The night spent crossing the ocean to Freeport, Grand Bahamas was uneventful. Which is ~exactly~ what one wants when on the open sea. We slept well and one could even say, TOO well as we arrived at Blu restaurant somewhat later than required (as it turns out, they’re only open for breakfast between 7:30 and 9:00 A.M.). Oh Well. There really is no shortage of places to eat on a cruise ship. 🙂
Up to the buffet and for once, we actually managed to behave. A lesson learned over these past 12 years of cruising is that there is no point in having a big breakfast with the justification of ‘we just won’t have any lunch’. Right. Like that’s Really going to happen. Get real folks. You’re in new territory, surrounded by sights, sounds and smells that just INSIST that you try them all. Accept the fact that food off the ship will happen regardless of the best intentions. Eat less for breakfast!!!
Given that Grand Bahamas was part of Britain until relatively recently (1973 they finally separated) it should have been no surprise that driving on the left is the norm. Let’s just say I’m very happy we chose NOT to rent a car. Gas is similarly priced here at about $4.40 per gallon. Traffic is certainly less however. The city of Freeport is not that big at only 60,000 people (unless cruise ships are in port – today there are 3). Even Nassau (the capital) is only about 300,000. The whole island is quite small at about 17 miles by 96 miles. That still makes it the fourth largest of the 700 islands that make up Grand Bahamas.
Our shuttle took us into ‘downtown’ which is being generous in that description. Yes there are government buildings and businesses but reality is the tourism venues. And as much as I don’t want to admit it, the Caribbean is replete with all the same types of things, just localized from one island to the next. One building that we passed was explained this way – “Dat dere, folks, is da PharmaChem buildin’. Dey make a lot of tings, one of which are birt control pills. But dey just sell dem all to da US cuz dem birt control pills doan work down here. Ya see…when ya eat a lot of conch..babies just happen, birt control or no.” (Apologies to our guide, but it sounds better when he tells it. 🙂 )
So….guess what we had for lunch? Yep…conch fritters. 🙂 Not sure if they were quite as good as the ones enjoyed in Roatan, Honduras, but they were quite tasty. Topped them off with some local beer. (I think it’s important to try the local beer everywhere we go even though I’m not a big beer drinker.)
I looked EVERYwhere for snow…could not find it. Apparently there are places in the world where it doesn’t snow after mid April…unlike home. The weather was … what’s the word….perfect. About 23 degrees C, a little breeze to make you believe you’re not burning enough to look like a properly done lobster and just the right amount of puffy pillow clouds to break up the incredibly blue sky.
The couple of hours now spent going through the requisite tourist shops and being coerced by every shopkeeper (in all fairness, they are Much more gentle in their approach than most we have encountered) and it’s back to the ship. Truthfully we did buy some items but nothing outlandish and nothing that won’t actually be used and enjoyed.
So much to do each day and so little time to make sure it happens. It’s late as I write this, so once again it will be continued tomorrow.