Thursday, December 18, 2008

Gold Rock Beach, Grand Bahama Island

See the websites main photo? That's the gem that was nestled across the street from Lucayan National Park. If you pull up at the park, you honestly would not even know it was there, unless you previously searched for it online. The locals may also mention it to you, and if you are lucky, hopefully your cab driver mentions it, because there is no sign.
The sign is hidden down a very small narrow dirt path, surrounded by tropical plants, bushes and flowers of every kind. If you look closely across the street, you may be able to see the path, but it's a bit over grown.

Once we found the little path, it took us to a huge green rock that stated GOLD ROCK BEACH. You now know you are on the right path.

You have 2 options. For us though, we had only one option because the small bridge that would have taken us straight to the beach was out of service, and blocked off. We had to go right, and follow the path that is called Mangroves.

The Mangroves is pretty tedious, especially if it is blazing hot out. We actually were a little lucky, and a little unlucky because it began to rain, and we had to be very, very careful walking the Mangroves, because it is a long, long path through marsh land. Some areas of the path are nothing more than puddles of 2 inch water, which would break off into sections of a long narrow plank. You have to be very careful on the planks, because there are no railings, and if you fall in, you fall into water. The water is not deep, but there are many bushes growing from the water that could hurt you.

You cannot help but think a big alligator is going to come up to grab you. It's really phenomenal the whole trek through the Mangroves because you will feel like you are on some sort of safari. If you stop to take in the surroundings you will sometimes see a large crab scurrying about. You may also see a bunch of spiders.
Once the path ends, you are not quite to the beach yet... but you will feel the anticipation building up.

You are instead taken to a dark overgrown area of tropical woods, with huge trees. Looking around we saw so many different types of enormous bugs, beetles, and butterflies. A huge cicada the size of my hand was actually dead and stuck in a spiders web. A sight I thought I'd only ever see on the Discovery Channel.

A few feet through the woods you come up a small dirt hill, and just below the hill, you will find miles and miles of the secluded perfect white sand beach. The water is probably the clearest and most beautiful waters we found on the entire island.

I stood up on the hill and took in what I was seeing. Gold Rock beach was the absolute description of Paradise. Here I felt a trillion miles away from home. Here it was as if I had found a hidden gem that nobody else had ever seen. The beach is untouched. Not a footstep in the sand... not a soul.

Gold Rock can be seen out in the distance. If it is low tide, and you have your snorkel gear you can swim out to it. We though were hesitant seeing that if anything were to happen, we would be miles away from help, so we sort of just stuck to the shore, and snorkeled a few feet out. The water when we arrived was nearly low tide. Low tide is awesome because the sands create a work of art that is truly not to be missed!
The waters weren't teaming with life here though. We didn't see many fish, but we did happen to spot a bunch of gigantic crabs swimming about the white sandy bottom of the sea.
Gold Rock Beach is also a must if you are a fan of Pirates of the Caribbean. Some parts of the film were actually done here on this beach. There used to be an actual ship from the movie on the beach, but it has since been removed due to hurricanes.

You can see from the beach that the hurricanes that hit the island a few years back have managed to rip some huge trees right from the roots. However if you really look at this disaster, and what it has left on Gold Rock Beach, you will truly look at it like a beautiful disaster, because all of the fallen trees have added to the scenery. The trees have become dried out gorgeous stumps of drift wood, and it is simply stunning.

Gold Rock Beach is not to be missed! You cannot go to Grand Bahama Island, and not see Gold Rock Beach. The only visitors you will find here will be the pack of little birds that scurry about on the shore, checking you out while you take a swim.

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