Liming – Settling – Time for the Baths

 We drove back over the island, but instead of heading back to the ferry port, our friend had one more delight to show us on this amazing island.  We parked in amongst the huge granite boulders on the top of a dry sandy hill.  He guided us along a path through a gully to the most incredible sandy beach, set in amongst larger cousins of these batholiths.  We wanted to have another swim, but instead he took us through a narrow gap between two of these boulders leaning together.  It was very tight but it opened up to a labyrinth of caves.  Some were dry with a sandy bottom, in others the tide invaded and made small paddling pools, filled with ghostly white fry.  The light penetrated through the occasional gap magically lighting the rocks and the water.  A footpath guided us through, in some places we had to climb wooden stairs, in others we tugged at ropes belayed into the rock.  Every twist and turn of that pathway revealed more delights.  The rocks had formed under intense heat and formed their rounded shapes, and were blasted day and night by the hot sun to form a sort of onion skin peeling.  In some places, the curious mixture of the makeup of the rocks and the bashing from waves had cut out huge gouges on their undersides.  The whole environment synthesised into a natural spectacle of beauty.  This was The Baths.  I was never sure whether they were called the baths because they resembled Turkish Baths or whether it was just short for Batholiths, but that mattered not.  What was important was that these were a national park and people were being encouraged just to wander through, as they always say, taking nothing but photographs and leaving nothing but footprints.  Unfortunately the Baths are the jewels in the significant crown of the BVI, and tend to get overcrowded by cruise shippers and yachties.  They have to be seen to be believed, though, and although there are many other fantastic sights in Virgin Gorda, this is the most miraculous.