A Beaconite was fortunate enough to travel to Guana Island this week with scientists from the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, exploring and identifying native plant species. The climb up the mountain was off-trail and arduous, and the descent seemed nearly impossible at times. The hurricane damage to the island was undeniable as the group stepped over trees and found roofing materials in the middle of the forest. Trails, however, are now being restored. And as she reached the summit of an undocumented part of the island with her fellow travelers, and she sat down and chewed on lunch while looking at Tortola, there was a peaceful moment of gratitude and silence shared by the hikers. She has a deep respect for the work that these scientists do. Termites, biting ants, catch-and-keep vines, and poke-me-boy trees were the things this reporter encountered and learned to avoid as much as possible. However, “tourist trees,” ones with peeling skin and red bark underneath, were stable and reliable for support. She also learned that rock iguanas, when threatened and preparing for defence, raise their strongest weapon: their tails.
A Beaconite who lives in Cane Garden Bay is in favour of more events within walking distance of her home. However, given that CGB is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the territory, she wonders why there aren’t more of them, given that attending an event in the bay doesn’t require a boat, making the location ideal for residents and visitors alike. Even the premier has said holding at least one event per month could be an easy way to boost tourism. Notably, the area has been home to an annual music festival, which still exists, though in a format scaled back from the original four-day blowout. The Beaconite was told the fest was plagued by problems trying to charge admission to an event located on a beach, and that it “got political.” On Sunday night, she attended something new for Cane. Lost in Paradise was a three-night event with guest deejays from the United States and around the Caribbean, a swimwear fashion show, and plenty of fun new decor around the beach, including a set of wooden swings built over the water. The crowd was energetic but not massive enough to get out of hand, and though Paradise had intended to charge admission, organisers changed their minds and recouped the cost by selling drinks instead. No money, no controversy, no politics. The Beaconite thinks other businesses should follow this model and bring more events to CGB.
A Beaconite has recently resumed one of her old stress relief habits from back home — running. She’s used to dodging traffic and passersby darting down the streets of Philadelphia. So the hills and ocean views of Tortola are certainly quite the shift. But somehow despite the steep hills that make her legs ache and the lack of sidewalk and the cars zooming past, she finds that when jogging here she never seems to run out of energy. Instead, the exercise clears her head and helps her shake off the sluggishness from too many painkillers and discounted frozen mac-and-cheese dinners. It must be the Jolly-Rancher-blue ocean or the contrast with the greenery or the sunset falling over the cruise pier that invigorates her. The occasional cow sightings and smell of manure add a nice touch. Plus, she’s only gotten catcalled once. So if you see her huffing and puffing down Ridge Road, give her a wave. If you know her. Only if you know her. If you don’t know her, please do not say anything to her: just let her huff and puff in peace.