Harbour Island Stories and Tips

Valentine's Eve on Harbour Island

Horses on the Beach Photo, Harbour Island, Bahamas

Eleuthera drew us because of what it is missing: clubs, malls, casinos and crowds. It’s a quiet place. The island is 110 miles long and has 3 little airports. We chose Governor’s Harbour which is in the unfashionable middle. Then we rented a jeep and drove to each end. There is only one main road; the spine of Eleuthera which honros Her Royal Majesty, Queen’s Highway. At times you can see the Caribbean, other times the Atlantic. There is thick vegetation and dry prairie and a handful of banana trees and pineapple plants that are too small to be called plantations or farms. There are many tiny villages. One proudly claims a population of 40.
At the very tip is a boat dock for water taxis that travel 10 minutes to Harbour Island. It's about 3.5 miles long and only 1.5 miles wide but the middle of the island is a sizeable hill for hiking in the heat. Harbour Island is the remote playground of the wealthy and famous. It's local population is about 2000. It’s such a hassle to get there I can’t imagine it ever gets crowded. There is alittle airport nearby. We were there over President’s Week and it was never crowded. There are a few cars and trucks but most transport is on golf carts. And everyone drives left, English style. The golf carts are fun, open air and zip around like little Morris Minis. We explored the famous Pink Sands Beach, poked around a pile of pink conch shells, admired the sunset and loved the fresh flowers that were sitting on the dock in anticipation of next morning’s Valentine’s Day.

I suppose some of the lounge chairs might have been occupied by some familiar face but my attention was drawn to the horses. They clumped along and when their handler, Robert, saw that I wanted to take their picture he yelled at them to stop. When I finished he yelled at them to run through the foam at the water’s edge. What an incredible sight.
And the sunsets? The pictures tell the story of a brilliant gold and magenta sky but not of the scent of salty air, the caress of a soft breeze and the gentle sound of the water.
Harbour Island has shops and restaurants and lots of gardens and charming wooden cottages that resemble a Caribbean version of Nantucket. We saw it all in under two hours. The water taxi is $5. each way and it’s a bargain.

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