White Beaches and a crystal clear sea
From Havana we flew with Cuban Air to Nassau, it was a bit adventures… When we checked in, everything seems to be fine, we were just wondering why there were just a couple of people who were at the counter…but we thought they might come later. When we were at the gate and waited to be boarded, nothing happened but still the flight was scheduled on time at the monitor. After one hour of delay and no information at all, our flight was taken out from the monitor and we were a bit nervous, still no information at all to the passengers. It was also not possible to find a staff from the Cuban Air inside the security area and going out was not possible because of the immigration. We continued to wait for another one hour at the gate; well we didn´t really have a choice. After 2 hours of delay our flight suddenly popped up again in the monitor and straight away they called us for boarding. We were lucky that they decided to fly, but we were also wondering what kind of airplane they were going to use because in our ticket they wrote it´s going to be a Boeing 737 but when we arrived at the plane, it was an ATR 42-71, they changed the aircraft. This ATR machine is quite new and was in a good condition, it has a passenger capacity of 68 seats but we were only 8 passengers, 2 technician and 2 stewards…it was easy to count them all…somehow it was a bit creepy…but we arrived safely in Nassau.
When we were in the Bahamas, we quickly found out that this country is the playground of the rich people. Hotels or places to stay are really expensive, also daytrips, activities, etc. are not cheap. We actually planned to stay in Nassau for only one night and wanted to move to one of the islands, but they are even much more expensive, really out of our daily budget. So we decided to stay in Nassau for the rest of our stay here in the Bahamas. We stayed here for totally 5 days, we exceeded our daily budget by more than 100%...
In Nassau we walked through the city and the port and spent a couple of time at some beaches. We also visited the Paradise Island where there is a huge hotel resort called Atlantis with casino and entertainment programs. On the island we went round and stayed at the beach for a few hours which was a nice one but also quite crowded if you stay close to the Atlantis resort. But we decided to go further away from the resort and then it was quieter. The port of Nassau is very popular for cruise liners, every day there are at least 2 or 3 of them docking here, and the whole city is then suddenly overcrowded.
We also made a daytrip to the Exuma Islands. We flew from Nassau to Exuma International Airport at island Great Exuma with a turboprop aircraft. At the airport we were picked up with 10 other people who booked the same tour by a small bus and we drove to the very northern point of this island, to Barreterre Dock. There a small speed boat was already waiting for us and we started our journey to explore some island of the Exumas. The power of the speed boat was pretty impressive, you had to hold yourself during the ride otherwise you definitely will fall down on the boat. Our first stop was the pig bay where you can swim with some pigs and feed them, they live free on this island when some native people left them here on this island long time ago. It was a funny experience, we never swam with a pig in the sea before. One of our crew member on board dived to catch some Conch, a big snail which can be found almost everywhere here in the Bahamas, it´s a speciality in this place. A fresh made Conch salad was served during our tour and was inclusive, Mery likes it. After the pig bay we went to a private island where you can swim with the nurse sharks. The sharks are wild and live around this island, they are free and not keep in captivity. The owner of this island use to feed the sharks with dead raw fishes at the jetty. This kind of shark is not dangerous to humans, they swim around and don´t mind if you touch them. It was the first time for us to touch a shark, their skin feel like rough paper. After the feeding the sharks swam away. The next destination for us was a sand bank, here we could swim around, took some pictures and took a sun bath. After that we went to see the grotto where Sean Connery in his James Bond role dived into it and were pulled out of the grotto by a helicopter. It was a nice place to snorkel and to swim, there are some corals and fishes. The last place of our daytrip was a stopover on an island where plenty of iguanas live. They get used to humans because the people feed them with vegetables.
The water here in the Exumas is very clean, there are places where it´s colour is crystal clear, dark blue, light blue and turquoise. The beaches are dreamlike, everything very clean and white sands. We also had luck with the weather, just few clouds were in the sky and the sun were shining most of the time.
Culinary the local people like to eat Conch, a big sea snail which can be found almost everywhere here. The Conch salad is quite refreshing, made of Conch, tomatoes, lemons, onions, etc., you can see the pictures at Merys food corner. Otherwise the food is similar like in the States, plenty of fast food restaurants and BBQ stations...which of course are very delicious.
From the Bahamas our journey goes to the last phase, we plan to stay for more than one month in the States. From Nassau we will fly to Miami, we will as usual keep you updated.