Just go with the flow….

23 01 2011

Another early morning wake up and another sunrise as we crept into port at Nassau, Bahamas.

We had big plans to frolic with the fish at Rainbow Reef off the coast of Athol Island at 9am.  Too bad the weather didn’t cooperate.  It was so windy and the current was so strong that our tour was cancelled and all of a sudden we were left to our own devices to entertain ourselves in Nassau.  Other people in the group decided to head to the mega Resort Atlantis on Paradise Island (you can see it in the distance behind the lighthouse), but since we’re not ones to follow the crowd (like when we walked into the ghetto of St. Thomas) we headed into town at 9am.

All the cruisers hadn’t flocked to the stores yet so the streets were deserted.  It was a little unnerving and I couldn’t help but feel like we really stood out as tourists as we navigated along the cracked sidewalks…or just walked on the streets, dodging traffic when the sidewalk just stopped.   We found ourselves at “The Queen’s Staircase”, and I’m now starting to realize that all of these islands seem to have a historical staircase to draw tourists.  Apparently this was supposed to be a 65 step staircase, but there was some error when they paved the road and now it’s only 64 steps.

Soon bored with the staircase, forts that never saw any battles, and dodging traffic we found ourselves heading towards Arawak Cay.  We stumbled upon a beach that looked so picturesque it’s now saved as desktop wallpaper, but only because you can’t tell how windy and cold it is or feel the blowing sand stinging your legs.

A little too cold to laze on the beach, but I found some fantastic shells!  Although, look at the photo that Nathan took below.  He handpicked shells for an artistic assortment, but did he bring back those handpicked shells?  No!  He left them there and every time I look at this photo I feel regret for those shells left behind!!

We also saw a washed up sea urchin.  This, I was not tempted to take back with us.

We finally made it to Arawak Cay, advertised as the place locals come for conch, and after asking for some recommendations we found ourselves at Goldie’s Conch House for some local Bahamian Kalik beer, conch fritters and fresh conch salad.

We really got into the relaxed, slow pace of the Bahamian culture and started chatting with the locals as we watched as the buses of tourists came through to check out the collection of conch shells in the back.  With the exception of our camera on the table, I kind of felt like a local.

We ended up getting a ride out to Paradise Island to check out the Atlantis Resort, before taking a water taxi back to the ship.  By the afternoon the weather was gorgeous and I couldn’t help but look at the busy beaches (the same one that was deserted when we were shell picking) and the turquoise water and feel like we should have been frolicking in the water with the fish.  But we did end up having a pretty interesting day, even without being stalked by barracudas.

And with our final port behind us (only a measly 45 minute flight from Miami), we came to realize that our 9 day escape was coming to an end and it was time to head back to reality.

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