Monday, February 22, 2010

Cautious Climbing at Eleuthera's Queen's Baths


Baths are my favorite method of relaxation, sitting in warm water always soothes away stress and fatigue.  Climbing through the craggy hills and coves to reach Eleuthera's Queen's Baths , I felt both of these sentiments without so much soothing.


The Queens Baths are small, natural, tidal pools surrounded by miles of uneven coral and oolitic limestone. Yes, I had an informal geology lesson while scaling the formations. Oolitic limestone is composed of calcium carbonate "oolites", which are small spheres formed by the precipitation of calcium carbonate on sand grains or shell fragments.  In other words, deep grooves covered the formations as you can see above. In order to make it to the Baths, you need steady feet, good balance and sturdy- soled shoes. Of course, I had none of these.  Fortunately, I made it by walking slowly and carefully.




I wasn't about to climb down the curvy rocks that lead into the pools in my sandals but the water rippled enticingly.  The pools are only about two feet deep and are replenished by water from the Atlantic which is warmed by the sun to about 85 degrees.


A large cavern cut by centuries of waves washing over it, sits behind the Baths.  The Queens Baths deliver fantastic views and the surrounding limestone formations expand in a glorious stretch for hundreds of feet. Just don't expect the kind of relaxation you get from your usual bath.

22 comments:

Tiffany said...

" sitting in warm water always soothes away stress and fatigue. "

That's 100% true.

Tiffany said...

" Just don't expect the kind of relaxation you get from your usual bath."

Thank god for the jacuzzi in my building that provides a similar feeling of relaxation.

Catherine said...

what stunning natural scenery - beautiful and rugged

Eileen said...

warm water here in the Antipodes seems about as far away as you can get. Glad you got that relaxing bath though! Loved the part about the sturdy shoes, and how you had none. One day I'll get to Eleuthera, but for now I'll just love your photos and descriptions!

Amanda said...

Those baths look fantastic! I think my husband would really enjoy clambering his way to them, but I'm not so sure I would...

http://www.bathroomtrade.co.uk/catalog/hinged-shower-doors-99-1.html said...

Simply amazing!

A Cuban In London said...

But it's the process to get there that matters,dear! :-)

On a serious note, though, those rocks do look perilous. You were brave. I loved the natural enclosures and in Cuba we have many, although I hasten to add, the ones I have visited don't require so much climbing.

Great post, I enjoyed those views a lot. And 85? I feel jealous. It's a chilly morning here in GB.

Greetings from London.

Fly Girl said...

Tiffany, I'm jealous of your jacuzzi!

Catherine, the Baths are beautiful, I just wish they were easier to walk on.

Eileen, I didn't have sturdy shoes, steady feet or blance! It was truly a hard trek for me.

Amanda, your husband propobably would. My husband kept insisting that I should wear hiking boots and doesn't understand why hiking boots and swimsuits don't go together!

Bathroom trade, thanks for dropping by!

Cubano,yes, the Baths are 85 and perilous but you get to go to Malaysia so nothing to be jealous of!

Shaista (Lupus in Flight) said...

I agree with Cuban, it is snowing here in England and what I wouldn't give to be sunk deep in those limestone pools - I am sure they are very healing too...

Footsteps said...

I just love exploring those kinds of places. How fun!

Fly Girl said...

Shaista,you Brits aren't the only ones suffering. Chicago is never pleasant this time of year. I haven't heard anything about the Baths healing powers but warm salt water is always good.

Fly Girl said...

Heather, it was fun, if a little perilous.

Wendy said...

Looks like it's worth the effort to get there with the right shoes of course. Bet you are glad to leave winter behind for a bit.

オテモヤン said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Mary and Sean said...

I recently bought a pair of adventure shoes, a cross between sandals and athletic shoes. I think those would be perfect for a situation like you described where you need something sturdy, but easily discarded too. I love natural baths

Fly Girl said...

Wendy, Ha! I wish. I'm still here, these post are from my trip in December.

Mary, I've seen those shoes, I was actually approached to review a pair. THe problem is, we weren't told we would need sturdy shoes, we had just come from snorkling.

Lola said...

Huge fan of natural baths and hot springs. Therapeutic!

Fly Girl said...

Lola, not sure how theaputic these baths were but I love natural baths too.

shantiwallah said...

What an amazing place, and it looks relatively quiet too. I can see how it was worth the trek!

Eden said...

Wow, what a beautiful place. I love the rock formation. Love to sit on those rocks and watch the waves. Have a nice day

Fly Girl said...

Shanti, it was!

Eden, couldn't quite sit on the rocks because they were so craggy but the views were beautiful. Thanks for stopping by.

Shower Doors said...

O my God really Awesome and cool place love to visit there. Open baths. Ha ha.
I just love exploring those kinds of places.