Boulder Love – Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands
My inner child escaped and scampered through a boulder-strewn playground. The maze of rocks held secrets to uncover and in a matter of hours we were tired and ecstatic with the beauty of The Baths of Virgin Gorda.
We’d slunk into the small harbor and moored our hired 42′ Catamarn to the guest dock at the V.G. Yacht Club. It was dwarfed by luxurious vessels being polished by uniformed crew. A short ride later by open air shuttle and we were on a trail to the rock strewn wonderland of The Baths. Local history has it that the round boulders reminded Columbus of a woman lying on her side, a fat virgin, and the inglorious name stuck for this generous and beautiful island.
Distant voices echoed through grottoes. The water was warm and beckoning. After sliding between rounds of massive granite, we slipped into luminous, warm jade green pools. Waves splashed white foam and a few school children shouted and splashed nearby. It could’ve been a scene from The Lord of the Flies, but the modern world imposed when we came upon a commercial photographer and his crew shooting sunglasses arranged on a tree branch for a catalog. Nice job.
On we went, twisting through narrow passages. In one carefully stacked cairns, waited silently in the sand, giving witness to the sacred beauty of the place. The passages ended at the gentle shore of Devil’s Beach. It wasn’t hard to imagine pirates polishing booty and spinning tales there by firelight.
After playing in the turquoise waves, we wound back up to the road along a sandy path passing Mangroves and Barrel Cactus. A soft wind scuttled dry leaves past our footprints. One lone dove wove into the low branches but other than a rare small lizard, there was no evidence of wildlife.
The hot afternoon and hike left us longing for a cold drink. We weren’t disappointed and ordered icy beer at one of the two open air restaurants overlooking The Baths. Mounds of multicolored Bougainvillea framed the patio fence. Across a tiled plaza, a couple dipped into a fresh water pool, drinks in hand.
The few veranda shops were closing for the day and beyond laid a postcard view; palm trees and low brush, rocks and beach with a few sailboats sliding towards the horizon. There was only an hour to soak in all the beauty before the shuttle returned us to the dock. I longed to stay for days but our one week catamaran trip was nearing an end.
Virgin Gorda is a remote island paradise. If you make it that far, plan several days to visit with the locals and deeply enjoy this graceful island’s spirit.