I still find it extraordinary that I visited the Bahamas. It’s one of those exotic locations in the world that gets talked about a lot – like most other islands in the Caribbean – but how many people can say they actually visited it?
We reached Port Everglades and there we found out that Yeh Yang and Tanny couldn’t go because of visa issues. By the time they return from Bahamas, their visas would have expired and they wouldn’t be able to enter the US. Something like that. The only reason I made it was because I had a new I-20 for my Washington summer class, so they allowed me to go. Felt really bad for Yeh Yang because he was looking forward to it. But then again, he made no attempt to hide his disappointment.. Haha. Tanny was better though. Maybe she was disappointed, but she probably didn’t want to make the situation worse by pulling a long face. Kudos. Cos I think I would have started sulking if I were denied the Bahamas. So it was to be Angela, Xinpei and me. I was having so much fun the day before, now that we had to split up, the mood was definitely dampened somewhat.
Breakfast on the cruise. Though their faces say otherwise, the disappointment of not having Yeh Yang and Tanny was still sorely lingering… Seriously!
We don’t gamble, so there wasn’t much to do on the cruise. We slept on the deck and almost missed our lunch! The meals weren’t very appetizing anyway. We arrived at the Grand Bahama Island and took a shuttle to the hotel.
The service at this hotel was not bad – they served Bahama Mama, a local rum concoction, and yucca chips as a welcome snack. And I had a double bed to myself cos Yang wasn’t here! HAHA, 😉 There wasn’t any beach near our hotel though. It was in the middle of town and there was nothing much to do at the hotel. We took a bus for a dollar each to Port Lucaya, which we were told was the main area with shopping, restaurants and the beach.
Trees stripped bare by hurricane activity.
Count Basie Square at the Marketplace.
As the sun set, the orange glow of the sky created a warm hue – the perfect setting for a wedding by the beach. And we came across two. Very nice.
Angela and Xinpei.
The closest I got to jet-skiing.
More bare trees post-hurricane.
Our second day in the Bahamas turned out really nice. We managed to score a cheap deal for snorkeling. We paid $35 each; there was a bus that shuttled us to and from our hotel, lunch was provided, and it also covered the rental of snorkeling equipment for about 8 hours at a private beach. Yeah it was an awesome deal, and the beach was amazing. The water was so clear that we could see the reefs from the shore. It was so beautiful.
In between three trips out to the reefs to snorkel, we stopped for lunch and to take in some sun. It was my first time snorkeling and was it quite the experience. It wasn’t so much the swimming because you have the fins to aid you, but the breathing was rather tricky. Dylan would find this easy because he breathes through his mouth all the time. For me, it was a matter of getting used to taking in air through the tube in my mouth, and I had to consciously remind myself to do so. I found myself subconsciously switching to my nose many times, and then grasping for air when there wasn’t any because the goggles around the nose area is airtight.
Xinpei buried under, courtesy of Angela.
BRRR….. It was cold from the sea breeze.
Snorkeling is tiring. Each of the three times we headed out, it lasted for an hour maybe. You feel the strain on your calf muscles as you struggle to swim against the current. The experience is very worth the effort though, because you see many different types of corals and marine life. I bought a single-use underwater camera to capture the reefs and fishes, though the photos didn’t turn out too well. Definitely want to try it again. But not at the expense of getting stung by jellyfish like I was in Bintan about three years back…
The Bahamas was really an enjoyable place to visit, but I wouldn’t recommend going to Grand Bahama Island. Maybe Nassau would be a better choice because GBI didn’t have very much to do. Oh, I have to mention the conch. It seems really common to eat conch here in the Caribbean. Fried conch, steamed conch, conch salad… It comes in many variations.
Our last day on the island, we returned to Port Lucaya to laze at the beach.. And bought some souvenirs and t-shirts for Tanny and Yeh Yang since they didn’t make it to Bahamas. It was a lazy day for us before making our way to the Port to board the cruise back to Fort Lauderdale. Once again, we slept most of it since we didn’t gamble. Cruises are just not my thing.
We arrived at Fort Lauderdale about 9 in the evening, so made our way to Fort Lauderdale Airport to meet Yeh Yang and Tanny. It was good to see them again and recount our experiences from the past three days. Apparently they had a great time in Fort Lauderdale too, glad for them. Hehe, but I was joking with Xinpei and Angela that we had to take nice pictures of Bahamas and also tell them what a good time we had so that we don’t lose out to them. Typical Singaporeans. x)
Our flight was to Chicago early the next morning, so we spent the night at the airport sprawled out on the sofa instead of getting a room for a few hours. We ended up using our laptops to compensate for our lack of connection – we didn’t have an Internet connection at our Bahamas hotel, and our auto-roaming phones didn’t receive a service on the island too.
Tanny was going to Ithaca to attend her friend’s brother’s graduation from Cornell, so we bade her goodbye and went on our way to Chicago…