Hidden Caribbean Gem - March 13, 2022
With plans having fallen through Sunday, I decided to use the day to explore. I began my trip at 8 AM on Front Street, Philipsburg with the local vendors to find a sun hat for my mother. After successfully locating one, I was off to explore the beaches on the very-far side of the island.
My first attempt was Long Beach, which stretches a couple miles directly facing south toward the Caribbean Sea. However, this attempt was unsuccessful, as the road turned out to be private. Armed with a backup plan, my second attempt was Baie Rouge ("Red Bay") Beach, a smaller beach facing northward toward Anguilla. There was a very small parking lot down a bumpy road, and by 9 AM, I was on the beach.
The beach itself is stunning and truly a hidden gem, sheltered by palm trees with some private residences further down the beach. There are large rocks along the beach itself, creating little nooks on the beach where I could sit down and settle in. The water itself is calm, warm and bright blue, with a view of Anguilla directly ahead. From time to time, a propeller plane would pass overhead heading to one of the airports.
Near the entrance, there are cliff faces, one known as the Trou de David ("Hole of David"), which arches into the sea. People can swim or boat to and hang out under the arches. Unfortunately for me, recovering from a dislocated shoulder, swimming was out of the question, especially with the currents.
I spent most of the morning and afternoon walking the beach, lying in the sand and sleeping. By noon, the beach began to fill up slightly, but in no way seemed busy or crowded. Snorkelers enjoyed the coral reefs just off the beach, while the rest enjoyed packed lunches on the sand. My biggest regret was not to have brought something myself, as I would later find out that all the local eateries are closed on Sunday.
By the time I left around 2 PM, there were couples, families, individuals and locals relaxing on the beach, some listening to music. The parking lot was overflowing by that point, making me happy to have been one of the first to arrive in the morning. Overall, it was a very peaceful day.