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Saint Vincent and the Grenadines: Mayreau

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Mayreau | Saint Vincent and the Grenadines | Americas

[Visited: October 2011]

The boat from St Vincent arrived just after sunset, so when we walked up the hill of Mayreau, we could not very well imagine what the island looked like. Luckily, we found a place to stay in this small (only 300 inhabitants) settlement of Old Wall. The next morning, we were all curious about the island, and sneaked out when the sun had just started rising in the sky on its daily trajectory. We followed the only concrete road of the island, and when we arrived at the catholic church on top of the hill, we walked behind the building for a great view of the famous Tobago Cays in a distance. Following the steep road to its very end, we arrived at Sandwhistle Bay, the northern tip of the island. Even though much of the beach was still in the shadow, we directly fell for the place.

Picture of Mayreau (Saint Vincent and the Grenadines): Palmtree hanging over the fine white sand of Sandwhistle beach

Before our eyes, we saw a stretch of fine white sand, graciously curving towards the other side of the bay. Calm, green and turquoise waves were delicately lapping on the beach, and we were the only ones around. Except for three dogs, who had been following us from the village and who started to dart around the beach like crazy. We walked to the far end, where a beach on the eastern side of Mayreau was very close to Sandwhistle beach - only a row of palmtrees separated the two. The coastline on the other side, with coral washed ahore, and wild waves rolling in, and Canouan Island and the Tobago Cays clearly visible, looked completely different. We watched the spectacle of a group of pelicans collecting their breakfast in a targeted campaign of fly - dive - catch - eat, before taking the few steps back to Sandwhistle beach.

Picture of Mayreau (Saint Vincent and the Grenadines): Wooden pier jutting out into Sandwhistle bay

The translucent sea was too attractive to resist, and we took a refreshing swim in the bay. I also tried to climb one of the almost vertical coconut trees before we walked back to Old Wall. The village had come alive, with reggae music pumping from the loudspeakers in several places. Apart from the star attraction of Sandwhistle beach, the small community of Old Wall gives Mayreau a character that almost made us stay a couple of days. We also visited the salt pond, very rich in birds, and hiked to the other side of the island for more views of the Tobago Cays. A downpour followed and we just barely managed to find a shelter. When our boat of the day, the Barracuda, left, the sun was shining again. We had wanted to stay longer, but were also driven by curiosity for the other islands in the vicinity. The dilemma for every traveler: stay longer in a spot you love, or move on to other places yet unknown?

Picture of Mayreau (Saint Vincent and the Grenadines): Reggae bar on Mayreau island in Old Wall settlement
Picture of Mayreau (Saint Vincent and the Grenadines): Sandwhistle Beach consists of fine sand and a tranquil sea
Picture of Mayreau (Saint Vincent and the Grenadines): Two beaches separated by a row of palm trees, on the right Sandwhistle Bay
Picture of Mayreau (Saint Vincent and the Grenadines): Beach on the northeast side of Mayreau
Picture of Mayreau (Saint Vincent and the Grenadines): View of Sandwhistle Bay from the north
Picture of Mayreau (Saint Vincent and the Grenadines): Beach bar on Sandwhistle Bay: no customers in the early morning
Picture of Mayreau (Saint Vincent and the Grenadines): Bird-rich salt pond in the south of Mayreau
Picture of Mayreau (Saint Vincent and the Grenadines): Small cemetery in the village of Old Wall on Mayreau
Picture of Mayreau (Saint Vincent and the Grenadines): Catholic church on top of the hill of Old Wall, the only settlement on Mayreau

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