St. John Day 1 – Arrival!

Posted by wanchan on June 30th, 2015 filed in Vacation

After leaving home at 7:45pm on Monday, we finally arrived at our rented house on St. John at around 5pm on Tuesday. Twenty-one hours of travel time is a bit much, but we made it. Of course, I still apparently can’t sleep on planes, even in the exit row (because they wouldn’t let me recline the seat), so that made driving the rental car across St. Thomas that much more interesting.

We had prepared printed directions from Google Maps from the airport to the car barge terminal, but I hadn’t spent any time going over the route that had been selected – Google apparently selected the northern highway across the island, which required a series of turns to traverse across Charlotte Amalie. Sadly, they don’t really go in for labeling streets at intersections there, so we were rendered lost very quickly. Or, paraphrasing Daniel Boone, we weren’t lost, but we were a mite bewildered there for about an hour.

After some moderately successful navigation-by-wandering-around combined with the crude map that Budget had given us, we decided to abandon Google Maps’ suggested route, and take the southern highway across St. Thomas. As it turns out, that road goes more-or-less directly from the airport to the ferry and car barge terminals. When I rechecked Google Maps after our arrival at home, it turns out that Google thinks the complicated route is a few minutes shorter than the simple route, which is why it defaulted to it. Our property manager agreed that while the northern route is indeed slightly faster, it’s rarely worth the trouble of navigating Charlotte Amalie, even for a local like him.

Well, it was an adventure at times, but all’s well that ends well. The house we rented is great. Bright, clean space with a comfy couch and bed, and a spacious deck with a killer view:

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That’s St. John’s East End, with Tortola further back. The back wall of the house has four large doors, three of which slide open to permit the steady trade winds to blow through. It keeps the house a nice steady temperature, and means that the house never lacks for ventilation. The winds are a bit strong, and leave us feeling weatherbeaten if we try to hang out on the deck for too long.

It turned out to be a good thing indeed that we took the general advice to rent a jeep when visiting St. John – the house we rented is up a steep dirt road with several interesting switchbacks. On Google Maps, you can see it as the one just to the north of MoonSwept Villa, here. Getting up here requires a 4×4 vehicle.

After settling in a bit, we climbed back down the mountain road for dinner at the Shipwreck Landing. Dinner was excellent, if a bit pricey.


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