I Survived A Bermuda Motorbike – an Island Adventure

bermuda

The rocky southern shores of Bermuda.

Be not afeard; the isle is full of noises,
Sounds, and sweet airs, that give delight and hurt not.
Sometimes a thousand twangling instruments
Will hum about mine ears; and sometime voices,
That, if I then had waked after long sleep,
Will make me sleep again: and then, in dreaming,
The clouds methought would open, and show riches
Ready to drop upon me; that, when I waked,
I cried to dream again.
― William Shakespeare, The Tempest

I wasn’t aware of Ariel or any other spirits singing in my ear during my trip to Bermuda. My experiences were mostly limited to the visual. However, Shakespeare’s portrayal of a magical and beautiful remote island in The Tempest, said to be based on the real-life shipwreck of the Sea Venture on Bermuda in 1609, is certainly not far-fetched. I, for one, was enchanted.

horseshoe bay beach bermuda

The colors of Bermuda are breathtaking and almost unreal.

I landed in Bermuda under gentler and more pleasant circumstances. A two hour plane journey from NYC, I arrived to blue skies, a calm sea and the subtropical warmth of this isolated island, lost in the Atlantic. My first impulse upon arrival was to jump into the ocean. No matter where you are on Bermuda, referred to by locals as ‘The Island’, its sparkling turquoise-blue waters are a permanent invite to throw yourself in! And Bermuda has it all. The tranquil waters of the northern shores are perfect for those who enjoy a relaxing, bath-like experience while if, like me, you are a fan of diving into waves or body-surfing, then the choppy sea along the southern coast is the place to go. Luckily, nothing in Bermuda is too far apart.

horseshoe bay beach bermuda

Hamilton is the Capital and the business center of Bermuda.

But first things first. I rented a moped, a must for any visitor who wants to see all of Bermuda’s nooks and crannies. I’d like to say that I sped off with the wind in my hair but, in reality, Bermuda has very strict road rules and wearing a helmet is one of them. I’m all for safety, especially since Bermuda’s roads are often steep and winding, but it did strike me as humerous when the scooter was spluttering to make it up the hill! At any rate, the feeling of liberty was still there, it just happened to be confined to the downhill portions of my trip.

horseshoe bay beach bermuda

Horseshoe Bay Beach is one of the most popular spots in Bermuda.

Bermuda has many beautiful beaches, particularly those located on the wilder, less built-up southern side of the island. Horseshoe Bay, with its famous pink sandy beach bordered by rocky cliffs, is arguably the most stunning. The pink color of the sand comes from the red shells of foraminifera, which are unicellular amoeba-related organisms that live on the underside of coral reefs. On this particular day, Horseshoe Bay was not only packed with the usual groups of beach-goers but also many burgeoning artists, there to partake in The Annual Bermuda Sand Sculpture Competition. There was an impressive collection of sculptures along the beach including an octopus, a Nikon camera, Angry Birds and Jabba the Hut. The imagination of the sculptors certainly wasn’t lacking.

sunset over grotto bay beach bermuda

Sunset over Grotto Bay - Bermuda

A couple of hours later, the sun went down allowing me to experience one of Bermuda’s striking sunsets, the beautiful colors of which were reflected in the serene ocean. Stunning!

horseshoe bay beach bermuda

Bermuda's Crystal Cave and Fantasy Cave were formed over 30 million years ago.

The next morning, I had the opportunity to share my breakfast with some of Bermuda’s more important characters: the wild chickens that roam freely about the island. These guys are everywhere, protected by law from the local shooting club, and seem especially fond of the luscious, green grass-carpet golf courses that cover the Island. Escaping the chickens, I disappeared below ground into Grotto Bay’s cave, just one of the natural caves showcasing stalagmites and stalactites among pools of crystal-clear water. The advantage of the cave at Grotto Bay is that you can admire these natural formations while swimming in its beautiful, but cold, subterranean pool.

horseshoe bay beach bermuda

Colorful and beautiful streets of St. George's, Bermuda

Having seen a lot of Bermuda’s natural beauty, I decided to discover the cultural aspects of the Island and made my way to the town of St George, the old capital city and a UNESCO world heritage site. First settled in the 17th century, St George’s small lanes and quaint, colorful houses are well-preserved and reminiscent of centuries past, despite being an inhabited city to this day. The locals are all manners and they greeted me often in passing in their distinctive Bermudian lilt. Being a British overseas territory, some residents still have strong Scottish or English accents, even after 30 years on the Island. I’m still not sure which was more difficult to tune into!

horseshoe bay beach bermuda

Bermudians relaxing outside "Another World" gift shop.

horseshoe bay beach bermuda

One of the major delights on the Island is seeing the men in their Bermuda shorts! The professional attire, I found it difficult not to stare at the businessmen in their smart suit shorts, knee-high socks, shirts and ties! Although they look a bit like overgrown schoolboys, the effort some of these men put into their outfits was visible from their matching socks and ties. With the extreme humidity that NYC experiences in the summer, I’m surprised that I haven’t seen more New York men sporting this style.

north atlantic ocean, bermuda

If by your art, my dearest father, you have
Put the wild waters in this roar, allay them.
― William Shakespeare, The Tempest

After several sunny days on the Island, my last day saw nature’s powers at play and the waters were indeed wild. An hurricane, 600 miles from the shore of Bermuda, was whipping the sea into a frenzy causing huge waves to crash into the cliffs of the Southern coastline. Hopping off my moped to take pictures, I completely underestimated the impact of the breaking waves and became drenched under a shower of sea spray that had reached over the 5 meter high rock. With the sun still shining, I began to dry off on my way to the capital city Hamilton, only to be soaked again by a sudden burst of rain. Stopping at the nearest bus-stop for shelter, dream-like thoughts began to enter my head: perhaps the hurricane would prevent me from leaving the Island! Sadly, this was not to be as, ten minutes later, the sun had returned and by the next day, the forces causing the waters to roar had been allayed. Back in New York, I cried to dream again.

Photos : Guney Cuceloglu

For more photos of Bermuda click: Bermuda Photo Gallery

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Bermuda – Williams Shakespeare’s Inspiration for The Tempest « photo of the day
  2. Amo
    Feb 25, 2012 @ 17:35:43

    Evocative!
    I had two trips to Bermuda and hope to return…

    Reply

  3. Lexis
    Nov 23, 2012 @ 18:05:02

    Hey, I came apon ur sttory about my home by accident n I just wanted to let u know thank u for the kind words about my home and I hope u do return

    Reply

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