The Baths of Virgin Gorda are a geological wonder.  Huge granite boulders emerge from turquoise Caribbean waters, and when seas are calm, you can snorkel among the granite rocks.



These boulders are as big as a two story house.  A watery trail takes you through caves beside and beneath the mammoth outcroppings, and at the end of the trial is Devil's Bay - an aquamarine marvel and an aquatic feast for the eyes.


After I visited the Baths the first time, I thought that granite boulders didn't get any bigger than this.  After all, these were king size rocks.  That's what I thought until I did expeditionary travel in the granite fields of Central Arabia.


These are the batholiths of central Arabia.  They are found in the Southern Nejd Quadrangle south of Mecca Road.  You drive out of Riyadh southwest for two hundred kilometers on the highway, and then head off-road due south into the desert for another two hundred kilometers.  You keep driving south until you arrive at the middle granite fields where the boulders are as large as a city block and as tall as a ten story building.

Take a look at the small red Land Rover heading for the megamammoth, overwhelmingly large granite outcrops.  The Baths of Virgin Gorda look like grains of sand compared to these batholiths.  When I first saw these chunks of granite, I couldn't believe my eyes.  I didn't know that single boulders came in such large sizes - I guess that's why they call them batholiths.

The batholiths stretch across the desert for hundreds of miles.  I have camped dozens of nights in the granite fields of Arabia with batholiths surrounding on all sides.  It's pure joy to drive my Land Rover across the desert sands at forty miles per hour traveling from one set of granite boulders to the next.  Just before sunset we make our camp, lighting campfires that will cast dancing shadows on surrounding granite walls.

These batholiths dwarf our Land Rovers.  We are at least two-hundred kilometers off-road in this section of the granite fields, and that's the way we like it.  The air is clean and there's no light pollution from the city to ruin the night sky.  The Milky Way spreads from horizon to horizon and Orion spends the night watching over us as he marches across the winter sky.

Camping in the granite fields does have it challenges.  It's hard to drive your tent stakes into the ground when there is granite all around.  Sometimes you simply set rocks on the corners of your tent and hope the tent doesn't blow away if a sandstorm comes up during the night.


How I wish that I could once again be outback and beyond cruising in the Batholiths of Central Arabia.  But for now, that's impossible, and I will satisfy my granite yearnings with a visit to the Baths of Virgin Gorda.  Life is good.

Log 1 Peter Pan Around the World
Log 2 Weapons of Mackerel Destruction
Log 3 Pirates of the Malacca Straits
Log 4 Kissing Cobras
Log 5 Debriosaurus Rex
Log 6 Go Ahead - Live Your Dreams

Log 7 The Man Who Built His House on a Rock
Log 8 Ambivalent Eagles
Log 9 One-Shovel Full at a Time
Log 10 Hitchhiker's Guide to Planet Earth

Log 11 Keeshond

Log 12 The Red Sea Blues

Log 13 Feel the Freedom

Log 14 The Danger Zone

Log 15 Lucky Man
Log 16 Dream Machines - Land Rover Defenders

Log 17 Trade Wind Dreams
Log 18 Logs With Fins
Log 19 Everywhere, Everything
Log 20 Shark Slayer Is History

Log 21 Viking Funeral - Burial at Sea
Log 22 Improbable and Impossible

Log 23 Keep on Trucking
Log 24 Dream Machines II
Log 25 Bodysurfing Whales
Log 26 Hitting the Wall
Log 27 Surviving the Savage Seas

Log 28 The Next Step
Log 29 Welcome to Barbados
Log 30 Atlantic Rally for Cruisers
Log 31 The Man with the Unplan
Log 32 Dali Dolphins
Log 33 Flying Like a Turtle
Log 34 The Foolish Man Built His House on a Pitch Lake
Log 35 Go West Young Man
Log 36 Crossing the Atlantic in a Row Boat
Log 37 The Unsinkable HMS Diamond Rock
Log 38 Catamaran Capsize in 170 mph Winds
Log 39 When Are You Coming Home?

Log 40 Master and Commander of Anegada - Frigate Birds
Log 41 Baths of Virgin Gorda - Batholiths of Central Arabia

Log 42 Free at Last
Log 43 Stalking the Wild Manatee

Log 44 Spreaderman
Log 45 Attack of the Flesh Eating Bees
Log 46 Sharks and Coconuts
Log 47 Stingray Picnic
Log 48 Boo Boo Hill
Log 49 Whale Slayers
Log 50 Noddies (Not Naughty)


Log 51 Exumas Land and Sea Park
Log 52 David and Goliath
Log 53 Turquoise Clouds of Paradise

Log 54 Momma Nightjar
Log 55 Maximillian The Great
Log 56 Chiton Kingdom
Log 57 Flying and Holding On
Log 58 Far Horizons
Log 59 Clouds Are a Sailor's Friend
Log 60 Getting Connected
Log 61 Fear
Log 62 Grand Schemes and Other Important Things
Log 63 If Jellyfish Had a Brain
Log 64 Cousins That Don't Kiss
Log 65 Swimming With Sharks
Log 66 Perfect the Way You Are
Log 67 Space Travelers
Log 68 Aliens
Log 69 Monsters of the Mind
Log 70 My Butterfly Collection
Log 71 Somewhere Other Than Here Societies
Log 72 Five-Hundred Pound Spiders
Log 73 Red Sea Sunsets
Log 74 Gibraltar Sunrise
Log 75 Big Sea - Small Ship
Log 76 Just Cruising
Log 77 Castle Mania
Log 78 You Must Know the Sea
Log 79 Flying Like a Goat
Log 80 The Joy of Photography
Log 81 Universal Camouflage
Log 82 My Rainbow Collection
Log 83 Indian Ocean Reward
Log 84 Fiber W
Log 85 Turkish Reflections
Log 86 Mirrors and Mirages
Log 87 Lycean Tombs Rock
Log 88 Rigging Emergency
Log 89 Pamukkale
Log 90 Volcano Land
Log 91 Sniffing the Air
Log 92 Why I Don't Kite Surf
Log 93 Resurrecting Exit Only in Turkey
Log 94 Greased Pole Competition
Log 95 Tsunami Damage
Log 96 Afraid of Living
Log 97 Living on the Edge
Log 98 Borneo Adventure
Log 99 Uligamu Tree Tender with Full Benefits
Log 100 God's Fireworks Display

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This web site is a companion to Outback and Beyond.com.