I landed on Inagua shortly after noon on November 21 and was met with clear skies and a light but welcomed breeze.
Inagua is the southernmost island in the Bahamian archipelago and is known as the land of salt, for the Morton Bahamas Ltd. located on the island, and its world renowned wildlife sanctuary protected by law.
Known as the birdwatching capital of The Bahamas, I really had no expectations of the island. I visited once, for five hours during the ribbon cutting ceremony of a $20 million aircraft hangar for Operation Bahamas, Turks and Caicos (OPBAT), which is based on the island.
Now it was time to explore and really see the island.
Inagua has to be one of the most beautiful islands in the country. Miles of unspoiled land has left some of the most scenic locales intact. Each day I saw mesmerizing sunrises and dramatic sunsets.
During the late 1800s, the English Crown, which ruled the Colony of The Bahamas at the time, built three lighthouses in The Bahamas to protect against ship wrecks believed to be caused by piracy. One of those lighthouses is found in Inagua.
I spent about an hour, around sunset, exploring the lighthouse, climbing its steep stairs and surveying the only settlement in Inagua, Matthew Town. It was glorious.
The lighthouse stands at 113 feet and has visibility as far as 17 miles.
The sun, a bright fiery orange on the horizon, glowed fiercely as it dipped into obscurity that day.
At 5:30 a.m. the next day, I set off on my first ever journey birdwatching. I really didn’t know what to expect, but I was excited. Usually if anyone spoke about birdwatching, it was of how boring it was. I try not to be swayed by the opinions of others. Sometimes you may have a completely different experience from a friend. I’ve learned that I like the outdoors, even though I have no outdoor skills like mountain climbing or camping. I am learning to fish with a fly rod though, so that’s progress.
Inagua, home to the Inagua Woodstar, has over 200 species of birds.
I found my birdwatching experience to be more rewarding. I’m not just saying that either. I saw over 100 flamingos, some wading in freshwater, others flying, and some involved in a mating ritual. It was something I never thought I’d love.
That experience now has me obsessed with bird photography. I looked up some images and was wowed by how vivid and dynamic bird photography can be. So if you know anything about it, I could sure use your help!
Then there was the food on the island. I had fish fillet, with peas and rice and cole slaw on my second day and it was amazing. I mean sit on the couch for three hours afterwards amazing. It doesn’t get more Bahamian than that. Obviously I was so busy eating I didn’t stop to take a picture.
So, should you visit Inagua, be you Bahamian or international traveler? I don’t think I have to tell you what to do.