March 8, 2013

More of Eleuthera, an Island Paradise

Yesterday’s blog was all about the fabulous Leon Levy Native Plant Preserve on Eleuthera in the Bahamas.  Today, I’d like to share with you some more of what we saw and did on this beautiful island paradise.  Eleuthera is 110 miles long and in some places, little more than 1 mile wide.  Driving around the island, one sees vast fields, wide pink sandy beaches, and large outcrops of ancient coral reefs.  The eastern side faces the Atlantic Ocean and the west looks out onto Exuma Sound.  Eleuthera was quite a prosperous island until the 1980s.  However, due to changes in foreign-ownership policy and with the Bahamas becoming independent in 1973, all of the large resorts and agricultural businesses have been abandoned, putting a big strain on the population.  I am told that unemployment on the island is a shocking 70%.  Despite the economic downfall, I found the islanders to be a friendly, lively, and enthusiastic bunch.