Day 10, 11, 12, 13 and 14: CONCH
Getting to Nassau, Bahamas, from Fort Lauderdale takes only 30 minutes by plane… So, why not? Especially when it’s affordable and you’ve never been to any Caribbean islands.
The colour of the ocean changing from cobalt and cerulean blue to teal green and sand yellow according to the depth of the coral reefs, the currents and the proximity of cays and islets…What we saw from the airplane window is a show that we won’t easily forget. And we lived it with the excitement of a kid. Landed in New Providence on a bright sunny morning, we extemporarily decided to rent a car and travel immediately to the beach (our Airbnb room wasn’t available until the evening anyway). Here we made the luckiest decision of our Caribbean holiday and we unawarely drove South-West in the most uncontaminated spot of the island. We paid few dollars each to enter Clifton Heritage National Park (http://www.cliftonheritage.org) and we soon found out that we were the only visitors of the day. While hiking on the jungle track that runs along the ocean shore, one of the rangers stopped her cart and gave us a lift to one of her favourite beaches. After 30 minutes from our landing we found ourselves in paradise. I guess there’s no other way to describe it. Just me and Isabel, white sand, the sun burning on our skin, the tropical forest behind us, and the crystalline warm water of the coral reef in front of us. We just let ourselves go and left our troubles behind for the whole day. I think everybody should feel like this, at least once.
The Northern part of the island (including Nassau, the capital city, and Paradise island, the place where all the posh resorts are) is far less wild and much more touristic, even if it was low season. Amongst the most memorable (good and bad) moments of our adventures:
– discovering after countless nervous breakdowns that Bahamian people honk the horn as a “thank you” sign and not to say “f### off”;
– Isabel breaking in the wrong house for our checkin;
– discovering what people mean with “tropical weather”, and having to drive in flooded streets, afraid that your rental Japanese speaking car will suddenly break down and sink;
– realizing that it is much better not to wear piercings when you’re feeding hungry lory parrots if you don’t want to get munched and witnessing a flamingo parade at the Ardastra Gardens, a zoo with plenty of tropical species saved from inexpert owners (http://www.ardastra.com);
– having to consider a plan B when your “Swimming Piglets Tour”, which you’ve been craving for and talked about for the previous weeks, has been suddenly canceled due to a hurricane on the piglets’ island;
– being almost attacked by a pack of stray dogs at night;
– Caribbean food and its amazing habit to have conchs as main ingredients;
– discovering that underwater pictures are not my strong point. At all;
– watching the pink and red hues of the sky at sunset;
– snorkeling from above a frenzy of a dozen sharks in the open ocean (http://www.stuartcove.com).
The grand finale was reached when we arrived late at the airport and we found out that the gate was already closed. We had to beg them to re-open it and we made up the most dramatic stories about lost flight coincidences and reasonable reasons for our delay (we kept for ourselves that, actually, we were late because we stopped for a bit too long to watch a frog in my shower after the snorkeling tour). I guess we did quite well considering that we managed to jump on that plane. We did feel guilty though when we acknowledged that our flight and the one flying from Florida to Bahamas after our landing were about one hour late only because of us…
Back with Marti and Richard in Miami to spend our last night all together. Amazing ad lib pizza first (http://www.pizzaironside.com), followed by a live Parisian gig from the poolside of the 50’s styled Vagabond Hotel (http://www.thevagabondhotel.com). Even though the atmosphere was awesome and party-like, both me and Isa started worrying about coming back to London and having to leave our friends, the eternal summer and the marvelous enjoy-yourself feeling behind.
On our last day we made pancakes with bacon for breakfast and we had our last swim in Southbeach, exactly 2 weeks after Martina brought us there for the first time. Melancholy was in the air.
Nobody likes goodbyes.
Especially when you get on so well with somebody, when you share the same interests, have the same points of view and you are aware of how long it will take before you will meet again for some new adventures.
You made us feel like home the whole time guys and we enjoyed every single moment we spent together. Thank you for showing us your world, taking us around, not killing me for stopping every second to take pics and for introducing us to your friends. And thanks Richard, for making Martina the happiest I’ve ever seen her.
Nikon N55, Petzval 85, Fuji Superia 200 / Agfa CT Precisa 100 (35), 21-22-23-24-25/09/2015, New Providence (Bahamas)