My time in Eleuthera was intentional down time. Time to relax, to explore, to do goal setting for my future and to have fun. I only spent four full days on the island, arriving Tuesday afternoon, and leaving Sunday morning. Here's a brief rundown of what I did:
Wednesday: I drove down to the southern end of the island, about 60 miles away. Though there were intermittent hills, the farther south I went, generally the lower the land got. It's hard to generalize as to what parts of the island are the more touristy and inhabited and which ones are the less, but in general, I'd say that with two large exceptions, the south is less touristy. I went through innumerable small villages, and the only town of any size south of Governor's Harbour was Rock Sound, the location of the southernmost airport on the island. Connected by a bridge to the island is a separate island called Windermere, the location of high end homes, some of which are owned by celebrities. At the very end of the island was Cape Eleuthera, a gated vacation community. I didn't visit either of those two areas, instead, just meandering down the Queens Highway through the little villages until reaching the end, at Deep Creek.
Thursday: I took a walking tour of Governor's Harbour. Had I known what to be looking for, I would have gotten off of the main harborside street, and walked up some of the hills to the neighborhoods containing old colonial style architecture. Instead I mainly walked around the harborside of town, looking at a few of the old buildings, but not seeing too much of any consequence. One of the commonly referenced historical buildings is the old library. Built in 1897, it's still an actual working library and open to the public, but frankly didn't seem too interesting. Things were slow, I was one of only a handful of tourists milling about, and a store owner told me that most of the tourist restaurants were closed this time of year due to it being the low season.
Friday: I toured the northern ends of the island. I'd seen much of it the year before but had not quite made it all the way to the end. This year I did, reaching the tiny village of Current. Current didn't have much tourism infrastructure, but it appeared to have some of the nicer looking beachfront lots and houses I'd seen on the island. At the north end of the island, there is the Northern Eleuthera Airport (international) as well as ferry access to Spanish Wells and Harbour Island. In the evening, Matt Simon, the owner and developer of the condos where I was staying, came in to town for the weekend. He invited me along for Governor's Harbour's Friday night fish fry, and wanted to take me around town along the way. Matt is the primary rental agent on the island, and everywhere we went he ran into clients and homeowners. The fish fry is one of the things the books all say you should do, and was actually lots of fun--a healthy mix of locals and tourists, all sorts of good grilled food (not just fried fish), and a nice relaxed atmosphere, all at the side of the harbor at the end of town.
Saturday: Matt owns a 19-acre seafront tract in Gregory Town, north of Governor's Harbour. He lists it periodically on Craigslist and we agreed to meet and see it. Though he travels frequently to Eleuthera he had not actually walked the property in a few years. His neighbor had cut in a road beside the land that we intended to utilize to get to the water frontage of his property. He expected it would take 10-15 minutes. We got there and parked on the side of the paved road, and looked for the dirt road cut in. It was clear that nature had quickly overtaken it. We found it, and walked--very slowly--through the overgrown bush and trees that had grown up over the last four years. We had to proceed carefully, and almost lost the trail a few times, also being careful to avoid large spiders' webs (that is, large webs, of large spiders) that covered the path. The day became hot and we were both soaked to the skin. Our ten minute walk turned into closer to an hour's walk to get there. We finally reached it. The land fronts on the Caribbean, but it is not sandy beach--it is actually cliff frontage dozens of feet above sea level. On the side of the cliff are ledges that could, with some work, become steps leading down to a great snorkeling area. And on the land were some nice high points that would make great home sites. In the distance along the cliff we could see a dirt road that had been carved into an adjacent property, so with Matt in the lead, we climbed down some of the ledges, and then climbed along the ledges until we reached the dirt road. The road eventually led back to the Queens' Highway (the main road), and while it was actually quite steep, it was at least clear of overgrowth. The only disadvantage of the lack of bush was that the sun beat down hot on us as we made our way back.
We were both quite tired by the time we returned to his car. Though my mileage tracker indicated we'd walked a bit less than two miles, I was far more tired than I'd usually have been walking twice as many miles. Matt was having a little social event at his condo that evening, and went home to prepare for that. I relaxed at the pool, and then went down to spend the rest of the afternoon at the beach relaxing.