St. John Day 3 – Annaberg Sugar Ruins

Posted by wanchan on July 2nd, 2015 filed in Vacation

Owing to my nice new sunburned shoulder, we decided to do a shirts-on day today.

The most obvious activity to meet that requirement was to check out the ruins of the old Annaberg Sugar Factory. They have a nice park set up here, with some of the old structures slightly restored and helpfully labelled. A short tour, to be sure, but cool! Well, it was pretty hot in the sun, actually, so I mostly scurried from one shady spot to another, venturing out to admire the old windmill tower, or the sugar factory buildings.

Annaberg's windmill

The windmill would crush the sugar canes, and the juices flowed through a stone trough over to the boilers.

 

Apparently the wind isn’t as reliable here as I would expect – the original Dutch owners bothered to install a horse mill to crush the sugar cane on days when the windmill wasn’t generating enough power.

The park service had also labelled a few of the trees out here. The most amusing of them was the Turpentine Tree. It is covered with red, peeling bark, generating for itself the nickname “Tourist Tree” due to the similarity with my skin.

According to a sign we read at Trunk, the island used to be covered with sugar cane plantations – I believe they said something like 80-90 of them at the industry’s peak! Only Annaberg has had it’s facilities made into a park, though we did find another partially restored building at the trailhead near Little Lameshur bay.

After wandering about the ruins for a while, we decided to check out the nearby trail – it promised to be only 0.8 miles each way, so what the heck! I’d completely forgotten that it was the path down to Leinster Bay, which is rated as one of the best snorkeling spots on the island. Well, we hiked it today, decided that the beach looked nice enough, and vowed to come back another day with our snorkeling gear.

the rocky beach at Leinster Bay

After hiking back to the trailhead, we decided we weren’t quite spent yet, and wandered over towards the north shore beaches again.

There is a small beach that overlooks the main beach on Trunk bay called Jumbie which has very limited parking and a short trail down from the road. We pulled out the beach chair and our lunch for a nice picnic:

Jumbie beach Lunch on Jumbie beach

After lunch we decided to check out Maho bay – Maho is generally rated as an excellent beach with mediocre snorkeling prospects, so we figured it would be a good spot for a day where we hadn’t brought our bathing suits. We managed to find a choice parking spot (which turned out to be pure luck), and ambled up and down one of St. John’s nicer beaches.

Maho Bay

 

With that, we decided that perhaps we were about spent after all.

 

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