Sun, Sea and Sand in The Bahamas
Trip Start Jan 18, 2006
100Trip End Dec 2006
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Where I stayed
Then before we knew it, we were up up and away from the US for a week to the blissful islands of The Bahamas in the Caribbean.
Our initial idea had been to stay in Nassau on Paradise Island since the flight went there, but after some research we opted to fly again from Nassau to a small island called Eleuthera and get away from the masses!!
The flights from Miami and then Nassau were actually great, but the small planes that we boarded made me nervous, especially the thirty seater with Bahamas Air
We arrived safe and sound on the Island of Eleuthera, at Governers Harbour, the center point of the Island. A taxi ride to our apartment for the week, made us realise we were in for some gooooood weather and a few mossies!
Actually the taxi ride was quite funny. The driver must have been about 105 years old and we quickly knew that it was pointless engaging in conversation with him since as well as being slightly deaf, he was also slightly mad. Upon entering the cab, the driver asked us if it was our first time in the Bahamas to which we replied.. yes... then silence for ten minutes before in exactly the same manner he asked again... "so is it your first time in the Bahamas..." We were worried, but luckily he had not lost the art of driving and he took it slowly through the one main road on the island.
Arriving at our destination we were delighted. Lynsey had done a lot of research to find the a self catering apartment which sat directly on a really quiet beach front
Named "The Laughing Bird Apartments" the place was lovely and the owners Jean and Dan were equally nice with cheerful conversation every time you passed by. Theirs was a nice story; with Dan (from England) having come to the Bahamas as an government architect over thirty five years ago... he was only meant to be on the islands for a few years and ended up staying for good!! Nice idea Dan!!! (Hi you two if you are reading! and thanks for a lovely stay)
We discovered that the apartments were very well named as we walked to Governor's Harbor on the first night... there really are birds chuckling away to each other as we made our way to check out the weekly BBQ, which was as close as Eleuthera gets to a local nightclub!
The evening was fantastic... we sat drinking "Kalik" beers with the sun setting behind us. While we chilled out we watched as locals and the few tourists ate a feast, got drunk and danced so impressively in the streets that Bruce Forsyth could have been judging the event... "...didn't they do well...".
By the next morning we had decided that our first day should be a lazy one on the "pink sand beach", which was a short walk across the island..
Our walk to the beach showed us just how quiet the island is beyond the airport and the little activity at Governors Harbour. The few houses on the way seemed deserted with a few locals playing cards or drinking booze in the shade.
Once we arrived we were treated to one of those paradise moments where a vision of a massive deserted beach with beautiful turquoise blue waters rolling delicately in.
As we set out or blanket and picnic we could see that we really were alone in this heavenly place and we loved it!! Lynsey continue to savour the moment, while I legged it towards the sea whilst trying to sort out my snorkel gear at the same time... five seconds later Lynsey was laughing her head off as I stacked it, flippers and all into the warm water!
We really enjoyed our beach time and as people who had not considered ourselves "sun worshipers" we worked on the tans and periodically cooled off in the most fantastically clear water.
One evening after dinner we went for a few beers at the "Sunset Bar" overlooking the water and obviously the western end of the bay offering numerous photo opportunities as the sun went down. We met the owner, Lionel and had a few laughs and a few more hands of cards.
The snorkeling on Eleuthera was very good indeed and the water was the cleanest and clearest that we have enjoyed on our trip so far
That was until our last day... and the experience that I had always knew might happen.
At this stage of the trip, I considered myself an accomplished snorkeler and I was busy tracking some fish around the coral reef to get some close ups with our underwater camera. I had been tracking one particular red puffer fish and was just getting close enough to get a picture when right in front of me appeared a huge silver Barracuda.
Initially I thought it was a Wahoo (the relative of a Barracuda that we had been eating in the Galapagos Islands! however, as I stood rigid I remembered that I had seen a picture of a Wahoo and it wasn't the same... then it hit me... shit it had to be a Barracuda!!
Stupidly I wanted to get a picture and I swam close behind the almost stationary fish and snapped away... then I lost my nerve, turned and began to swim away from the reef and into shallower water
I will never forget... the fish looked straight at me and I could see its ugly face coming towards me.
It was at that point... crapping myself that I was glad I wore my rubber safety pants!! I began kicking my flippers as fast as I could and I swam away fearing for my life.
Luckily I made it into shallow waters and as I scrambled out of the water I could see the silver body of the fish... I couldn't believe that it had followed me right to the shore.
I explained my ordeal to the sunbathing Lynsey, who was shocked at what had just happened.
As you can imagine, I didn't go back into the water that day and neither did Lynsey... later my fears were confirmed when we learned that the Barracuda is an aggressive fish that can attack doing damage with sharp teeth! Apparantly it doesn't like shiney silver or gold... like the trim on my swimming shorts!
A close call and one I will remember for a long time indeed!
Altogether too quickly and with my heartbeat back to normal, the break from America was over and we were off back to Miami... The Bahamas though will live long in the memory and if you ever want a beach on a paradise island all to yourself... you know where to come.