Monday, April 19, 2010

St. John (Day 2)

First full day here! As usual in such settings, I get up at the ass crack of dawn and walk on the beach. It's very new-agey of me, but I can't help it. The smell of the sea and the cold wind over it in the morning is intoxicating to me.

It's actually not quite that romantic here, because the bay below the villa (Hart Bay) is not real hospitable. It's very rocky and in the rough water the sea grass is full of sea urchins the size of basketballs. The wind keeps things pretty choppy and rough. When we snorkeled here last time, Jim wasn't real keen on being tossed about by waves with the aforementioned sea urchins all around. I'm not foolhardy enough (so far) to go snorkeling here alone. The word is though that you can see sharks in the channel off this bay, which would really be something!

And just getting down to Hart Bay is a challenge/work out. There's a path from our villa to the bay, but it's very steep and made up of indifferently strewn jagged boulders running through tall grass and cacti. It's pretty thick undergrowth (see picture), and full of critters: iguanas (see picture), scorpions, spiders, anoles, assorted birds and lizards, and who knows what else! Oh yeah, and mosquitoes during some parts of the day and bugs that bite (no-see-ums?). But it didn't stop me from heading down. At heart, I'm that kid who has to put his hand on the stove to know it's still hot.

The iguana in this pic is a male (I think), and we called him Big Daddy. He looked to be around three or four feet long, and he always sunned himself on a cacti just off our deck. He was like clockwork, sunning between 7 and 8 in the morning and 4 to 6 in the evening. There was always two or three smaller iguanas in his cacti (his harem, I'm guessing?)

Anyway, by the time I got down to Hart Bay, I'd pushed through brush, swept spider webs out of my way, and probably done several things an experienced hiker would have groaned at. And I was sweaty! So it wasn't especially pleasant getting down there, and the climb back up was definitely not fun. Regardless, I had had my morning stroll.

Aside from trying to spot as many iguanas as we could from the porch (I think we saw five on the cacti right near the villa) and trying to find anoles and other small lizards (seemed to be less of them this year), I have little to report about this day. That's right, we did nothing. NOTHING! We ate breakfast at a snail's pace, tanned all morning, swam in the pool, and then I had my daily siesta in the hammock. Then it was lunch, tan, pool, dinner, and a relaxing night with cards, books, and the stars. Life in the real world had gone slap right out of our pretty little heads, and I'm proud to say we kept it exiled for the entire stay. Work/Life may be about balance, but we were fully committed to being totally unbalanced in favor of Life.

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