10 August 2014

Magical Mystery Tour Part Three

Pastries & iced coffee at Geraud's
We were on a roll from Monday and decided to spend Tuesday continuing our quest for sand. Naturally we had to fortify ourselves at Geraud's for breakfast, and that's where we ran into iluvdanny, her DH, and her DD.  In fact, it was Mr Iluvdanny who dubbed our quest the magical mystery tour.  We had breakfast with them and then parted ways -- they were headed back to Shoal Bay West and we, rather shamefacedly, were heading back to Katouche Bay.  Where we had just been the day before, and where each of us thought the other had picked up a small baggie of sand.

Still, it looked even prettier in the morning sunlight, so we made some pictures and I even clambered over the rocks on the far right to see what was on the other side (more of the same, with Crocus Bay in the background). Then we grabbed the sand together and headed off in search of Limestone Bay.  At one point we had a nice view back across the island to where we'd been.

Limestone Bay was easy to get to and we passed a couple of jaw-dropping villas along the way, and the public access for it was immediately next to an abandoned building bearing the sign Limestone Cafe.  We'd half-expected the beach to be deserted, but there was a Rasta guy enjoying a dip in the water when we arrived, and by the time we turned back to our car, there was another car there. A Dutch couple approached us, asking for directions to Little Bay. Apparently they didn't know that it was accessible only by boat or by climbing down the cliff.

Once we left Limestone Bay, it seemed natural to seek out Blackgarden Bay, which on the map looked like it was just one cove over.  We drove around, backtracked, and still never managed to find it.  Once again, the gravel track "road" had grown up in the middle, and we were very wary of getting weeds jammed up in the undercarriage, not to mention our fear of getting stuck on the rough-cut coral and having to call for help.  So discretion being the better part of valor and all that, we turned around to Limestone Bay and headed out to the main road.  If anybody reading this *has* found Blackgarden Bay by car, I'd love to get explicit directions from you how the heck to do it.

From there, we drove directly to AARF to drop off the collars and leashes we'd brought to the island for them and so we could meet the kitty we would be transporting back to the US. Wonder of wonders, there were no pups or adult dogs in need of adoption that week, and only a few kitties were around.  We took some photos and I cuddled a recent intake: an absolutely loving black & white young cat, just shy of being full grown (maybe eight months?). Our kitty was actually asleep, but there was another small kitten who very curiously watched all of the proceedings from the roof of the cat enclosure.
This black & white cat was all affection and purrs

This one shied away if we approached but watched
all of the proceedings with great interest
We thanked Tintin for her time showing us around again and made arrangements for our departure later that week, then headed to Savnnah Bay/Junks Hole. The road, while in terrible shape, at least had better signage than the last time we headed there.  We got out and explored the wonderful textures there -- this beach is really quite lovely, offering something for almost everyone.  There is a long crescent of sand, a very calm section on one end that is perfect for swimming (even for little kids), then the sand gives way to tidal pools, which are perfect for exploring, and beyond that are the breakers.  The breeze was both stiff and constant, and it could create one of those situations where you're completely unaware of getting sunburned because the wind off the water is so cooling.

We know we're getting close when we see the palm
trees and the road surface turns to sand

I had wanted to stay there for lunch, but DH said that he'd been looking forward all morning to that melon & prosciutto salad at Elite.  He so rarely voices an opinion that differs from mine, and since I do approximately 99% of the planning for our trips, I was happy to acquiesce, but we did take a moment to enjoy the shade and drink a couple of Tings. I also might have made a photo or two. I'll have the chance next summer to make sure we spend more time at Nat's.

We picked up a small baggie of sand and then drove once again to Island Harbour for Elite.  Our server recognized us from the day before and welcomed us back. DH had the same prosciutto & melon salad but I chose a grilled vegetable panino.  While we waited for our food, DH read and I wandered outside to make some more photos.  With the bright sunshine, it looked like a whole new place.
Elite, seen from the beach
Scilly Cay, seen from the beach at Elite

My lunch this time was better than the day before, but I wasn't in the mood for dessert this time around. This time we didn't linger after eating, but hit the road again, pausing at the church in Island Harbour to make some pictures before heading to Shoal Bay East. We stopped in again at Elodia's, where Carole apologized that only about ten minutes earlier, somebody had taken "our" cabana."  No worries, we responded.  We'd been in the sun quite a bit already that day, so we were content to sit, read, and drink in the shade of the restaurant itself.

I tried Carole's version of a BBC (Banana Bailey's colada), which made a much better dessert than any of the options presented at Elite, and when I'd finished it, DH and I took a walk up to the point that leads to Upper Shoal Bay.  It's so fascinating to me how the colors can shift and evolve in just a few minutes' time, like they did in these photos.

When it was time for last call at Elodia's, we paid up and said goodbye to Carole for this year, then headed west to first Long Bay, then Meads Bay, to pick up a little sand.  While DH and I are both well-accustomed to seeing the erosion on Barnes Bay and Upper Shoal Bay, it still came as a shock to see the erosion at Long Bay.  Cf: the photo I made a couple of years ago with where the water line was this year.
Older photo.  Note where DH is standing on the steps

I took this photo standing in the same place where DH
is standing in the photo above this one
Last year: June
This year, shot from nearly the same angle
as the photo above this one
Then we quickly hit Meads Bay, pulling up near the big tree on the Malliouhana property.  There was clearly still a ton of work to do before this place opens.  I'm very doubtful that it will open this year, but this time next year it should be pretty special. I don't know if their bar & restaurant is going to be constructed in the old location or not, but the empty shell of the old one was still there, looking a little sad.

Meads Bay at the golden hour

This post is getting on long enough as it is, so I'll continue another time and leave you with another Caribella sunset photo, this time not shot on my phone. It looks like it could have been the right conditions for the Green Flash, but I didn't see it that night.


  1. Lovely writing and photos.

    I do hope you will share with us how you will display the sand - could be inspiration for future exploration. Not that we need an excuse to visit the "lesser known" - at least for us - beaches.
    Such a shame about the erosion at Long Bay, my husband says it's still his favourite beach even if it doesn't exist all the time (his Anguillian Brigadoon if you like).

    1. I love the idea of the Anguillian Brigadoon.

      Not sure yet how we'll display the sand. The containers will need to be small because we didn't take much sand each time. Knowing my DH, he will want to design something typographically interesting...I'll definitely post photos once the idea comes to fruition.

  2. Twice you been to Katouche and twice you missed the many fossils in the stones on the beach. And the nearby Katouche Valley.

    Don't try to get to Blackgarden Bay from Limestone, especially when the road through Low Ground is muddy. Even when it's dry, local knowledge is required or you'll get lost.

    Instead, go back past Little Bay to the former Cottage Hospital (where the Red Cross is), turn left, go down the hill past the Savannah Gallery to the bottom of the hill. Turn left on Northside Road, go a quarter mile to Eric Reid Road on the left, and follow the signs to Kishti Villa.

    That's too far. Go back four houses, park by the dome house and follow the path to the left of the dome house down to the beach.

    1. Well, in my defense, at the time I visited Katouche I didn't know anything about fossils and the Katouche Valley. Next time, I'll know.

      Thanks for the info about getting to Blackgarden Bay. I don't have my map in front of me at the moment, but that does sound rather convoluted, but I'm prepared to take your word for it and give it a try.

  3. Emily - that sunset is amazing. You sure have been giving us a wonderful tour, really fun to see all the different beaches. Long Bay is ever changing, I have walked that beach with sand so deep it came up to my knees, and other times no beach at all.
    Another great read, thank you!

  4. The blue-green hues of the ocean are unbelievable! Thanks for sharing the photos! Remind me - what are you collecting the sand for? Do you plan on storing it or using it for decoration?

  5. Great shots of Shoal Bay and loved seeing the beaches lesser traveled and photographed like Limestone.



Please, sir, may I have some more? (Comments, that is!)