Rental vehicles: a jeep, sidekick or other SUV will allow you to explore the limits of the distinction between "unpaved road" and "trail". 

Driving: "shoulder to the shoulder" is the tip for U.S. Drivers. The steering wheel is on the left side, as you are accustomed, but you drive on the other side, on the left. so just repeat to yourself - shoulder to the shoulder, and after a few 'Whoops!" you'll be fine. Locals and acclimated tourists will yell or honk to prevent accidents.

Speed limit is 35 or less across the entire island, often enforced by crowds of milling goats or a group of donkeys. Reaching maximum speed limit is possible, but difficult to sustain. The exception to this applies to the local bus and taxi drivers and most of the year-rounders. Pull over and allow them to pass, it's easier on the psyche.

Hills - climbing and descending:  stay in 2nd gear and downshift to 1st when the hill gets steeper. The engine can better maintain speed, and going down it adds a synergistic assist to the brakes, removing the anxiety of imagining a runaway car.

Turns: hairpin and blind in almost every case as you go up and down hills. Honk in advance of the hill to alert drivers approaching from the other side. LISTEN for the sound of truck engines and err on the side of caution if you can hear but not see one headed your way. The engine will be heard long before the truck driver honks an alert. The roads really aren't suited for construction vehicles and it is not safe to share a turn with one.

Gas cost $1.00 + per gallon more than mainland, but varied only $0.05 to $0.10 per gallon between St Thomas and St John.

(Jan 20-29, 2008)