10.02.2011 - 10.02.2011 80 °F
The first full day on St John was a busy one. As fate would have it, the day ended with a spectacular rainbow.
The day started early with a walk to through Cruz Bay to pick up the rental jeep. The first stop with the rental car was Starfish Market for groceries. We spoke to several people who convinced us it was the closest thing to a real grocery. We stepped through the door forewarned and prepared for sticker shock. Nothing can properly prepare one for shrimp selling for about $22/pound, beef tenderloin for $24/pound, lean ground beef and chicken breast for $6.09/pound. As hard as it was to do, we pulled the trigger on a box of Ritz crackers for $6. On the good side, it is nice to have a store that offers pretty much everything anyone might want to buy to prepare excellent meals. Just up the credit limit on the VISA before you leave home.
Once we returned from the grocery, it was late and we were hungry. The view over Cruz Bay was terrific and we lingered for while sipping coffee and taking it all in.
We left the room around noon with no real plan, but quickly decided to drive to the farthest point away from Gallow's Point ... beyond Coral Bay to the East End of St. John. Not far out of town we detoured down a very rough side road to the ruins of a Sugar Plantation.
The journey to the east end resumed and after a steep climb, we arrived at the top of Bourdeaux Mountain where the views are fantastic.
Next stop ... Skinny Legs in Coral Bay. The little place has a great atmosphere and you can not resist the smell of the big plump, burgers grilling. That is exactly what we did. We got the burger, cooked medium, with pepper jack cheese and mango chutney. It was finger linkin' good. A rum punch put us on island time.
It's only a couple miles from Coral Bay to the end of the road at the East End, which is oddly enough the southernmost point on St John. We only saw a few rental jeeps during the couple hours that it took us to drive out and back and we enjoyed having the place to ourselves. There is a beautiful view around every turn here on St John.
We also passed Vie's Snack Shop along the way but couldn't bring ourselves to consume any more food and drink at that point.
We exited the east end, climbed out of Coral Bay and took Centerline Road to it's intersection with Northshore Road and then took the fork toward the Northshore beaches. We checked out the Leinster Bay Trailhead and then stopped at Francis Bay. It was about 5:00 PM by this point and it seemed that it had been pretty crowded. Francis Bay Beach is one of the longest, widest beaches on St John. It was beautiful. There were hundreds of sailboat and yachts anchored in the nearby cove. Fish were jumping everywhere and pelicans were diving for an evening meal.
Our next stop along North Shore Road was at Jumbie Beach. This beach is tiny ... maybe 500 feet long, but it has great views across toward Trunk Bay. We were intrigued by the "rock art" that beach-goers had created from things lying on the beach
The rain clouds that produced the incredible rainbow, ran us off the beach and we went directly back to the condo where we prepared a wonderful meal with our expensive groceries.