They appeared like such a beautiful younger couple, deeply in love. They’d their entire life forward of them. They have been on their honeymoon, with no care on the planet. After which, they made a fateful resolution that simply would possibly change their future ceaselessly. They did one thing extremely reckless and impulsive, as younger persons are wont to do. They accepted a experience from an entire stranger. I noticed the entire thing unfold as a result of, effectively, um, that stranger was me.
Craig and Rebecca from St. Louis, MO, have been vacationing within the British Virgin Islands (BVI). I now notice that they in all probability wouldn’t like if it I discussed them by identify, so henceforth, I’ll check with Craig and Rebecca as Jeff and Beth from Jefferson Metropolis, MO, to guard their anonymity. They have been on a day journey to an idyllic tropical island referred to as Jost Van Dyke and had taken a taxi experience to a distant seaside, the place they have been frolicking within the ocean waves.
Sadly for this harmless couple, there was another person lurking close by: ME – and my spouse, Michele. It turned out that we had comparable plans for as we speak, as we too have been on trip, and we had just lately been on our personal honeymoon 34 years prior. Like them, we’d heard that probably the most unimaginable seaside in all the BVI was on the other aspect of this extraordinarily rugged, mountainous island. Craig and Rebecca, I imply Jeff and Beth had only one small drawback. They’d no automobile. They must name a taxi driver and wait one other 30 to 40 minutes to be picked up.
That’s after they made what may solely be described because the worst lapse in judgment of their very younger marriage, They accepted my provide to drive them to the opposite seaside, The 4 of us piled into our cramped Suzuki hatchback rental automobile, whose primary energy supply, I can solely surmise, based mostly on this expertise, will need to have been 4 AA batteries.
Michele consulted Google Maps on her cellphone for the quickest strategy to get throughout the island to the opposite seaside. Apparently, the app will need to have thought we have been utilizing a helicopter or a zeppelin as a result of the route it chosen took us proper over the very high of the island. Or maybe the BVI model of Google Maps was designed by Devil. As a result of somebody was out to get us today.
I apparently missed the signal that stated, “CAUTION: ONLY IDIOTS ARE PERMITTED TO TAKE THIS ROUTE” as a result of inside one minute, we had diverged from a paved floor and located ourselves routed to a mud and gravel path barely huge sufficient for one automobile.
I recall distinctly asking Michele, “Are you certain we’re on the suitable highway? This doesn’t look proper,” to which she calmly replied, “Sure, I’m certain. Google says that is probably the most direct route.” And naturally, by “direct route,” what Google apparently meant was probably the most direct route to make sure your imminent demise.
In a short time, I spotted we had made a horrible navigational error in selecting to go this manner. If this route certified to be thought of “a highway”, then having watched two seasons of Gray’s Anatomy certified me to be “thought of” a mind surgeon. The trek grew to become steeper and steeper, and narrower and narrower. The cliffs have been straightforward to see as a result of there have been no pesky guard rails to dam my view of the 1000-foot sheer drop-off. The additional we drove, the rougher the terrain obtained. The boulders obtained greater, the ruts deeper, and in lots of locations we have been trying to scale an incline with a forty five diploma angle or greater, typically transitioning to a switchback requiring us to make a pointy blind hairpin flip whereas accelerating up a steep uphill.
If there had been somebody driving from the opposite route, one in all us would have needed to make the very troublesome option to drive off the cliff, as a result of there was no means we may cross one another on this slender impediment course. However I needn’t have fearful about the potential of somebody coming at me from the opposite route, as a result of there was no means a couple of fool would attempt to cross this Freeway to Hell.
As all our heads jostled up and down uncontrollably with each bump, like cheaply made bobble head dolls, I questioned what Jeff and Beth will need to have been pondering: “Lord, we are going to go to church each Sunday for the remainder of our lives should you’ll simply ship us from this nightmare” or perhaps, “Why did you comply with get a experience from an entire stranger? Perhaps he’s a serial killer. Or worse – a Suzuki used automobile salesman!”
The additional I drove, the more severe situations grew to become, Then I observed that the pitch of the thoroughfare sloped noticeably to the suitable, and I needed to battle to maintain the automobile from drifting rightward, in direction of the cliff. Going downhill wasn’t any simpler. I stored pumping the brakes again and again, to maintain this freight practice from barreling off the cliff as I attempted to barter one 160 diploma flip after one other. However I stoically stored my fears to myself, in order to not alarm our passengers – aside from the 4 or 5 transient moments once I came across yet one more gut-wrenching hairpin flip and I blurted out, “HOLY SH*T, WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE!!!”
I’ve been to Italy’s historical star-crossed metropolis of Pompeii. Two thousand years later, their roads nonetheless have been in higher situation than what I needed to cope with. Throughout our nerve-racking ordeal, I used to be more and more fearful that this would possibly finish badly. I had visions of the lead story on CNN the following day: “HONEYMOON COUPLE MURDERED BY TERRORIST SUICIDE DRIVER,” adopted by a associated story on how Suzuki hatchbacks aren’t really useful for off-road journey.
This misguided journey took us over the literal peak of the island, by way of what was inarguably probably the most treacherous terrain I had ever tried. In case you may ignore the truth that in minutes we have been all probably going to perish in an agonizing 1000-foot crash, I’ve to say, the panoramic view from up right here was reasonably magical.
After what felt like three days, however was in all probability nearer to 40 minutes, we reached probably the most lovely sight I’ve ever seen: a paved road. In some way I had delivered the newlywed couple to their vacation spot bodily in a single piece (albeit emotionally in tatters). I considered asking them for $25 for having offered them with an exciting reminiscence they might undoubtedly inform their grandkids someday, however Michele thought that might be in poor style.
Hopefully, sometime Jeff and Beth will be capable of forgive me for the terrifying expertise I put them by way of. Perhaps they’ll even chuckle about it. They needed to head again house to Missouri the following day. I briefly considered providing them a carry to the airport. However one thing instructed me they’d in all probability favor a taxi as an alternative.
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