Above: The Baths, Virgin Gorda (all photos by Caribbean Journal)
By Alexander Britell
VIRGIN GORDA — Sure, there’s an explanation. An ancient volcano, that’s what formed these awesome granite stones.
The Baths are a marvel and they are a vision. But what matters here is the unseeable.
The minute you begin the rocky journey down to the sea, past the boulders, past the cracks and the pools, things get mystical.
There’s a vibration here rather unlike anywhere else I’ve been in the Caribbean; a feeling that straddles wonder and unease. It says, either I shouldn’t be here, or this place shouldn’t even exist.
Here at the Baths, it’s a different dimension, lines and curves assembling into an inarticulable sensation.
Beyond element, beyond comfort zone, into a crevice between space and time.
It sounds hyperbolic, but it’s not.
At the Baths, you’re following the footsteps of giants and titans and those for whom these boulders were but marbles. Perhaps the volcano was simply a cup of hot tea.
And you follow them down into the hidden pools and aquatic pathways, with names like Devil’s Bay.
At the foot of the descent, down at the beach, of course, there’s even a beach bar. To remind you you’re still in the Caribbean.
The Baths are one of the Caribbean’s great natural wonders. And inside the distances between the stones, inside the cracks in these old rocks, there’s an energy.
It’s tangible, but not with hands or shivers.
This place is the result of molten rock formations, a kind of subterranean forge that produced these perfect rocks, some chipped by too many days at the beach.
It sounds perfectly sensible. And then you walk around and think about the natural wonders of the earth and then about the chaos that led to the sensibility.
And then you need some rum.