Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands

Virgin Gorda's Divine “Caribbaths”


Onboard Companions
Friends travel between Road Town, Tortola Island and Spanish Town on Virgin Gorda Island.
Divine Coast
Panoramic view of the coastline of Devil's Bay (The Baths) National Park.
an almost fossil
Dry coral in the vicinity of Devil's Bay.
Devil's Bay I
Bathers on Devil's Bay.
The Bath
Bather in one of The Baths' formations, Virgin Gorda.
Sauce conviviality
Family and friends mingle in one of The Baths' granite galleries.
A (Little) Diabolical Cove
Devil's Bay, one of the stunning coves of Devil's Bay (The Baths) National Park.
Opposite Destinations
Bright indications from Devil's Bay (The Baths) National Park.
Devils Bay II
Wave spreads gently over the Devil's Bay beach.
from pond to pond
Bather walks through one of the Baths' granite galleries.
photography in the clouds
A photograph of one of the granite boulders that make up Devil's Bay (The Baths) National Park.
Waiting Silhouette
Silhouette of a bather in a shadowy corner of The Baths.
3 & BVI
Friends pose on a ONE BVI sign just off Spring Bay.
an amphibian figure
Silhouette in one of the sea-invaded galleries of The Baths.
the spring bay
View of Spring Bay, one of the two most popular coves in Devil's Bay (The Baths) National Park.
The Poor Man?
Moses Carrier at the counter of "The Poor Man's Bar" on Spring Bay.
Of departure
Passengers board a Sensation Ferry at the Spanish Town dock.
Discovering the Virgin Islands, we disembark on a tropical and seductive seaside dotted with huge granite boulders. The Baths seem straight out of the Seychelles but they are one of the most exuberant marine scenery in the Caribbean.

After a Sunday landing in which we despaired with the establishments of the capital Road Town closed, towards the end of the afternoon, we found that Monday would be the same or worse.

It remains for history that, when faced with these places at the beginning of his second incursion into the Americas (1493), the fleet of seventeen ships and more than a thousand men of Christopher Columbus was surprised by a profusion of small islands that they could not see. end. To the devout Christian Columbus, the archipelago recalled the medieval legend of Ursula and the Eleven Thousand Virgins.

According to this legend, Ursula and her companions were supposed to travel to Ursula's future husband, the pagan governor of Armorica.

But the travelers decided to postpone the meeting and inaugurated a long European pilgrimage that included a visit to the Pope in Rome. The religious deviation cost them dearly. Ursula and the virgins ended up being slaughtered in Cologne by the Huns who were then surrounding the city.

There wouldn't be eleven thousand islands that we had around there, or anything like that. Of the several that make up the Virgin Islands today – both the American and British neighbors, two or three stood out from the rest.

A Almost-Forced Retreat at The Baths of Virgin Gorda

Faced with the inertia of Road Town, we simply stopped wanting to know. We are dedicating the holiday, Santa Ursula's Day, to the second island of the BVI (British Virgin Islands), which, according to their imagination and the soon-mapped profile of a paunchy woman, Columbus will have named Virgen Gorda.

Sensation Ferry Passengers-British Virgin Islands

Friends travel between Road Town on the island of Tortola and Spanish Town on the island of Virgen Gorda.

Having managed to wake up early in the morning, at eight o'clock in the morning we boarded the ferry that connects Road Town (the territory's capital and the only city on the island of Tortola) to Spanish Town, the city of Virgin Gorda.

The ferry bears the name “Sensation”. Shortly after we set sail, the windy seat of its upper deck captivates us with successive sensory rewards: the massage of the trade winds on our faces. The swaying in the serene Caribbean Sea.

The jagged and verdant coastline highlighted by the navy teal blue. The frigates that fluttered against the sky above. And the lively conversation of a group of Tortola friends spiced up by a strong Caribbean accent.

Landing in the British City of Spanish Town

After three quarters of an hour of navigation, we dock at the port of destination. In Spanish Town, as we had seen in different areas of Tortola, we found a new large cemetery of yachts, catamarans and other vessels caught by hurricanes Irma and Maria that, between August 30th and October 2nd, 2017, devastated the Virgin Islands, Porto rich, the Dominican Republic and several of the surrounding Lesser Antilles.

Since then, the BVI, in particular, have done everything to recover, to live up to the scenarios and reception that had made them famous and desired, in a long era of pre-hecatomb.

Dodo, the driver of an open-box taxi cab adapted to transport a few good visitors at a time, did his bidding. "Are you going to the Baths?” he asks us with an accent even thicker than the ones on board the “Sensation".

We replied that yes, we had already come with this little trip purchased from Road Town. "OK, I could take you there.” The parole he employs leaves us behind. More talk, less talk we realized that this was just another of the countless grammatical “modes” of the Caribbean.

Devil's Bay (The Baths) National Park, Virgen Gorda, British Virgin Islands

Panoramic view of the coastline of Devil's Bay (The Baths) National Park.

That the man, in addition to being slow to our reticence, was in good faith and more than willing for us to confirm his service.

On the way to Devil's Bay (The Baths) National Park

We confirm that we are the only passengers aboard the van. Certainly still as a consequence of the Irmaria, this is how the natives treat the pair of hurricanes that coexisted in time and that, for a substantial part of their lives, shared the same Caribbean trajectory of devastation.

Dodo drops us off at The Baths National Park ticket office. On tiptoe, hesitating for fear of tripping and falling into the cactus forest that flanks the path, elderly people coming from the cruises that anchor in Road Town were delaying their scheduled visits in touch mode and fleeing Virgin Gorda.

Even masters of our day, we feel the same eagerness to exchange that labyrinth of piercing vegetation for the mysterious inlets and trails of the Baths.

Bathers, Devil's Bay (The Baths) National Park, Virgen Gorda, British Virgin Islands

Bathers on Devil's Bay.

The Caribbean Dazzle of Devil's Bay

After completing a final sandy meander, we enter a Devil's Bay and, at least in our imagination, an extension of the western hemisphere of the Seychellois island of La Digue.

A gentle sea somewhere between emerald and turquoise erupts in curved lines through huge granite boulders, polished and yellowed with age. Moved by the trades, a caravan of nebulous sculptures flies over them and – it amuses us to think so – renew in the captive stones a millenary envy.

From there, we can only see a tiny part of the colony of related rocks that, by geological whim, occupied the west coast of Virgin Gorda.

Devil's Bay, Devil's Bay (The Baths) National Park, Virgen Gorda, British Virgin Islands

Wave spreads gently over the Devil's Bay beach.

Attentive to the movements of one of the local cruise guides, we learned how to climb one of the rocks. From the top, in panoramic format, we can see better how two peninsulas closer to pebbles closed the inlet against an abundant coral sand.

We soon noticed that one element was missing from the typical Caribbean ensemble: once upon a time, secular coconut trees projected from the middle of the cliffs to the sky.

These impressive plant extras were also ripped off by the destructive power of the hurricanes, in the chaos generated by low record pressures, few natives will know whether by Irma or by Maria.

A line of buoys sets a prohibitive threshold for sailing owners from the surrounding Virgin Islands. Unhurriedly, we appreciate your careful transfers. From small boats to tiny dinghies that tie to buoys to complete the ultimate aquatic swimming route, with backpacks and waterproof bags on their backs.

Bather-The Baths-Virgen Gorda-British Virgin Islands

Bather in one of The Baths' formations, Virgin Gorda.

The Baths Time

We descended back to the beach, installed our own gear, safe from the waves, and underwent the first salty and sacred thalassotherapy of that marine sanctuary. When we feel re-energized, we dry up. We then pointed north and the amphibious trail leading to The Baths itself.

We snake between rocks planted over the sea and the vegetation that accompanies them, always within reach of the waves cushioned by the succession of stones.

Wooden stairs and rope handrails give us access to real tunnels, antechambers and granite chambers where we unveil natural pools that are permanently replenished.

We came across Spanish Town and Road Town natives delighted with those immaculate moments of evasion.

Silhouette, the Baths, Devil's Bay (The Baths) National Park, Virgen Gorda, British Virgin Islands

Silhouette in one of the sea-invaded galleries of The Baths.

Walk through Successive Bathing Galleries

We descend a new staircase, enter a large chamber and listen to the echo of different voices. In the middle of the bathing-granitic heart of The Baths, lying in the turquoise water that the oscillating solar beams seemed to radiate, women and children of one family chattered and played in absolute rejoicing.

We asked two men who, outside and in the dry, were sharing another conversation and a bottle of whiskey to store our backpacks. We returned to the dark interior and sunk in the water, delighted with the spiritual richness of both the cave-lagoon and the affectionate fraternization that took place in it.

Convivium-The Baths-Virgen Gorda-British Virgin Islands

Family and friends mingle in one of The Baths' granite galleries.

Returning to the tongue of sand where we had left our backpacks, we thank the two men. We had already noticed that, like them, one of the women inside the pond had Indian features. Curious about a likely relationship, we got into conversation.

Vicky's and Roj's answers clarify our suspicion. “We were born in Guyana but we moved here to Tortola about eighteen years ago. Inside, they're all our family. Why did we move?? the things there in Guyana they went from bad to worse.

The economy, security… We took advantage of an opportunity to come here to work and it was confirmed that we were earning much more and having a quieter life. We stayed and opened our own business. Now we are really better.

Anyway, when we miss the good, Guyana is not that far away. We just take a plane and go there.”

Imminent Photograph, Spring Bay, The Baths-Virgen Gorda, British Virgin Islands

A photograph of one of the granite boulders that make up Devil's Bay (The Baths) National Park.

On the Antipodes of Devi's Bay: Spring Bay's busiest

We say goodbye. We took up the trail that continued to wind from the Baths towards the relief of a Spring Bay, comparable to Devil's Bay but, at the foot of the main trail in the park, much more frequented and welcoming.

Stuck in its picturesque "The Poor Man's Bar”, Moses Carrier and his family serve rum punch after rum punch to a group of customers sitting at a table in the shade.

Moses Carrier, "The Poor Man's Bar", Spring Bay, Devil's Bay (The Baths) National Park, Virgen Gorda, British Virgin Islands

Moses Carrier at the counter of “The Poor Man's Bar” in Spring Bay.

In Caribbean manner, these guests chatter at such a high volume and in such serious tones that they seem almost ready to inaugurate a drunken brawl.

When we walked between the bar and the sea, over almost embers, well sorry that we started it barefoot, we flattened the noisy group's table.

We scrutinized them with the attention they deserved and found that they are the same ones with whom we had shared the upper deck of the “Sensation”, that the rum and the excess of testosterone tempered by the sun and the absence of mates had made them shrill and triple, just as unconcerned with the discomfort their argument was causing.

Spring Bay, Devil's Bay (The Baths) National Park, Virgen Gorda, British Virgin Islands

View of Spring Bay, one of the two most popular coves in Devil's Bay (The Baths) National Park.

Spring Bay in Exclusive Mode

The park closed at four in the afternoon. An hour later, the ferry set sail for the last trip of the day to Road Town. That apparently pre-rumpus group has already disbanded half of these. We let ourselves stay a little longer.

We climb a new scenic cliff and swim between adjoining boulders. Then, we walked halfway up the park trail in search of views of other coves.

On the same route, we passed a set of blue letters placed at the base of a boulder that read “One BVI”. There we ended up photographing three friends delighted with the unexpected role of models.

Friends in Signboard ONE BVI, A photograph on one of the granite boulders that endow Devil's Bay (The Baths) National Park, Virgen Gorda, Devil's Bay (The Baths) National Park, Virgen Gorda, British Virgin Islands

Friends pose on a ONE BVI sign just off Spring Bay.

The Unexpected Metamorphosis “ONE BVI – BOVINE”

We descend back to the cove for one last dip. When we resumed the ascending path, possibly already late for the reunion with Dodo and for boarding the “Sensation”, we found that the park's happy visitors had stopped and entertained with a malicious game of Scrabble. Instead of “One BVI”, the lyrics were now “Bovine”.

The "Sensation” sailed forty minutes late, in full twilight. We disembarked in Road Town late and in a bad time but with the absolute certainty that we had spent one of the best bathing days of our lives.

Spanish Town Dock, Virgen Gorda, British Virgin Islands

Passengers board a Sensation Ferry at the Spanish Town dock.

La Digue, Seychelles

Monumental Tropical Granite

Beaches hidden by lush jungle, made of coral sand washed by a turquoise-emerald sea are anything but rare in the Indian Ocean. La Digue recreated itself. Around its coastline, massive boulders sprout that erosion has carved as an eccentric and solid tribute of time to the Nature.
Serengeti, Great Savannah Migration, Tanzania, wildebeest on river
safari
Serengeti NP, Tanzania

The Great Migration of the Endless Savanna

In these prairies that the Masai people say syringet (run forever), millions of wildebeests and other herbivores chase the rains. For predators, their arrival and that of the monsoon are the same salvation.
Prayer flags in Ghyaru, Nepal
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit: 4th – Upper Banana to Ngawal, Nepal

From Nightmare to Dazzle

Unbeknownst to us, we are faced with an ascent that leads us to despair. We pulled our strength as far as possible and reached Ghyaru where we felt closer than ever to the Annapurnas. The rest of the way to Ngawal felt like a kind of extension of the reward.
Luderitz, Namibia
Architecture & Design
Lüderitz, Namibia

Wilkommen in Africa

Chancellor Bismarck has always disdained overseas possessions. Against his will and all odds, in the middle of the Race for Africa, merchant Adolf Lüderitz forced Germany to take over an inhospitable corner of the continent. The homonymous city prospered and preserves one of the most eccentric heritages of the Germanic empire.
The small lighthouse at Kallur, highlighted in the capricious northern relief of the island of Kalsoy.
Adventure
Kalsoy, Faroe Islands

A Lighthouse at the End of the Faroese World

Kalsoy is one of the most isolated islands in the Faroe archipelago. Also known as “the flute” due to its long shape and the many tunnels that serve it, a mere 75 inhabitants inhabit it. Much less than the outsiders who visit it every year, attracted by the boreal wonder of its Kallur lighthouse.
Tiredness in shades of green
Ceremonies and Festivities
Suzdal, Russia

The Suzdal Cucumber Celebrations

With summer and warm weather, the Russian city of Suzdal relaxes from its ancient religious orthodoxy. The old town is also famous for having the best cucumbers in the nation. When July arrives, it turns the newly harvested into a real festival.
Dusk in Itzamna Park, Izamal, Mexico
Cities
Izamal, Mexico

The Holy, Yellow and Beautiful Mexican City

Until the arrival of the Spanish conquerors, Izamal was a center of worship for the supreme Mayan god Itzamná and Kinich Kakmó, the one of the sun. Gradually, the invaders razed the various pyramids of the natives. In its place, they built a large Franciscan convent and a prolific colonial houses, with the same solar tone in which the now Catholic city shines.
Beverage Machines, Japan
Meal
Japan

The Beverage Machines Empire

There are more than 5 million ultra-tech light boxes spread across the country and many more exuberant cans and bottles of appealing drinks. The Japanese have long since stopped resisting them.
Parade and Pomp
Culture
Saint Petersburg, Russia

When the Russian Navy Stations in Saint Petersburg

Russia dedicates the last Sunday of July to its naval forces. On that day, a crowd visits large boats moored on the Neva River as alcohol-drenched sailors seize the city.
Bungee jumping, Queenstown, New Zealand
Sport
Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown, the Queen of Extreme Sports

In the century. XVIII, the Kiwi government proclaimed a mining village on the South Island "fit for a queen".Today's extreme scenery and activities reinforce the majestic status of ever-challenging Queenstown.
Kayaking on Lake Sinclair, Cradle Mountain - Lake Sinclair National Park, Tasmania, Australia
Traveling
Discovering tassie, Part 4 - Devonport to Strahan, Australia

Through the Tasmanian Wild West

If the almost antipode tazzie is already a australian world apart, what about its inhospitable western region. Between Devonport and Strahan, dense forests, elusive rivers and a rugged coastline beaten by an almost Antarctic Indian ocean generate enigma and respect.
Gray roofs, Lijiang, Yunnan, China
Ethnic
Lijiang, China

A Gray City but Little

Seen from afar, its vast houses are dreary, but Lijiang's centuries-old sidewalks and canals are more folkloric than ever. This city once shone as the grandiose capital of the Naxi people. Today, floods of Chinese visitors who fight for the quasi-theme park it have become take it by storm.
sunlight photography, sun, lights
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Natural Light (Part 2)

One Sun, So Many Lights

Most travel photos are taken in sunlight. Sunlight and weather form a capricious interaction. Learn how to predict, detect and use at its best.
Rabat, Malta, Mdina, Palazzo Xara
History
Rabat, Malta

A Former Suburb in the Heart of Malta

If Mdina became the noble capital of the island, the Knights Hospitaller decided to sacrifice the fortification of present-day Rabat. The city outside the walls expanded. It survives as a popular and rural counterpoint to the now living museum in Mdina.
patriot march
Islands
Taiwan

Formosa but Unsafe

Portuguese navigators could not imagine the imbroglio reserved for the Formosa they baptized. Nearly 500 years later, even though it is uncertain of its future, Taiwan still prospers. Somewhere between independence and integration in greater China.
Oulu Finland, Passage of Time
Winter White
Oulu, Finland

Oulu: an Ode to Winter

Located high in the northeast of the Gulf of Bothnia, Oulu is one of Finland's oldest cities and its northern capital. A mere 220km from the Arctic Circle, even in the coldest months it offers a prodigious outdoor life.
Cove, Big Sur, California, United States
Literature
Big Sur, USA

The Coast of All Refuges

Over 150km, the Californian coast is subjected to a vastness of mountains, ocean and fog. In this epic setting, hundreds of tormented souls follow in the footsteps of Jack Kerouac and Henri Miller.
Nature
Cascades and Waterfalls

Waterfalls of the World: Stunning Vertical Rivers

From the almost 1000 meters high of Angel's dancing jump to the fulminating power of Iguaçu or Victoria after torrential rains, cascades of all kinds fall over the Earth.
Sheki, Autumn in the Caucasus, Azerbaijan, Autumn Homes
Autumn
Sheki, Azerbaijan

autumn in the caucasus

Lost among the snowy mountains that separate Europe from Asia, Sheki is one of Azerbaijan's most iconic towns. Its largely silky history includes periods of great harshness. When we visited it, autumn pastels added color to a peculiar post-Soviet and Muslim life.
Camiguin, Philippines, Katungan mangrove.
Natural Parks
Camiguin, Philippines

An Island of Fire Surrended to Water

With more than twenty cones above 100 meters, the abrupt and lush, Camiguin has the highest concentration of volcanoes of any other of the 7641 islands in the Philippines or on the planet. But, in recent times, not even the fact that one of these volcanoes is active has disturbed the peace of its rural, fishing and, to the delight of outsiders, heavily bathed life.
Robben Island Island, Apartheid, South Africa, Portico
UNESCO World Heritage
Robben Island, South Africa

The Island off the Apartheid

Bartolomeu Dias was the first European to glimpse Robben Island, when crossing the Cape of Storms. Over the centuries, the colonists turned it into an asylum and prison. Nelson Mandela left in 1982 after eighteen years in prison. Twelve years later, he became South Africa's first black president.
Correspondence verification
Characters
Rovaniemi, Finland

From the Finnish Lapland to the Arctic. A Visit to the Land of Santa

Fed up with waiting for the bearded old man to descend down the chimney, we reverse the story. We took advantage of a trip to Finnish Lapland and passed through its furtive home.
Swimming, Western Australia, Aussie Style, Sun rising in the eyes
Beaches
Busselton, Australia

2000 meters in Aussie Style

In 1853, Busselton was equipped with one of the longest pontoons in the world. World. When the structure collapsed, the residents decided to turn the problem around. Since 1996 they have been doing it every year. Swimming.
Kongobuji Temple
Religion
Mount Koya, Japan

Halfway to Nirvana

According to some doctrines of Buddhism, it takes several lifetimes to attain enlightenment. The shingon branch claims that you can do it in one. From Mount Koya, it can be even easier.
Train Kuranda train, Cairns, Queensland, Australia
On Rails
Cairns-Kuranda, Australia

Train to the Middle of the Jungle

Built out of Cairns to save miners isolated in the rainforest from starvation by flooding, the Kuranda Railway eventually became the livelihood of hundreds of alternative Aussies.
full cabin
Society
Saariselka, Finland

The Delightful Arctic Heat

It is said that the Finns created SMS so they don't have to talk. The imagination of cold Nordics is lost in the mist of their beloved saunas, real physical and social therapy sessions.
herd, foot-and-mouth disease, weak meat, colonia pellegrini, argentina
Daily life
Colónia Pellegrini, Argentina

When the Meat is Weak

The unmistakable flavor of Argentine beef is well known. But this wealth is more vulnerable than you think. The threat of foot-and-mouth disease, in particular, keeps authorities and growers afloat.
Newborn turtle, PN Tortuguero, Costa Rica
Wildlife
Tortuguero NP, Costa Rica

A Night at the Nursery of Tortuguero

The name of the Tortuguero region has an obvious and ancient reason. Turtles from the Atlantic and the Caribbean Sea have long flocked to the black sand beaches of its narrow coastline to spawn. On one of the nights we spent in Tortuguero we watched their frenzied births.
The Sounds, Fiordland National Park, New Zealand
Scenic Flights
Fiordland, New Zealand

The Fjords of the Antipodes

A geological quirk made the Fiordland region the rawest and most imposing in New Zealand. Year after year, many thousands of visitors worship the sub-domain slashed between Te Anau and Milford Sound.