For the past week I've been in the Caribbean: St. John. I have my mom and dad to thank for this. They let us siblings stay at the house they rented. We just had to pay for the airfare. It was fabulous! Below was the house:
It was on the top of a mountain and had a very jungle feeling. It was very wet and rained every night. The days were very sunny, however.
This is the view from the front deck. It was a long way down but what a wonderful view!
I loved the beaches. I'm not much of a beach person but these were great because I could go exploring...
I hiked to the top of a small mountain. There were small ruins everywhere--great for photography!
The plant-life was also plentiful. Lots of colorful little cacti and palm trees...
This is a view from my hike to the top of one of the mountains with the ruins. I was the only one on the trail and parts of it got very dark with just bits of light peaking in. I loved it! The birds were making all sorts of noises and I could hear creatures crawling and milling about. We saw lots of pelicans, there were wild donkeys all over the place, wild chickens, wild cows, wild horned sheep that we saw climbing up the side of a cliff, wild baby lambs. I found a bunch of hermit crabs crawling through the woods and we caught the glimpse of a mongoose scurrying across the road.
Below is one of the many pelicans. They would swoop down and grab fish right in front of us.
These are the palm trees. There was one particular path that was full of them. I loved the way they lit up when the light shone threw them.
We hiked a trail called the Ram's Head trail. It was amazing. It went right along the side of a cliff and opened up onto the clear blue ocean. We went at sunset. On the way back, when it got dark, the birds came out and started making all sorts of unique noises.
This guy was on a dumpster on the dirt road leading from the rental house to the main road. On the first few drives I shouted, "Hey, what the heck is that! It looks like a dead cat!" Didn't anyone see it?" My family ignored me. When I finally got their attention on the third or fourth pass by my dad said, "What the heck is that?" After that he stopped every time we got to the cat. He was determined to figure out what it was all about. We're still not sure if it's ceramic or rubber. My dad says he wants one for the deck at their house. Hmmm.
This is a house down the road from the rental. The car in the driveway has no windows in it--just a rag draped over where the window should be.
The roads were INSANE. The road to the house we were were staying at was almost impossible to get to. It was a dirt road with an almost 45 degree slope up in parts. There were craters all over the place. I took a video that I'll post at some point. The rest of the roads looked like this. The whole island was around and up and down. It took us an hour to drive ten miles.
This photo shows you how BLUE the water is! Enough said.
This was the view from my hike up to a ruin. I didn't know what I was going to see when I got to the top but it was worth all of the effort. The rest of my family was suntanning down at the bottom (where that little sliver of sand is).
One of my favorite things to do was go kayaking. We did a group tour on the first day and then my mom and one of my sisters decided to venture off and do single kayaks on the next. I loved it. I went by myself to an island with a ruin and then fought some rough waters and almost got capsised by a motor boat in the ocean. I saw the large boat coming my way and I knew I was in trouble. It made 5 foot waves that rippled over and over again and my boat was sideways. I swore I was in for it. But some how all I got was wet. What's better than a little adventure? I think it's the warm water that makes me not care so much about tipping over.
Below are my donkey friends. I went running one day and stopped to see if I could pet them (afterward my sister read in a guide that you shouldn't because they kick and bite). A few of them came right up to me so I tested it out. I touched the top of one of their heads. The donkeys all seemed very nice and gentle! One of the younger donkeys (a little bigger than a baby?) was lying down and he or she got up because it wanted some attention too. When I had to leave through customs one of the questions was, "Did you touch any of the wild animals?" Oops. I just lied and said, "no." My sister said, "I'm leaving with or without you. If you get stuck in St. Thomas because you pet a donkey and wanted to take home coral...
Below is a termites nest. They were all over the island. I found a tiny termite crawling around on my computer when I got home. I wonder what customs would think of that!
Stay tuned for Part 2: How I lost everything, including my car at the airport. Ouch. It was kind of ugly.