I woke up Tuesday morning to the ship making lots of noise. I figured we were either docking in Nassau, sinking, or being invaded by the famous Bahamian pirates…and when I rolled out of bed a hour later, I was glad to see it was the former. I could not have asked for a more beautiful series of days to explore the towns, and beaches of the Bahamas.
Upon exiting the port we were greeted by a swarm of locals who offered to work in a few hair braids, and tours all around the island, and taxi vans. It was more feasible to take an excursion NOT sponsored by the cruise line in this port since we were docked here until 6 am the next morning (almost 24 hours), but it was also easy enough to get around to see some of the local beauty, unless you want to be wowed by something via an excursion other than the beach. The beach was enough for me.
I shopped around the nearby streets and the straw market in Nassau before taking my loot back to the ship, grabbing something for lunch, and heading to the beach. There were a lot cuter shops (I know this would be an important selling feature for someone like….my brother) ….and more traffic on this Island, so take a little, give a little. The straw market was packed with vendors, and buyers. I did more damage to my wallet on this stop.
One of the most popular items on both islands are the straw items the local ladies sew popular images onto via large needles. The lady above was working on a Hello, Kitty bag before I asked her to personal a little box for me as a gift for someone.
Men chopped wooden masterpieces.
…and then there was the rum cake. There were some vendors carting locally made cakes around, but I found a store selling small cakes that I picked up for myself…and maybe a gift or two….if they make it all the way home. They are good….I have my doubts.
…you can order conch by the truck load. Literally, I saw conch shells filled with…uhh…conch meat (?) being sold on roadsides from the back of trucks….and little cafes, and stands throughout the island. I don’t think so….but I’m guessing the large shell animal must be in abundance here because of all the food, and souvenirs you can purchase made out of these sea creatures.
I bought an ornament carved from a Conch Shell (my souvenir of choice when I vacation-ornaments).
The local flavors I did find enjoyable included these little beauties…
…let’s call them sweets because if we call them candy, I just broke lent. I’ve shared my philosophy before….I don’t care where you are, or how strange the food….I think every country knows how to ‘do dessert.’ It’s where I spend my time on the menu when in doubt.
After my shopping extravaganza, I took a taxi for 4 bucks to Paradise Island (which was an adventure in itself) and hiked up a small hill (I like to use words like ‘hike’ after discussing the desserts I tried, as if I can cancel out the first with the second) and found Cabbage Beach.
Atlantis Hotel was set back to the far side, but I’d say life on Cabbage Beach couldn’t be much ‘worse’ than that exclusive hotel. There were plenty of options for entertainment-jet skis, parasailing, massages, more braiding options, shopping options, and men walking around with coconuts and rum boxed on their heads.
If you choose to ‘order’ a drink from them they will chop open the coconut and hook you up on the spot.
The beach was G-to the-O-to the-R-to the GEOUS. I did more sitting, and people watching. I left all my books and magazines behind because I refuse to close my eyes, or move them over a page of words when I’m somewhere this amazing. I soaked up a little sun, and a lot of beauty. I’m a fan.
After most of the daylight hours shopping, and at the beach, I moved back over to the boat, spent some time at one of the hot tub (sans all the people that normally fill it’s walls), and sat on the Serenity Deck and watched the island. It was a good day.
Before I ‘leave’ the Bahamas….I have to say I enjoyed them immensely. I felt safer than I have in the past while visiting beaches in Mexico. The people were very friendly, though sometimes a little overly eager about selling you their island services, but they do it with a smile, and you just have to be prepared for this, and prepared to say ‘no.’ A lot of this can be avoided if you take the excursions, but if you don’t, I found once you settle down to whatever you’ve decided to do, you’re fine, and you can enjoy relative solitude. The beaches are, of course, amazing, and I love the colorful back drop of the houses, and buildings along these beautiful islands. I also am a fan of the Rum Cake.
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