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Tales from Tortola … Dede’s to the rescue!

Climbing over lava rock formations to get to the beach

Have you ever goofed yet everything turned out perfect in spite of your faux-pas?

This happened to the gang when they were here over the holidays. Off they went with two vehicles (Kate’s 4WD Montero and a Jeep Wrangler rental) heading for Lava Rock. This is a small little-known beach in Trunk Bay where they planned to picnic, swim and surf.

The challenge with getting to Lava Rock is the road. I’ve not been there, but I’m told that the descent is death defying. For one thing, you can’t see the road under your tires driving down in parts as the incline is so steep. The last leg of the road is dirt and especially scary. Coming up, all you can see is sky. Sounds freaky to me.

Anyway, they got there with little fanfare save pounding hearts, then proceeded to enjoy the day.

Going ... going ...

Coming back, however, one un-named offspring ran into trouble. Seems that the wheels of the Wrangler started to spin on the steep incline. The fact that it’s a dirt road didn’t help; when he braked, the car started to skid backwards. At some point it went off the road. Mercifully that’s one place where the road doesn’t plunge to god-knows-where.

After getting out and gathering their wits, collective wisdom prompted them to call the rental company for help. They found a home close by only there was no phone. Mercifully, however, the home owner had Skype and they were able to reach Dede’s Rent-a-Car. “No problem,” the manager said. He’d be over right away.

In less than half an hour, James Pickering showed up, as promised. Only the Wrangle was not from Dede’s holdings. It had been rented from D&D Car Rentals on the other side of the island.



I can just imagine how everyone felt. It’s one thing to go off the road. Worse to call the wrong company to bail you out. Yet Pickering was gracious, took it all in stride and before long he had the Wrangler back on the road.  To top it off, he wouldn’t accept any money for the service.  Not a cent! Imagine that.

So if you ever need to a car in Tortola, be sure to call Dede’s. I also just learned that along with renting cars at Dede’s, James also runs Deadlman’s Taxi Service and arranges charter outings. You can reach him at (284) 495-2041 or dedescarrental@surfbvi.com

PS: Now that I’m getting used to the roads, I’ve got a hankerin’ to head over to Lava Rock myself. But I think I’ll call James Pickering first and get some driving tips.

PPS: photos were taken by daughter-in-law Heather Avery.


  1. Rose-Marie Lohnes Rose-Marie Lohnes
    January 29, 2011    

    Getting to Lava Rock sounds worse than navigating the East Coast of Barbados back in the early 70s and not unlike some of the hair-raising trips on Bolivian mountain roads a decade ago. Sandra, if you are hankering for Lava beach, perhaps you might consider “begging” James Pickering to drive you :-))))). Enjoy, Luv, Rose-Marie

    • January 29, 2011    

      Thanks for popping in and commenting Rose-Marie. I’m sure you also have lots of tales to tell from your travels!

  2. Heather Avery Heather Avery
    February 7, 2011    

    Great story Sandra; I have shared this with my friends. What a day that was! hahaha I miss Tortola so much!

  3. February 7, 2011    

    By the way, Margo bought a gift and wrote a card on behalf of everyone. Nice gesture, and he was very pleased. Sure wish you could come back! Maybe next year?!

  4. April 3, 2011    

    Alas, this blog is not edited. And every writer needs an editor. At least yours truly. I am known to use wrong words (yeah, me the writer!) Have come up with some doozies. Lucky for me, sister Carmen can spot those pesky critters and doesn’t mind telling me (nor do I mind being told.) She just sent me an email saying, “Just so you know, people have inclinations, and hills have inclines.”

    So with egg-on face, I have changed the word inclinations to incline in para. 3. Sigh.

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