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Day by Day Trip Report - 2003


We basically spent the better part of the day traveling from Baltimore-Washington International (BWI) to Governor's Harbor, Eleuthera (GHB) via Fort Lauderdale, Florida (FLL). We picked up our rental car (a jeep) at Governor's Harbor airport upon our arrival in Eleuthera, drove out to the house, quickly checked the place out, dropped off our luggage, and then drove back to Governor's Harbor to do our grocery shopping at Burrows grocery store.

That evening we went to Unique Village for supper as it was the closest place to the house. Unfortunately, just like we were out looking for a relaxing supper of local Bahamian dishes, the local ravenous Bahamian mosquitoes were out looking for an evening meal of fresh American tourist blood. I'm afraid the hordes of mosquitoes won. We wolfed down our food as fast as possible, paid the bill and ran out of there faster than Olympic athletes. We later learned that when the sun sets and the interior breeze dies down, the bugs come out. Back at our rental house, the mosquitoes weren't a problem due to the ocean front location and the constant sea breeze. It was a shame that the bugs ruined our dinner because we really enjoyed the food.


We were both still tired from traveling all day Saturday, so we decided to stay at home in the morning and relax on the deck and beach. It was real nice enjoying our late breakfast on the deck, watching the waves on the beach, and reading.

After lunch we thought we were finally ready for some exercise so we took a long walk southward along the beach. The first half mile or more was all secluded beach front with no houses. We eventually rounded a point and came upon a long beautiful crescent of soft sandy beach that stretched on for about 2 miles. The area was called Double Bay. Most of the houses along the beach were very substantial and didn't look like rental properties. In fact some of them were supposedly owned by American celebrities. All of them looked empty. We didn't see an entire soul along the whole stretch of beach except for one small family of five playing on the sand and snorkeling. The beach eventually ended in a rocky point of land that extended about a quarter of a mile out into the water. The rocky point of land in combination with the offshore reefs made for a beautiful protected bay. Out in the bay we noticed some ship rigging sticking up out of the water, part of an old wreck we figured. We decided we'd have to come back again another day and snorkel out on the reefs.

That evening we had supper at Mate and Jenny's. It was a nice pizza place in South Palmetto, only about 4 miles from the house. We tried one of their specialties, conch pizza (which also included onion and green peppers). It was OK. Conch doesn't have a lot of flavor of it's own. But, whenever we're in the Bahamas, we always seem to go out of our way to eat it. Conch and Grouper, it's all we eat when we're in the Bahamas.


Today was our first day of major exploration. Back when we were first thinking of going to Eleuthera, looking at rental houses on the internet, we had looked a place called the Pineapple Cottage in Spanish Wells, so we wanted to check the place out. Also we had read a lot about Harbor Island so we wanted to go there also. Both places were at the northern end of Eleuthera, so it seemed only natural to do them both on the same day.

On the way north we stopped off at the Glass Window Bridge. The island of Eleuthera necks down to about 40 feet wide at the bridge where a channel nearly cuts the island in two. Winter storms must take a VERY heavy toll on the bridge because it was in very sorry shape. One lane looked like an angry sea monster had taken a large bite out of it. It wasn't even sitting on its foundations squarely. It looked like some large hand had picked it up, cocked it to one side and then dropped it back down, 6 inches from where it should have been. Nevertheless, we drove over it just like everyone else, we just hurried as fast as we could!

All-in-all, it was about a 53 mile drive (about 2 hours) to the Spanish Wells ferry from le Sable Rose. After taking the ferry over to the island of Spanish Wells we started out walking around the town. We walked for about a half hour, without a map, and without a clue of where we were going to find this other rental house. We finally gave in and rented a golf cart ($9 per hr) from Abby's Rentals. It's located in a large concrete shed just to the left of where the ferry drops you off at the dock. I'd recommend them. They also gave us a great detailed map of the town and showed us where the rental house was. I'd never driven a golf cart before so I enjoyed the adventure. The biggest challenge was figuring out how to back the dang thing up! We eventually found the lever beneath our legs, under the seat, between us. Spanish Wells is a rather busy, bustling, little seaport. There was a lot of people, car, truck, forklift and golf cart traffic everywhere. We eventually found the rental cottage up a quiet side street packed in between other houses. The Internet site for the house advertised a secluded beach just a 2 minute walk away. I couldn't imagine there being anything secluded anywhere on the island of Spanish Wells!. When I thought of our lovely, quiet, remote, truly secluded le Sable Rose house, I couldn't wait to leave and get back. Besides all the traffic was starting to get to me. We hurried back to the dock, got rid of the golf cart, had a quick lunch at the dockside Anchor Restaurant (good food), and took the ferry back to Eleuthera. Once back at the car it was just a quick drive over to the Harbor Island ferry. This time when we arrived in Dunmore town we decided to skip the golf cart and walk about. I was tired of driving and I didn't want to have to bother with another golf cart rental. We ended up doing a lot of walking. Harbor Island seemed much quieter and slower paced than Spanish Wells. The area reminded us of Man-O-War Cay in Abaco. While the long, wide, sandy, ocean beach wasn't secluded, due to the many hotels on the beach, it still looked fabulous! It certainly wasn't crowded like the beaches back home in Maryland or New Jersey! We eventually found our way back to the ferry dock and then back to the car.

On the long drive back to le Sable Rose we made one last detour. Halfway between Alice Town and James Cistern the map said there were some spectacular cliffs along the Atlantic coastline. Fortunately we found the small roadside sign directing us down a small dirt road to the seaside cliffs. I don't remember any town other than James Cistern that had street signs along the main highway. (Bless the folks in James Cistern!) We spent a short while climbing around the cliff area enjoying the dramatic ocean view. We couldn't stay too long, my stomach was grumbling, it was hungry.

That evening we enjoyed a nice sunset and dinner at the Sunset Inn just south of Governor's Harbor. The Sunset Inn is located on a bay on the western coast of the island. Fortunately, we had learned from last night's dining debacle. We watched the sunset from the open deck, and then hastened inside the screened-in restaurant to eat our supper in a bug-free environment!


Today was another day of rest. We were originally going to drive down to Lighthouse Point on the southern tip of Eleuthera, but I didn't feel like driving all over again. It was so nice just relaxing on the deck or porch of le Sable Rose and watching the water. Finally around noon we decided we should do something. Reading thru the house information sheet we discovered that the home owner recommended a nearby spot to snorkel called Kemp's Creek. It was only about 8 miles from home so we figured we'd give it a try (see directions and map).

Kemp's Creek was a small, shallow, sandy-bottomed lagoon with a narrow opening to the Caribbean. The lagoon was filled with little fingerling sized fish, a few 1 1/2 foot barracudas, several Sargeant Majors, and several other unknown fish. Swimming out of the lagoon into the Caribbean the water got much deeper and I saw a large ray (6 ft wing span ?) swimming out to sea. We found the best snorkeling off to the left side of the opening. There are some large underwater rocks there with lots of coral and fish life. The only bad feature of the area is that the lagoon doesn't have any beach area. It's rough rocks right to the water's edge. There also wasn't any soft ground anywhere where you lay a blanket down if you wanted to sit for a spell.

When we got back to the house, we tried snorkeling off our own beach. Out in front of the house were several reefs. Unfortunately, the water was a little rough. That meant that the visibility wasn't very good due to all the churned up sand in the water so we gave up after a short while.

That night we made supper in the house.


Gosh, today was another day of rest! You'd think we were on vacation or something! In the late morning, we started walking north from the house along the beach. Along the way we passed several other rental properties that we had seen advertised on the internet. We were able to walk for almost 2 miles until the beach ended in rocks. We could have walked out in the water to get around the rocks, but it looked like it was a fair distance till we'd be back on dry beach and we weren't sure if the tide was coming in or going out.

When we got back home, we drove down to Double Bay (see directions and map) and went snorkeling. We checked out the boat wreck on the reef. Not much there, just some masts or poles lying on the bottom with one sticking up out of the water at a jaunty angle. The rest of the boat wreck was long since gone.

That evening we drove about 45 minutes north towards James Cistern to the Rainbow Inn for dinner and to listen to Dr. Seabreeze. The food was good, and we enjoyed the live music in the background.


Today we got up early and drove down to Lighthouse Point (see directions and map) on the southern most tip of Eleuthera. The weather was a little overcast with occasional, short, light, rain showers. It was another long drive to get down to Lighthouse Point. The main road, Queens Highway took us all the way down to Bannerman Town. Just before you enter Bannerman Town, the main road takes an abrupt, 90 degree turn to the right. In front of you is a small, innocuous, dirt road, basically just two dirt ruts leading thru the jungle. That's the route you want to get to the Lighthouse. The road is dirt in some sections, broken pavement in some, rocky in others, and REAL rough everywhere. I felt bad for the poor suspension system on the jeep. After about 3.5 miles you break out onto a lovely beach on your right side. Keep going until the road goes up a steep rise on the left and becomes undriveable. Park there. You can walk back to the beach you just passed or follow the road/rough path about 100 yards to another fabulous beach. We walked along that beach for a long distance seeing no signs of civilization. We collected lots of sand dollars along the beach. Back at the car is a short path up a small hill to an old abandoned lighthouse, which has been replaced by a modern, automatic light on a pole. When we were there, there were 3 women who were carrying their gear from their truck up to the lighthouse. They were camping overnight in the lighthouse, definitely illegal I'm sure, but the chances of a cop coming along were pretty slim.

On the way home we stopped at Tarpum Bay. We wanted to buy some fresh fish to barbecue on the grill back home. Everyone we asked on Eleuthera said the best place to get fresh fish was to stop off at the docks in Tarpum Bay around 2:30 to 4:00 in the afternoon. The fishermen stop off there to clean their day's catch and sell to whoever comes along. Due to the rainy weather that day there was only one fisherman there. He had a large assortment of Grouper available. One was a monstrous 4 foot long! However, we bought a fish that was decidedly smaller. They had already cleaned it out and then they chopped off the head for us. I have this thing about not eating food that's looking back at me. When we got it home I filleted it the best I could, Diane prepped it with some spices, wrapped it in aluminum foil with some veggies and then we placed it on the grill. With a side dish of rice, it was fabulous!


Here we go again, relaxing about the house. This was the first vacation that I can remember where we did so much relaxing.

After lunch we went to the Club Med beach. I wouldn't even have known it existed had it not been for an internet trip report from someone else who had been to Eleuthera several times. Club Med used to have a resort on the island but it was heavily damaged during a hurricane in the late 90's. Now the property is abandoned and going to ruin. We saw a sleepy, bored stiff, security guard at the front gate and another one that randomly walks about the property.

There are several ways to get to Club Med's beach (see directions and map). It's worth the drive. The beach was beautiful! About 1.5 miles long and almost 100 feet wide of clean, soft, lovely sand. We walked to both ends of the beach. The north end had a small rocky point with a small blow hole. The waves would come into an underground tunnel and then spout up thru a small opening in the rocks. The day we were there, there were about 15 people spread out over the beach. Definitely no crowds. We tried snorkeling on some of the reefs off the beach, then hung our gear and towels out on a fallen tree, sat down and relaxed on the sand watching the occasional beach stroller. When we got tired of all the excitement we packed up and drove back home.

For supper that evening we took the Grouper we had left over from the BBQ and threw it in with some spaghetti and tomato sauce - pretty good!


Our last day in paradise. I wanted to just sit around the deck all morning relaxing like before, my body had gotten into a routine, but instead, we had to quick eat breakfast, pack up and get out of the house before the cleaners arrived. We had a quick lunch at the Sunset Inn before we drove up to the airport for our flight home.





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