Day 1(Thursday, June 7): Arrived at noon at the oversized Georgetown International Airport (yes, kidding) which perfectly fits the idealized concept of a Bahamian airport. Luggage was quick and easy, as was customs and immigrations...both took almost 30 seconds each. We all looked fairly harmless so that probably helped.
We rented our car from Thompson Car Rental for $520 (http://www.the-bahamas-car-rentals.com/thompsonscars/ and it was waiting for us at the airport with the keys in it. It wasn't the Rav4 we were expecting but regardless it started and ran...good enough. Now while I was expecting to be driving on the opposite side of the road, I was not expecting to have a car with a steering wheel on the right instead of the left....no biggie but if you think it might bother you ask specifically for what you want. Don't have high expectations as ours makes some odd noises and isn't exactly a thing of beauty. They are great to deal with and we just went in to sign the rental agreement the following day after we go settled. Again...island time...no rush.
We were met by Lem, the caretaker of the house who led us to our house stopping for a case of beer ($50) and slowing to show us some good restaurants, bars, grocery stores, etc... Upon arrival we were as impressed as we had hoped we would be as the house and the grounds were beautiful! It was about 15 min south of Georgetown, and a mile and a half north of the bridge to Little Exuma. After a few minutes of getting to know the place, and staring across the bay at the incredible water (see pics) half of the party went to groceries while the rest stayed and drank beer. The remainder of the evening was simply spent relaxing from a 0400 wake up and enjoying the house and vicinity.
Day 2: Woke up late (deserved it) and went for a run nearly to Little Exuma turning around at Bone Fish Lodge, which is now been sold and is being rehabbed and called Family Cay and to be opening soon. After nearly baking to death on the way back after the late start a quick dip in the ocean, followed by a rinse in the pool brought us back to life. We then packed a few things and headed out to Little Exuma to find Paradise Beach (otherwise known as the Tropic of Cancer Beach) which ended up being about a 10-15 min drive down the road. There were 2 beach access signs before getting to Paradise Beach which we will try to get to later in the week. It is a somewhat nice change over Eleuthera where you need GPS coordinates to locate the beach turn-off. Don’t get me wrong, they are still just rough dirt roads leading to the beach, but at least we didn’t have to be lost most of the time just looking for a beach. Like Eleuthera, the beaches are 98% empty and they are mostly yours to enjoy alone. Also, they are much, much cleaner than Eleuthera…we heard it has something to do with the way trash washes across the Atlantic and gets caught on Eleuthra from Protugual….but again, just what we heard. Paradise Beach was awesome, and while we only spent about 30 min there just to see if we could find it, I am sure we will be back. We then proceeded down to Santanan’s for lunch ($110 for 4 plus alcohol). A little road side stand about 2.5 miles on down the main road. This is where you can order up whatever is being served that day and look through the photo album they put down in front of you of all the celebrities and guests they have had there through the years. Also, next door is Mom’s Bakery where the bread is awesome…and it is Mom’s daughter who is the cook at Santana’s….so it is a family affair.
After that, we grabbed another swim at home, and went and settled up on the rental car in Georgetown then came back for a kayak trip at the house around the out island at the nature preserve and came across some giant starfish (see pics), two turtles, and a small shark. We finished the day by getting cleaned up and heading to the local fish fry which while they say is on Friday, it is actually every day. It is really just a spot north of Georgetown with a bunch of huts and each hut has a different style of food and drink. We ended up at Poor Mans having fried conch and rice with 3 sides…absolutely spectacular for just over 60 bucks. Without a doubt the locals are what makes this place spectacular…see pic.
Day 3: Started a little earlier than the day before as we had a boat tour at 9 leaving from the far side north side of the island near Barraterre. This all day tour given by Captain Ray and his son Justin was worth every penny. It was my dad’s 70th b-day present and he was completely thrilled with it! I am simply going to leave this link for you to check out and say that it is dead on the quality and value that you get! My guess is that this tour will end up being the highlight of our trip! tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g147429-d1…
After our amazing Cays tour, we had to finally get gas on the way home (an hour drive to and back) and oddly enough gas stations tend to be hard to come by…just fyi. By the time we got home it was all anyone could do to just get enough energy up to make some dinner and hit the bed…amazing how exhausted a guy can get going 50 mph in a boat all day!
Stay turned for more tomorrow!
Pics can be seen here: