Virgin Gorda — “I could easily get used to this”

Restless traveller Ishwar Persad is in love with Virgin Gorda — here’s why

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“My love affair with the Fat Virgin — Columbus’s take on the island’s geographical shape — started in March 2007, visiting an old friend residing there. That first evening, sitting on the balcony at my comfy accommodations, sipping my first Painkiller, signature drink of the British Virgin Islands, and looking at the glorious sun setting behind the horizon from Nail Bay — I felt a sense of ease and relaxation I had not experienced in years. Hmm, I could easily get used to this, I thought — no wonder they call those drinks Painkillers.

“I love showing off Virgin Gorda to visiting friends — especially as a day trip from Tortola. After getting off the ferry, the first stop is usually Dixie’s in Spanish Town, for a delicious bake and saltfish — and maybe a Carib if I’m not driving. Then it’s off to visit The Baths. I love taking in the priceless facial expressions when my friends get their first look. The Baths is an area with massive granite boulders lying in piles on the beach, forming numerous scenic grottoes open to the sea. You can traverse through these giant rocks and coves through a series of ladders and ropes, with spectacular coastal scenes and amazing selfie moments.

“Then we continue on the North Sound Road with a stop at Hog Heaven for lunch. This restaurant and bar is truly heavenly — perched on the edge of a hillside with spectacular views of the North Sound, not to mention serving up scrumptious barbequed ribs, rice and peas, and fried plantain (and, of course, the magical Painkiller).

“Almost a decade after my first visit, I am just as in love with Virgin Gorda. I am very grateful the place has kept its small-island, small-community, cozy feel, where everybody knows everyone — like the Caribbean used to be. Of course, the luxurious accommodation, high quality cuisine, and whelks roti from the lady by the Catholic Centre on Fridays help as well.”

 

Wanderlust isn’t a strong enough word to describe Trinidadian Ishwar Persad’s attitude to life and travel. Over the years, he has lived and worked in Canada, Montserrat, Tanzania, South Africa, Turkey, Indonesia, and many other places in between. He currently lives in the British Virgin Islands — his second stint there — where he is a consultant with the BVI Tourist Board, but already wondering where he’ll head to next.

 

Caribbean Airlines operates regular flights to V.C. Bird International Airport in Antigua and Princess Juliana International Airport in St Martin, with connections on other airlines to the British Virgin Islands