise blue water.

We walked down the beach to see if Winston Nature Boy, the owner of Nature Boy Beach Bar, was around and to get a rum punch.

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As luck would have it, Winston was in and we sat and chatted with him over a quick beverage. He’d made some changes to the bar since our last visit, and although still pretty rough, the location is great – it’s tucked away at the far end of Long Bay with a few beach chairs and not a lot of people.

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Nature Boy’s Bar on Long Bay Beach

After relaxing for a while in the sun and the solitude, we made our way to Sebastian’s.

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We snapped a few pictures, fully intending to come back, relax and enjoy some of Sebastian’s own rum ….but, alas, we ran out of time. This will be first on our “to do” list when we return to Tortola!

Onward up the road to the infamous Bomba Shack.

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This is the location of the second and definitely wildest of the two Full Moon Parties in the area. We attended a Bomba Full Moon Party in 2010 while sailing and you can read more about the adventure here: Full Moon Party at the Bomba Shack.

Definitely worth a stop to try some of Bomba’s Rum Punch, even if you’re not here for the Full Moon Party. The Bomba Shack’s got a beautiful view of Jost Van Dyke and it’s fun to sit and sip some rum punch while watching the surfers out back.

A few other things that you shouldn’t miss while on island:

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The Callwood Rum Distillery in Cane Garden Bay

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Cane Garden Bay – great nightlife and entertainment

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Shopping, people watching and enjoying a Pusser’s Painkiller at Soper’s Hole

And just in case you need more to do during your visit to Tortola, you can also take a ferry to Jost Van Dyke, or Virgin Gorda, or book an excursion to Sandy Cay and Sandy Spit.

After exploring and spending time on some beautiful beaches, it was a treat to head up the mountain to our luxurious Tortola accommodations at the Limin’ House. Located on the hill above Soper’s, we enjoyed fantastic views of not only Soper’s Hole and the boats in the harbour, but many of the surrounding islands and absolutely stunning sunsets!

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The Limin’ House Villa is available as a vacation rental while on Tortola. If you are interested in finding out more about this spectacular accommodation, contact Susan at (941)-358-8907 or (941)-735-6220, Eastern Standard Time or Email at limin[email protected]
Website: http://www.liminhouse.com/
Facbook: https://www.facebook.com/LiminHouse

 

To see more posts on Tortola and other islands, check out our Island Blog Directory

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Pictures and other content may not be re-used without written consent from Rum Therapy, LLC

Jingle Bell Rum Cocktail

Ho, ho, ho – another holiday drink made with rum. We found a Christmas cocktail recipe called Jingle Bells and thought we’d give it a try. It asked for 1/2 oz Blue Curacao liqueur and as we blended it together, we thought, wait! Blue? So – we traded the Blue Curacao for grenadine, and added more rum (the original called for .5 oz.) and got this festive looking and tasty cocktail. Enjoy and Happy Holidays!
Jingle Bell Rum Cocktail
(makes 1)

2 oz. light rum
2 oz. pineapple juice
.5 oz. grenadine
.5 oz. cream of coconut
1 c. ice

Blend until frothy, pour into glass, garnish with cherry.

Rum Therapy On Virgin Gorda

We’d spent the better part of two days on Virgin Gorda in the past – both times on sail trips, and saw just bits and pieces of what this island has to offer. During our recent trip to the VI’s, we had a chance to stay “on island” which gave us a better opportunity to explore this British Virgin Island reportedly dubbed “Fat Virgin” by Christopher Columbus.

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What did we experience on Virgin Gorda this time? It took several weeks to sift through our very full photo memory cards, but here are some of the highlights through pictures.

We arrived in Spanish Town on the ferry from Tortola, and rented a car through Mahogany Rentals  (they met us at the ferry dock with our vehicle for the week – very convenient!) Our beautiful oceanside accommodations were graciously provided by Lorna at Rambutan Villa (more on that later) and we made our way up to Nail Bay to locate the villa before continuing up the hill to the highly recommended Hog Heaven.

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Hog Heaven is a bar/grill overlooking North Sound with a spectacular view of Necker Island, Prickly Pear Island, Saba Rock and on a clear day you can even make out Anegada.

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We lingered at Hog Heaven for quite a while enjoying the views, a Blondie Special (their specialty rum drink) and some tasty BBQ ribs.

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From there we headed directly to The Baths, making a quick stop at Mad Dog for a beverage and Top Of The Baths to take in the view.

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Mad Dog

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Top Of the Baths

We then headed down the path towards The Baths. Although we’d been to The Baths twice before, the beauty never ceases to amaze us and the vibrant colors change depending on the time of day and the angle of the sun.

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We continued on the trail to Devils Bay

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Devil’s Bay

During the rest of our time on VG, we took in as much as we could, including:

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Spring Bay

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Big Trunk Bay

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Savannah Bay, Pond Bay, Mahoe Bay Overlook

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Savannah Bay

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Jumbies, Leverick Bay

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On our last day, we rented a dinghy from the extremely accommodating General Manager of Leverick Bay Marina. We arrived later in the morning and by then they only had one dinghy left, but he graciously set us up, gave us directions to the places we wanted to see in North Sound that are accessible only by boat, told us to watch for seaplanes and set us on our way.

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Our yacht for the day! From Leverick Bay, we headed over to Biras Creek to make a quick stop at the Fat Virgin Cafe to enjoy a rum punch and the view.

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We hopped back in dinghy and headed straight to Saba Rock passing the Bitter End Yacht Club. BEYC was closed for the week for a private function so were only able to enjoy its beauty from the water – this time.

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Bitter End Yacht Club

We’d briefly stopped at Saba Rock before during a sail, but there’s enough to do on “The Rock” that you could easily spend an afternoon lounging in the hammocks or in the bar enjoying the sunshine and tales from the many sailors that visit.

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Before heading out to our last stop, we ordered one of their rum drink specialties – the Saba Rock Banana Daiquiri.

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Just a short dinghy away, The Sandbox beckoned. The Sandbox is located on Prickly Pear Island and we docked to enjoy some time in the sun.

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Prickly Pear Island and The Sandbox

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Heading back to Leverick Bay we took a quick pass by Mosquito Island, a private island purchased by Sir Richard Branson that he hopes to develop into a premiere eco-tourism resort.

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Mosquito Island

Sun kissed and satisfied with our afternoon of captaining our dinghy through the beautiful North Sound, we headed back to our tropical oasis at Rambutan Villa to enjoy the remnants of the days sun rays and listen to the waves gently lap the shore.

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The owners of Rambutan Villa also own the stunning Villa LaVida next door. Both are available for weekly rental.  If you are interested in finding out more about renting these oceanfront properties, email them at [email protected] or
[email protected]

To see other posts on Virgin Gorda and other islands, check out our Island Blog Directory

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Pictures and other content may not be re-used without written consent from Rum Therapy, LLC