The southern side of the island of St. Barths where the D211 highway meets the ocean again feels like a number of now built up island tourist hubs would have felt 60 years ago. A few homes are visible between the green of the vegetation and dot parts of the hillside, but that is it. There are no high rise condo’s here or mass tourism. However, with a little ‘vision’ one can clearly see an unfortunate busy alternative.
From where I am staying it is a 30-minute walk to the “nature pools” – a series of semi protected pools created from seawater surges. These tiny super clear pools are behind jagged rocks and every so often when the waves crash, copious amounts of spray water come over and fill up the pools. One has to also be careful here due to the healthy sea urchin population. Their sharp spikes cover the rocks and the safest place here is in the deep water over the sandy bottom where they do not live. One false move with a hand or foot in the wrong place and you are quickly in a world of pain.
With St. Barth’s mountainous topography a visit here feels like you are on a much larger island. The roads are quite steep in places, very windy; therefore it is not just a short drive from one end of the island to the other.
This afternoon we took the dingy out to some deep water above a shipwreck. I’m used to snorkeling in shallow water around bays – in this location I wished I had my scuba gear on! With fishing of Barracuda on the decline because of their high mercury content – we swam among schools of these fish. A few golden giant sea turtles swam through amazing us with their slow moving majestic beauty among the underwater life here.