Tuesday, May 22, 2012


Well,  my girlfriend needed a vacation between teaching gigs and decided it was time for us to check out the Exumas in the Bahamas. Who am I to say no to eight days of swimming, snorkeling and boat drinks on a chartered catamaran even though it delays getting BIANKA into the water. So come along on the journey as I head to check out some new waters.

We come on the sloop John B
My grandfather and me
Around Nassau town we did roam

We had a direct flight into Nassau where we spent our first night. Nothing looked familiar from the last time I was in Nassau back in the 1980's. But, the ride to the hotel showed there was a lot of construction going on. Including a brand new Airport terminal nearing completion. The ride from the airport had some interesting sites. Many of the round abouts we drove around were decorated with borders of empty Conch shells:

The shells made a nice pink border, kept the weeds from growing and was a great way to recycle the shells. It also made me kind of hungry because one of the treats for me traveling to places like the Bahamas is I get to eat some Conch.  That chewy sweet tasting mollusk that I enjoy in all it's forms. I usually only get to taste it once a year or twice a year on trips like this.  

After a twenty minute ride we ended up at the British Colonial Hilton Hotel.  Though our cab driver did point out that the Nassau locals only refer to it as the Hilton Colonial Hotel. Preferring to have little reminder of the British presence on the island as possible. Though the original Hotel was built by an American the Standard Oil tycoon Henry Flagler and has a rather interesting history including being part of location shooting of several James Bond films including Thunderball .  It was not long after we checked in that I found myself  sitting in the outdoor restaurant enjoying one of the local brews:

In this case a Sands beer neither shaken nor stirred. I had a nice view of the Nassau Paradise Island (Hog Island) Lighthouse:

Built in1817.   They say this is and the oldest surviving lighthouse in the West Indies. It marks the entrance to Nassau harbor. If I turn my head to the right I can see the giant cruise ships lined up at the dock:

Later in the day as I sat in the lounge chair on the beach I watched as these floating cities heading out to their next destination.

Maybe it's just me but, I think the design on the side of this ship makes it look kind of fruity and cartoonish.  Speaking of cartoonish Nassau has it's share of tourists drink until you drop bars like Senor Frogs:
Not sure if it's wise to have a seven foot frog standing outside a bar where people tend to drink heavily.  

After watching the ship depart I headed into downtown area. The newly built straw market was all but, closed up  now that the cruise ships had departed. But, heading toward the waterfront I found a local fisherman who was selling some of his catch, conch shells and would also whip up some conch salad for you:

I was tempted to try some but, since it was getting close to dinner time I resisted and headed back to the hotel. Where I proceeded to conch myself out starting with this:

An appetizer of Conch Salad, Conch Chowder and a Conch Fritter. Followed by:

Some delicious Shrimp and Conch Curry for the main course.  After such a satisfying meal only thing left to do was get a good nights sleep before heading off to Staniel Cay in the morning.

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