So, the Bahamas have a name for being a luxury destination, where honeymooners and millionaires go to put their feet into the soft sand of its incredibly beautiful beaches. There is much more to the country: it has hundreds of islands, most of them hardly ever visited by foreigners, but not less beautiful than the iconic spots for which the country is famous. One such seemingly inevitable destination is Harbour Island, off the north tip of Eleuthera Island. After visiting Cat Island, and before exploring Eleuthera Island itself, I could not resist the temptation to cross over to Harbour Island. Speedboats ferry passengers up and down Cistern Bay, from close to the international airport to the docks at the western side of Harbour Island. It is a small island, and Dunmore Town is the only settlement on it.
Upon approaching the island, it was impossible to miss the luxury yachts bobbing on the green waters of the small harbour. At the airport, I had already seen several private jets, and I felt like entering a world that normally belongs to others. Dunmore Town straddles Harbour Island, and reaches from east to west, a ten minute walk. Even though it is small enough, it is rare to see someone walk: apart from a few cars, the main mode of transportation is golf carts. I walked anyway, criss-crossing the town from west to east, and north to south. The streets are pretty, lined with palm trees and English colonial mansions, wooden houses coloured in green, blue, yellow, and pink. The town, named after a British governor of the Bahamas in the late 18th century, is not your normal town. It does have some small shops and restaurants, but otherwise, it is rife with posh resorts - one of the reason why I decided to stay on Eleuthera Island itself.
Apart from its traditional houses, several historic landmarks, small churches, and a battery of cannons which once protected the town against invasions, Dunmore is mainly known for its Pink Sands Beach. Cutting through the island from west to east, it is a mere ten minute walk to reach the dunes on the eastern side, where the famous beach opens up before your eyes. And oh, is the sand pink! Peaceful waves wash ashore on the stretch of sand that stretches far to the north and south. Mansions are built on the dunes, resorts are hidden between the trees on top of the sandy hills, and the beach appears beautiful, but you have to share it with others. I would find some other beaches on Eleuthera Island which were more beautiful, and completely deserted, giving them a much more exotic feel. Walking the beach and streets of Dunmore, seeing people race by on their golf carts, staying at luxury hotels, chatting on their yachts or going back to their private jet at the airport across the bay, gave me a feeling of being a complete outsider. This became more evident when I took the boat back to Nassau: people laughed at me for taking the 7-hour slow boat instead of the 15 minute flight. Interesting to visit, certainly.
Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Dunmore Town (Bahamas). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Dunmore Town.
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