The “Darkside” of St. John and the Caribbean

The “Darkside” of St. John and the Caribbean~ The Manchineel Tree

Life isn’t always paradise on any tropical island. There are a lot of things to be cautious about. If you aren’t staying in the National Park or vicinity such as the East End of St. John, there are a few things to look out for.

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Tree sign in the National Park of St. John

 

 

One of those things would be the Manchineel Tree or “death apple”. Most trees are designated with a sign to not touch within the limits of the park. However, on one of the beaches on the East End of St. John we saw these badass boys and man oh man can they be scary (there was also no sign to this bad boy and I stupidly was under it).

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Picture of the road on the east end of St. John

The story goes like this. On Christopher Columbus’ 2nd voyage his crew came ashore to discover these guys. A bunch of them ate the fruit from this tree thinking,” Oh it’s paradise and a fruit, let’s eat up!” Well, ate up they did and croaked within the following day.

If you just touch it’s bark, it can be dangerous. However, ingested is what can really kill ya. They also say that if you stand under the tree when it rains it could potentially be fatal.

The only known antidote is arrowroot. However, who has arrowroot hanging around on them?

Be wary folks if venturing outside the park limits. Don’t touch any trees or wildlife as I ALWAYS say to be safe.

Things to bring with you to the Virgin Islands

 

 

Here are a list of “Must-Have” items. To bring with you to the Virgin Islands:

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My picture of Dunk in the Trunk Bay

 

A sweater- it can get a bit chilly at night

Clothing that is lightweight and breathable

Comfortable shoes/sandals

A hat to protect you from the strong UV rays (very close to equator)

2 bottles of sunblock-pricey in the islands and is a must have to have to protect you from the very very strong sun

Aloe Vera- You most likely will burn and will be good to have on hand

Your medication- or any other over the counter medications you like to keep handy (very expensive to buy here)

2 pairs of sunglasses- in case one breaks or goes missing

About $500 bucks spending cash for a week’s stay. This should cover most of your food and souvenirs (some places only accept cash only)

Hiking shoes or walking shoes-you may have to hike a bit to some of the beaches. Make sure you wear comfortable shoes, some trails to the beaches go up inclines and descend (found this out by wearing flip flops not a good idea for some areas)

Bathing suit and cover-up. If you plan on walking in Cruz Bay later in the day make sure you have a cover up. It is their way there and deemed inappropriate to walk around in just your bathing suit.

Bug Spray-since you are surrounded by water and it rains almost on a daily basis it attracts mosquitoes, these guys are viscous and will attack you no matter what time it is and where you are on any of the islands

A flashlight-Good to have on hand in case of any power outtages that occur on a consistent basis. We used a flashlight from the villa and the battery died on us, haha.

A first aid kit-may come in handy.

Your passport or birth certificate/drivers license- You won’t be able to come home or go through customs without either.

Lotion-Your skin will become very dry due to the sun and elements.

Shampoo, conditioner, soap, and toiletries- You are actually better off checking in a bag and paying the additional fee for luggage. I literally saw a small bottle of Pantene shampoo for 12 bucks! We can get that for 2 or 3 bucks here on the mainland.

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Picture from the east end of St. John overlooking Tortola

 

Hair ties- Ladies you will thank me. Gets a bit windy, hot, and humid. It isn’t great hair weather and if you’re prone to frizz like me, you are better off tying it back.

An AT&T phone- I have Verizon service. I bought an AT&T prepaid phone (19.99 baby) and worked just fine. I preprogrammed any emergency contact numbers, rental car company, villa owner etc. Good to have handy and cheaper than enabling an international plan on your Verizon or Sprint Phone.

Print out any itinerary, confirmation numbers, and maps of where you are going to or staying.

That’s about it! Enjoy the beautiful islands!