While preparing my visit to Eleuthera Island, I had read about Lighthouse Beach on the southern tip of the island, and the description caught my attention: one of the most beautiful beaches of the Bahamas, rarely visited. While flying from Cat Island to Nassau, where I would connect to Eleuthera, we flew right over the southern tip, so I could see the cape and the stretches of white beach on either side. Too bad there is no direct boat connection between the islands, and Nassau is the hub of the archipelago: the airport of Eleuthera is on the other side of the 100-mile long and slender island. After scuba diving in the waters close to Harbour Island, I am on my way south with my red Volvo station wagon. The drive south is beautiful enough, but I am mostly curious about the far south, and if my car will be able to make it. Renting a car at the airport turned out to be more difficult than expected, and I ended up driving the private car of the owner of a small rental agency - I promised to treat it with care.
After a short stop in Rock Sound at the Ocean Hole, one of the holes in the island with salty water, supplied through an underground connection to the sea through which even fish can swim, I continue past bays of peaceful waters and small towns. I resist the temptation to stop at the several turn-offs to other bays and beaches. The little traffic there is, gets even less, and after the turnoff to Bannerman town, there is nothing more. Then, the road becomes a rocky track, and at one point, I decide to leave my car behind and walk, without an idea of the distance to go. I anyway love being outside, passing several inner lakes teeming with birds, and then, suddenly, a row of palm trees announces the coastline. When I walk down a sandy path, a blindingly white beach stretches out before my eyes until several islets, and the turquoise sea is as clean and inviting as can be. There is no one around. I walk to the far end of the beach, turn around, so I can walk the entire length of the beach at Lighthouse Bay. To my surprise, I spot a few footsteps in the sand - otherwise, I could have believed this was a paradisiacal beach on a deserted island. It is unbelievable that this superb beach is still untouched - let us hope it will stay that way.
At the other side of the beach, I climb up to the lighthouse after which the beach is named. This is, after all, the southernmost tip of Eleuthera Island, which needs to be signaled to passing ships. The lighthouse turns out to be a ruin. A trail leads to the cape from here; at the far end, a narrow channel separates the main island from the three islets off the coast. To the north, I see yet another deserted beach. The waters below are so transparent, I can see fish swimming. To my surprise, I spot two sharks, several sting rays, a turtle, and other fish swimming around without even entering the waters. After walking the beach to the north to where I have a view towards the eastern coast of Eleuthera Island, I return, and go to the small cove just below the lighthouse where the sun still shines. After all the walking under the hot sun, I deserve a dip in the waters - how could I have resisted so long? I make sure to walk back to the car just before it is too dark. Ideally, I would have wanted to come back here to watch sunrise, but I sleep near Governors Harbour, and also have to be back to the north of the island in time to catch the boat to Nassau in the afternoon. With hindsight, it would have been better to sleep on the beach - sunrise must be beautiful from Lighthouse Beach.
Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Lighthouse Beach (). 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 Lighthouse Beach.
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