Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Moravian Church, Brown Bay Beach, Miss Lucy's, and Salt Pond Bay Beach

This morning, we wanted to see the southeast tip of the island toward Ram Head. There was no shortage of amazing natural scenery on the drive there. As we looked for a place to park the car to take a look around, we climbed hills so high and dove into descents, and I was always worrying if our "little red car that can" really could. When the road came to an end and we needed to turn around, that in itself was a challenge. Tom backed into a dirt road, and we heard a "thump." Oh no! Hope we are not stuck. Fortunately it was just a steeper-than-normal drop-off, and with a little maneuvering, our little car was back on the road. We traced back to where we had seen several cars parked along the shoulder, but more cars had arrived and filled up all the parking spots. Sigh. 

So Plan B. We had wanted to go see Emmaus Moravian Church, an old landmark not far from here. Let's go! We parked outside of the gate at an uncomfortable angle, which I better get used to. We let ourselves in through an unlocked gate and started walking the grounds and taking pictures. Oh, we really hoped that someone would give us a guided tour. Tom took pictures and I took a picture of Tom taking pictures. Then a voice from above beckoned us, "Hello there! Let me come down and show you the place." We were overjoyed.

Pastor Isaac introduced himself and shook our hands. He unlocked the door into the sanctuary. He took us inside and explained about the ceiling, the stained glass window, etc. This congregation has met at this site for two hundred sixty one years. I was debating, should I take a picture of him or is it considered an offense? He then asked us if we had a camera to capture the beautiful view of the bay from the sanctuary. He was fine with pictures.

I especially liked the fact that long ago, this church also served as a lighthouse for boats and ships. Very poetic with so much symbolism! Here is some information I remember: This island was owned by the Danes. The US bought it for a military base in 1917. There are about a million Moravians worldwide. The greatest increase today is in Africa. Moravian missionaries came from Germany to the Caribbean in the 1700s to share the gospel with the slaves. Some of the missionaries even became slaves themselves for their spiritual work. Today, though this congregation has two dozen young people, most of the membership is getting old, from age 60 to over 90. They are hoping to build a ramp for the elderly. I cannot imagine living with ANY disability on this island, where even well-abled persons could get stuck without the right kind of vehicle.

We thanked Pastor Isaac for his time. We were glad we came and even more glad that he was willing to give us a tour.

I told Tom that we needed to go back to the trail that lead to Brown Bay Beach. Yesterday, we climbed almost to the crest of the trail which would then descend to Brown Bay Beach. This time, knowing this was the right way and that the destination was at hand, it was easier to keep going. Sure enough, we reached the crest shortly after passing the point we had turned back yesterday, and the downhill stretch was much easier.

This is Brown Bay Beach. It is very small, and soon we were the only persons there. We just sat there in the warm water looking out to the island some distance away and just enjoyed the peacefulness.

Our stomachs told us that we should look for someplace to eat lunch. We had been meaning to stop at Skinny Legs, recommended by my friend. As we were driving, we saw a herd of wild goats. At one time goats, chickens, cats, and donkeys all belonged to plantation owners. Donkeys were imported from Spain in the 1600s and used for heavy labor in the days of the plantations. Today, they are wild and wander the roads and beaches.

Anyway, the herd of goats was enough distraction that we missed Skinny Legs Restaurant. And since we still wanted to see the southeast end of the island, we decided to stop at Miss Lucy's Restaurant, which is on the way. Later, we read the rave reviews for Miss Lucy's, and the food certainly was delicious. But what we especially enjoyed was the live entertainment while we ate. We were eating outdoors by the sea. There were about a dozen chickens running loose among the tables. When a couple got up and left, a crew of two or three chickens hopped up onto the table and began cleaning up. The main show, though, starred the brown pelicans. They were so fascinating, we could have watched them for hours. They will fly up 20 to 40 feet, then dive straight down into the water to catch fish. If they are diving into shallower waters, they would angle 30 to 45 degrees. When they came up from a dive, we can often see them swallowing the fish they caught. They have amazing eyesight to be able to spot the swimming fish and to judge the depth of the water.

After we had our fill of lunch and pelicans, we walked down toward Salt Pond Bay Beach. This trail had a more normal feel, easy on our balance and not many big rocks to trip over as we continued on a gentle slope down. A lovely small beach. We sat in the waters and talked. My eyes were trying to capture all there is to capture.

We wanted to get back home before dark--I don't like driving these roads at night! Stopped at a grocery store, got a few things. Got home before 6 PM.