Today the booking agent for Neptune's Treasure, who has come over from Tortola for the weekend, is heading over to Loblolly and has offered to take me along. I gladly accept.
It's across the other side of the island and east a bit so it takes about 15 minutes or so to get there. It's a really hot day and, thankfully, Linda's jeep (that we have borrowed) is air conditioned.
When we arrive, we walk down a sandy path, past the restaurant, and continue past some Sea Grape trees to the beach - and it IS gorgeous. There are palapas with bench seats underneath, something I haven't seen on a public beach on this island, so far. I am happy because it means I can get out of the sun, even if the benches do lean forward quite a bit - it seems that the front legs have sunk into the sand a lot more than the back ones have.
I settle in to enjoy the view before I go in for a swim. There's a young boy who has found an abandoned kayak and is struggling to get it up the beach a ways. Soon his young friend joins in to help. As I watch, it doesn't escape me how what I am looking at I have seen the like of captured in many an Islands Magazine.
When I decide to go in the water for a snorkel, I find the current coming into the beach rather strong to swim against and, although the reef is not that far out - maybe 70 feet - I am not comfortable swimming out that far so I just float around where the bottom is fairly sandy and see what there is there. Turns out not much. But soon I am joined by a single white angel fish. He follows me wherever I go. Then I notice that he's been joined by another. Then another. And soon there are eight or nine of them - all following right beside me wherever I swim. I do a few about turns and, sure enough, the turn and stay right by my side.
After a nice swim I decided to walk to the point on the far right. The shore became increasingly rocky as the coral came closer inland and then right up onto the beach. I went barefoot so didn't make it right to the end of the point as there were too many coral fragments underfoot and it became painful to walk on.
Where I am headed.
Coral close to the shore.
Coral right at the edge..
I've walked from as far as you can see. The beach here is littered with broken coral.
After my walk, I am hungry and - despite sore mouth - go to The Big Bamboo to sample the lunch menu as I have heard it's the best on the island. I order the chicken strips and, as the menu says it is served with side dishes, ask what the choices are. I am told rice, coleslaw, and fries. I am about to make a choice when the waiter just walks away. Oh well, that's fine - I will just let them surprise me. When the meal comes I am surprised all right, it has all three!! The pile of home-made chicken strips is huge and I know I won't be able to eat anywhere near all the food that is placed before me, although I give it a valiant effort as it is all so very delicious. I end up taking home most of it and it lasts me two days. The prices were a lot less than I have seen on the rest of this island so I highly recommend this restaurant to anyone heading out to Loblolly for the day.
From inside The Big Bamboo.
The Big Bamboo. - Note the bag of water on the table; every table had one and I have no idea why.
UPDATE: I have solved the mystery of the bags of water on the tables (only took 2 1/2 years) - it's to keep flies away. See here how I found out.